Friday, February 12, 2016

Fall Mountain Wins D-III Clash in Bow

By: Ross Laorenza
"They're really starting to play together," said Jon Aumand after his Fall Mountain Wildcats defeated the Bow Falcons 38-31 Friday night. Fall Mountain improves to 13-3 vaulting ahead of Bow in the standings who now share the same record.

Starting tonight for Fall Mountain was Maddie Lord, Josie Holt, Brooke Aumand, Sophie Bushey and Ella Stewart, the only freshman on the team. Countering for Bow was Abigail Horner, Taylor Darrell, Erin Boldwin, Lea Crompton, and Amanda Murray.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Exeter Boys Top Winnacunnet

Exeter and Winnacunnet. Arguably the biggest rivalry in the state. When these teams square off it's always a big deal. On Thursday night in Hampton it was a packed house with both student sections rockin'. It was a tournament atmosphere. Not only that, but both teams are capable of making a run to the Final Four. It was an evenly matched, highly competitive game with no shortage of big plays, big shots and intensity.

In the end (as most close games do) it came down to which team made more stops and hit more shots in the 4th quarter. Winnacunnet led 51-47 after 3, but Exeter outscored them 14-5 in the final period. As a result, the Blue Hawks win it 61-56 and got to celebrate on their arch-rivals' home floor.

"This atmosphere, with our crowd - it doesn't get any better" said Exeter sophomore guard Cody Morissette.

Knollmeyer Scores 1,000th Point, Winnacunnet Girls Crush Exeter

It was the result you would have expected when an 11-3 team goes up against a 3-9 squad - a lopsided victory for the favorites. That was the case on Thursday night in Hampton, where Winnacunnet improved to 12-3 on the season with a 63-27 win over arch-rival Exeter.

The Warriors led 33-12 at halftime, 52-22 after 3 quarters and starters from both teams saw very limited action in the 4th quarter. The big story of the game was that Winnacunnet 6-foot senior forward Meg Knollmeyer (a candidate for D-I Player of the Year) scored her 1,000th career point during the 1st half.

"I came in feeling under pressure and stressed about it" said Knollmeyer, who will play her college ball at Division II New York Institute of Technology. "After I got the 1,000th point I was relieved."

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

BG Girls Are Team to Beat in D-I

By: Jeremy Leveille
The Alvirne High Girls basketball team is a good team - BG is just better. In fact, Bishop Guertin playing better than any girls basketball team in the state right now. The Cardinals improved to 11-1 on the season with a 42-25 win over Alvirne on Tuesday night in Nashua. It was the 8th win in a row for BG. That's the best record and longest winning streak in D-I. Their only loss was to Londonderry, but the Lancers just lost by 20 to Winnacunnet, a team that BG just beat on the road without one of their best players (Molly Dee). Meanwhile, preseason favorite Bedford has lost twice, including as loss tonight to a 4-loss Nashua North squad.

What it all means is that Guertin is the team to beat - for now.

"I try not to talk about that stuff" said Bishop Guertin first-year head coach Brad Kreick, who took over for Jeremy Faulkner. "We still have some tough games left to play."

Memorial Earns Road Victory at Trinity

By: Ross Laorenza
Manchester Memorial improves to 8-3 on the NHIAA regular season with a 69-59 win at Trinity. The Crusaders got out to a huge lead before Trinity started to chip away in the 3rd quarter. "We showed some poise and I think we showed what we were made of," said Crusader's coach Jack Quirk. On the victory he added, "It's a win away from home in a very difficult place. This place has been a house of horrors for us in recent years...It's a very difficult place to play.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Londonderry's 'D' Gets them the 'W'

It's no secret that Londonderry is one of the best defensive teams in the state. They have senior point guard Jackie Luckhardt, who is arguably the best defender in NH. They have senior wing Kate Balcom, who goes hard on every play of every game - defending, rebounding, taking charges and hustling for loose balls. They also have Ashley Evans, a 6-foot-2 freshman who can dominate the boards. All of this was evident on Saturday afternoon vs. arch-rival Pinkerton.

