Sunday, November 22, 2009

Holiday Tournament Diary

(Last updated 12/31/09)
"Holiday Tourney Week" was from December 26 - December 30. I saw 22 games over that 5 day span. Here is what I took away from those games.

Day 1 - Saturday, December 26
Today was Day 1 of the Queen City Invitational and UMass-Lowell tournament, and I saw action at both. My day began with Londonderry vs. Acton in Lowell. I got there a few minutes into the game, so I did not give out a game ball for this one. If I did, it would have been tough to choose anyone from Londonderry. The Lancers were simply outplayed by a faster, hungrier and more talented Acton squad. It seemed like Londonderry is still trying to figure out their rotation. They played 12 players, and they substituted either 4 or 5 players into the game a few different times. The Lancers just seemed out of sync for most of the game. They lost by over 20 points. You have a coach that decided to take the year off right before the season started. You have a star guard who gets suspended right before the season starts and won't even start practicing with the team for another couple weeks at the earliest. And a lot of the other players played other sports in the fall, like football, volleyball or soccer. While many Class L teams played together all summer and fall, this team is still adjusting to it being basketball season. No wonder they only beat Keene by 6.

After leaving Lowell I headed for Memorial High School in Manchester, eager to witness a quadruple-header of action in the Queen City Tourney.

First game was Bow/Merrimack. This of course was a blowout victory for Merrimack. Two things of note in this game. First, for Bow. One of their better players Josh Faber did not play. Faber is a junior 6'4" forward and played very well when I say Bow scrimmage Plymouth a couple weeks ago. If the Falcons had him in the lineup it would have been a different game. The second thing worth noting is the passing ability and offensive rhythm that Merrimack displayed. Unlike Londonderry, Merrimack has been playing together all summer and all fall. They are further along as far as team chemistry and role identification for the players go than any other team in Class L. If Coach Goodridge sticks to an 8 player rotation, only bringing Garstang, Gendron and Amigo off the bench watch out for this team.

Next up was Dover/Exeter. This game was closer than I thought it would be, with Dover only winning by 2. Each team was playing without one of their starters. Dover was without senior guard/forward Ricardo Taveras, and Exeter was without their best player, senior guard James Holler. His brother Brad played, but James is playing in a soccer tournament down in Disney. James Holler is one of the best defensive guards in Class L, it would have been fun to see him guarding Alex Burt for 32 minutes. Exeter was able to get back into the game when Dover went cold shooting from the outside. Dover's whole offense is driving and kicking, spotting up for jump shots. Every once in awhile they'll hit a flex cutter down low for a layup, but for the most part they have no inside game. So when the jumpers aren't falling, they don't score. Give them credit though, when push came to shove, Burt and Al-Darraji stepped up and nailed some big shots for the win. Dover and Merrimack will be an excellent game tomorrow, and a rematch of the Riv. League quarterfinals. In that game though, Dover played without 3 starters in Taveras, Justin Dube and Al-Darraji.

Next up was Trinity and Central. This game had by far the biggest crowd of the day. There was not an empty seat in the house, and there many folks standing out in the hallways watching. There was pressure and it was loud. These situations are when you really find out who the players are. The story of this game to me was a very unfortunate injury for Trinity. Phil Hayden buckled his ankle just 3 minutes into the contest and did not return. It doesn't look like the Pioneers' star point guard will e returning to the lineup anytime soon. I've said on here many times how there's no real favorite in Class L. You have 6 teams who have a legit shot at winning it. With so little separating the top teams, an injury like this could really hurt Coach Keefe's team. Trinity suffers a big dropoff when going from Hayden to Dylan Lafond, the backup point guard. Lafond isn't a bad player, but he's just not ready for big minutes running the point on a team this good. Elsewhere in this one...John Wickey was very impressive with a good inside-outside game. Zach Stevens also had an excellent game, including the game winning 3 with 2 seconds left in OT. Gabe LaCount and David Madol also played well for their respective teams.

Finally, the last game of the day was West/Memorial. West started the game up 8-0, and it looked like an upset was brewing as Richard Valentin controlled the tempo. But Memorial slowly got back into, chipping away at the lead. West didn't score again till midway through the 2nd quarter - they went almost 9 minutes without a point! Memorial got the win, because they are a much more disciplined basketball team and more experienced than West is. West will get better as the season goes, but for now they through the ball away too much, must improve their shot selection and free throw shooting. While they're rough around the edges, the Blue Knights do have a lot of talent. They're very fast and athletic. They also do lack depth, however. Coach Carey only seems to have confidence in about 6 kids, and only two of them had any varsity experience prior to this season. Shomari Morgan, Cormac Fitzpatrick and Matt Couture all played well for the Crusaders. Memorial should beat a Hayden-less Trinity team tomorrow to advance to the QCIBT finals.

Day 2 - Sunday, December 27
Today was another day of exciting holiday hoops action. First I was in Lowell to see Pelham play. They took on a very good Lincoln-Sudsbury team, and lost 63-53. Spirou had an exceptional game for the Pythons but it was a tough game for his supporting cast. I got the feeling Coach Kress was trying out some different things, using different lineups, etc. because it was a game that didn't count towards the standings. I say this because Pelham was within striking distance the whole game but still played about 13 kids. When I saw Pelham scrimmage Trinity, they were very disciplined. They didn't commit silly fouls, they didn't turn the ball over and they had good shot selection. They weren't quite as sharp in those areas today, however. Pelham is still a contender in Class I, though.