The Lancers packed in their zone defense, not allowing the Astros to get the ball inside and forcing them to take 3-pointers. Pinkerton's shots weren't falling, and as a result they scored just 14 points through 3 quarters. Londonderry wins it 39-28.

2nd Half Comeback Propels Pinkerton Past Rival Londonderry

Beating the team you lost to in the previous year's title game twice in a week might not completely erase the agony that was suffered, but it can come pretty close. That's the case for the Pinkerton Academy boys basketball team. The Astros lost to arch-rival Londonderry in the 2014-2015 D-I finals.

But this season it's a different story. Pinkerton beat Londonderry 74-51 on Tuesday night in Derry. Saturday afternoon was the rematch at Londonderry in a packed gym - the Astros won this time as well, coming back from a 12 point half time deficit to beat the Lancers 68-62.

Still, Pinkerton insists that this was business as usual.

"It was just another game" said 6-foot-6 senior forward Ben Olson, who dominated the paint to the tune of 14 points, 12 rebounds and 6 blocks.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Yarmo Commits to BYU Football

Former Alvirne High football player Brycen Yarmo (Hudson, NH) has committed to attend and play football for Brigham Young University (BYU). Yarmo was recently offered a walk-on roster spot by both BYU as well as the University of New Hampshire. Yarmo chose BYU, which is a Division I FBS program. Yarmo is a 6-foot-5, 245 lbs. tight end with good size, speed, he's physical, he can block and he can catch the football. After graduating from Alvirne, Yarmo is currently doing a post-grad year at Phillips Exeter Academy.

"I would like to announce that I have received an offer and have accepted a "walk on" roster spot from Brigham Young University Football!" said Yarmo. "I was offered this spot by Ty Detmer the new Offensive Coordinator at BYU. I am very excited and blessed with this opportunity of a life time. I could not have done this without the help of a lot of people including my parents Paul Yarmo and Debbie Yarmo, all of my siblings, my team mates at Alvirne and at Phillips Exeter Academy and Matt Skeffington and Kurtis West from Dynamic Strength and Conditioning. Without them I wouldn't nearly be close to where I am today. Lastly, thanks to God for blessing me throughout my life and helping me achieve such success. Also a big thank you goes out to every football coach that has taken the time to coach me or recruit me in this process. This had been my goal all my life and I am very excited for what the future holds."

Here's Yarmo's Hudl page:

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Merrimack Bench Gives Big Contribution in Win Over Winnacunnet

By: Ross Laorenza
Noah Beygelman and Ian Cummings combined for 33 points off the bench in Merrimack's 54-42 win at home against Winnacunnet. Beygelman, one of eight seniors on the Tomahawk squad, set a personal season high with 18 points to lead the team in scoring.

"He's been playing really well the last couple of weeks, said Merrimack coach Tim Goodridge. "The last two games he's given us a huge lift. That's what seniors should do."

With two impressive defenses squaring off tonight, scoring was hard to come by in the opening quarter. Dan McKillop scored inside for the game's first points cutting to the basket. Zach Waterhouse drained a three from the corner to put Winnacunnet in front 3-2. His efficiency from long range proved to be a threat all first half. Merrimack would retake the lead with a pass from Zak Kerr to Ian Roberts.

Housman Commits to UNH

Bishop Guertin senior RB/DB Jackson Housman has become the latest local talent to commit to play for the UNH Wildcats football program. Housman was a play maker on both sides of the ball as well as special teams at BG, but says he plans on play on the defensive side of the ball at safety for UNH.

"I knew that I wanted to play at the Division 1 level, I really enjoyed my official visit and loved everything about the campus and the kids on the team" Housman told the NH Notebook. "I know that Coach Mac and the entire UNH football coaching staff will make me the best football player I can possibly be, and that is the goal for me."

Housman is 6-foot-1, 2015 lbs. He's a tough kid with good speed and tenacity. He was one of the fiercest, hardest hitting defenders in NH high school football. He becomes the third member of this year's BG football team to commit to play Division I college football. The others are WR Nick Lorden (joining Housman at UNH) and linebacker/safety Chase Hughes (committed to Wyoming).

"I love the game of football and love being on that field" said Housman. "So that is what I do and work for. I also had a great group of kids with me at Bishop Guertin that helped me along the way to be the best I can be. We were always working out together and pushing each other. Coach Moore was also a big help for me and others from BG going on to play college football like Nick Lorden, Keenan Dwyer, and Chase Hughes."

Click here to view Housman's Hudl page, which includes his senior season highlight video:

Monday, February 1, 2016

Salem Boys Hoops Beat South in OT

By: Jeremy Leveille
In a hard fought, evenly matched game with lots of shifts in momentum, Salem came away with a 59-55 overtime win at home vs. Nashua South on Monday night. South was up 38-33 after 3 quarters, but Salem outscored them 19-14 in the 4th quarter, and the Blue Devils went on a 6-0 run to begin OT.

Salem was led by 6-foot-3 junior wing Griffin Curtis (team-high 21 points), senior 6-foot-5 forward Matt Vartanian (15 points and junior guard DJ Coletti (13 points). They also got strong defense from Connor Greenfield and clutch free throws from Jake Bosworth. Curtis missed the first half of the season with a foot injury, but he had a breakout game tonight vs. South. The Blue Devils are a different team now that he's back healthy and playing well. In a wide open Division I, Salem could be a team nobody wants to play come March.

"The Merrimack game on Friday night was his first full game" said Salem head coach Rob McLaughlin. "He's a tough match-up. He can shoot or take it inside. It's nice to have him back."

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Hughes Accepts Offer to Play Football at Wyoming

It's been Chase Hughes' dream to play Division I college football - on Sunday that dream came true. The 6-foot-1, 193 lbs. linebacker has accepted a scholarship offer from the University of Wyoming, where he will attend and play football. The Bishop Guertin senior broke the news by posting the following on Twitter earlier today:

"I would like to thank every program that has taken the time and effort to recruit me. After receiving an offer, taking an amazing official visit this weekend, and praying continuously, I've trusted in the Lord that he would guide me in the right direction and help me make the correct decision to where I would play college football & study in the future. This journey to find a school could not be done alone and their are so many people to recognize especially God, my parents and family, the Bishop Guertin football staff, the Dawsons, The Beals, and all of my friends. Lastly, I want to thank Coach Bohl and Coach Stanard for helping me reach my dream of playing Division 1 football with my best friend Theo Dawson. I would like to announce that I am 100% committed to play football for The University of Wyoming! #GoCowboys"

Hughes is the second BG player to accept a D-I football scholarship this season. The other was his teammate, senior WR Nick Lorden, who has committed to New Hampshire.

Click the following link to view Hughes' Hudl page:

Mid-Season Thoughts

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By: Tuesday and Friday
Before I get into my mid-season thoughts, here is an important update on Reggie from Milford. He was NOT in attendance at Milford last Friday in their 76 – 63 victory over Coe-Brown. Word has it Reggie was spending kind of a Godfather/Soprano’s lifestyle in the trunk of a Milford student. There is a rumor Reggie will make the trip on Friday February 5th for Milford’s big rivalry game at Souhegan. There is fear in the Milford camp over the health of Reggie at the Saber gym. The potential is high Reggie could come back in 3 sections……. Stay tuned.

I’m starting off with the girls as they don’t receive anywhere near the amount of publicity the boys do. Senior Meg Knollmeyer of Winnacunnet is the best pure Big in NH…… And that includes boys or girls. She is an “old school” Big. Drop steps, turn around paint shots and nice foot work backs me up on my statement. There are a lot of boy Bigs who could learn something from watching Knollmeyer operate in the paint. There are some AAU coaches who could learn something from watching Knollmeyer operate in the paint. Instead of a lot of boy Bigs lazily operating around the 3 point arc, if they would woman (man) up and take lessons from the potential POY Knollmeyer, they might be more productive for their team and themselves in the W column.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Hollis-Brookline Escapes With Win Over Timberlane

By: Jeremy Leveille
Two heartbreaking losses in less than a week for the Timberlane Owls. They pushed the heavily favored Manchester West Blue Knights to the brink before falling on Tuesday night, and on Friday night they suffered another close loss in the closing seconds – this time to a scrappy Hollis-Brookline team.

Hollis and Timberlane was an even match-up. It was a hard fought battle throughout, with both teams playing physical, tenacious defense and leaving it all on the floor. It could have gone either way. What was the difference? 3 key plays in the last minute – a huge 3-pointer by Cavaliers junior guard Nick Fothergill with the game tied, a missed front end of a 1-and-1 by the Owls which would have put them ahead, and a 5 second inbound violation on Timberlane when they were down by 3. The result was a nail-biting 45-40 win for Hollis-Brookline in Division II play.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Lebanon's Big 1st half Leads to Easy Road Win

By: Ross Laorenza
It was evident early on that Lebanon was the better basketball team. It was crystal clear by halftime.The Raiders jumped out to a 38-9 first half lead en route to a 59-40 victory over a good Souhegan team, Friday night.
"I was really pleased with our first half," said head coach Keith Matte. "Defensively is how we measure ourselves and defensively we did a great job in the first."

Cavallaro Commits to UNH

University of New Hampshire head football coach Sean McDonnell has landed another top local recruit. Jack Cavallaro - a 6-foot-4, 225 lbs. TE who can catch the football and block people with anyone in the region has committed to the Wildcats. Cavallaro was a four-year standout at Hanover High in NH, and is currently doing a post-grad year at Milford Academy.

"It was a pretty easy decision, and every time I visited UNH I knew it was the place for me" Cavallaro told the NH Notebook. "The recruiting process was extremely long and I heard from a variety of schools and coaches, but Coach Lyons and Coach Mac were the most up front with me. I was in contact with them since my junior year, and I knew as soon as they gave me an opportunity I was going to take it."

Cavallaro played both tight end and linebacker at Hanover, but likely projects as a TE at the next level. He runs good routes, makes tough catches, has good speed and is a very physical kid who can block the heck out of people.

"I just want to come in and improve" Cavallaro explained. "I have a lot to learn, a lot of work to put in and there is no better place to do that than UNH."

New Hampshire is an FCS Division I program. They have qualified for the FCS National Tournament a staggering 12 years in a row. Cavallaro will suit up for the Wildcats alongside his older brother Shawn Cavallaro, who played his red shirt freshman season at running back for UNH this past fall.

"Playing with my brother is all I know really, because we have played together since third grade" said the younger Cavallaro brother. "It will definitely be cool to be back on the field with him, especially in one of the top FCS programs in the country."

Cavallaro's PG year at Milford Academy has helped prepare him for UNH, both on and off the field.

"Milford really challenged me as a football player mentally and physically" Cavallaro concluded. "It was a great experience meeting guys from all over the country, and playing with some of the top recruits in the country. It made me a better player and prepped me well for college football."

Monday, January 25, 2016

South Beats Londonderry on OT Buzzer-Beater

In a game that got better as it went on, Nashua High South made a buzzer-beating layup in overtime to beat the defending D-I champs Londonderry 56-55 on Monday night in Nashua.

The Lancers made a resilient 2nd half comeback to force overtime. They took the lead in OT, but missed the front end of a 1-and-1 with 8 seconds left. Trailing 55-54, South goes the length of the floor with junior point guard Kevin Genao pushing the ball ahead, dishing it off to senior wing Zavier Williams for the layup. The buzzer sounds, and the Purple Panthers celebrate in jubilation.

"All I said was for someone to make a play" said Nashua High South head coach Nate Mazzerole. "Well, Kevin made a play and Z made a play."

South improves to 5-3 on the season, while Londonderry falls to 3-3. D-I is wide open. There's a lot of parity. There's 10 or 11 teams who all have a shot on any given night and these are two of them.