Next up I once again made the drive from Lowell to Manchester for the Queen City Tourney. I got to the Exeter/Bow game a little late, but it was a very close game throughout. Yesterday both of these teams played without key players. Exeter was without senior guard James Holler and Bow was without junior forward Josh Faber. Holler once again wasn't there as he's still down in Disney playing soccer. Faber however, returned to the lineup for the Falcons and had a big impact on this game. He is very agile for a big man and made some nice drives and spin moves to the bucket. I thought Bow did a nice job hanging in there with a good team and getting back into it. They were down 31-25 at the half, but went on a 6-0 run to start the 3rd quarter to tie it up. Louie Vigars and Tucker Munroe made some big plays down the stretch for Exeter to seal the win. The final was 58-50, but it was a much closer game than that.

Next up was Central and West. An excellent basketball game. Two teams just playing their butts off. In the end, Richard Valentin was just too much for Central to handle. It was tied up and West had one last chance. Everyone in the gym knew Valentin was going to take his man one-on-one. And Central still couldn't stop him. He drove into the paint, put up a shot, got it to go and the foul. 59-55 final West over Central. I give the Little Green credit, though. They don't have the most talent, and they're not deep at all, but Doc has this team playing very hard. They took Dover to OT in the season opener, they took Trinity to OT last night, and they lost in closing seconds to West. They play hard, they never give up, and they play tough defense. West meanwhile has more natural talent, quickness and athleticism, but they lack discipline. Their shot selection is questionable at times, they commit silly fouls at times and they turn the ball over too much. The Blue Knights are a team that lacks experience, though. They'll get better as the season goes on, and Coach Carey will get them to play more disciplined.

Next up were the two semi-final games. Dover/Merrimack and Trinity/Memorial. I would not be at all surprised if these were the 4 teams we see in Durham come March. I was very interested to see how the Dover/Merrimack game would turn out. Ricardo Taveras was back in the lineup for the Green Wave, which means both of these teams were officially at full strength. May the best team win. The difference in the game was the first quarter. Dover led by as many as ten in the first frame, 26-16. I counted six three pointer's for Alex Burt in the first quarter alone, he was on fire. It was 47-33 Dover at the half. Merrimack made it a game in the second half, but the lead was too much to come back from and Dover won 69-66. Having Taveras back makes a big difference for Coach Romps' squad. Dover is not very deep. They only have 6 kids that they like to play a lot with Burt, Faustino, Al-Darraji, Duffy, Dube and Taveras. Having all six available means you can rotate them in and out. This does two things. One is the six of them stay fresh. The other is that the other players who aren't as experienced or skilled aren't forced to play too much. Bottom line is when all six of them are playing Dover is VERY tough to beat. And it doesn't hurt to make shots the way they were today either. As for Merrimack, we found out today that they are indeed beatable. As far as toughness goes, these are the two best teams in the state if you ask me.

Finally was the game everyone was there to see, Trinity/Memorial. Memorial won in a good one, 69-57 in a game that was much closer than that. These two teams must be sick of playing each other by now. They met in last year's Class L title game, the BST regular season, the BST playoffs, the Rivier Fall League regular season, the season opener 2009 and now this! The story of this game was that neither team was at full strength. Both squads had star senior guards who were out of the lineup. Trinity's Phil Hayden is out for 2-4 weeks with a sprained ankle. And Memorial's Matt Couture also tweaked his ankle. His injury isn't as serious, although I doubt he will be in the lineup for the Crusaders tomorrow in the championship game. It would be nice to win the QCIBT, but why risk it when the Class L title is the one that really matters. Without Couture, Memorial had its role players really step up. Vinnie Zenni, Rodney Martinez and Hervens Desire all played key roles in the win. Dylan Lafond played the best I've seen him play filling in for the injured Hayden. But in the end I think Memorial just played better team basketball today and that was the difference. These are both teams that will be there at the end and clearly not much separates them.

Looking ahead to tomorrow, you have some more great matchups in Manchester. Bow/Central at 3, Exeter/West at 4:30, Trinity/Merrimack at 6 and Dover/Memorial at 7:30. Good stuff.

Day 3 - Monday, December 28
Today there were no games in Lowell, so the only tourney I went to was in Manchester. It was day 1 of the Nashua tourney. I will be at that one Tuesday and Wednesday. I was going to check out BG's game today in Chelsea, but decided it was too far away. I hear they beat a good La Salle team by 18 though, so they must be playing good basketball.

The first game in Manchester today was Bow vs. Central. Bow had stretches when they looked good, but overall they played much better yesterday vs. Exeter. There was pretty much no one in attendance for this one, especially in the first half. And that's too bad because these are two good teams, and it was a solid game. Good matchup of big men between Wickey and Poitras. Wickey got the better of the matchup. Poitras had a tough time, but still had a solid game. Central played without Stephen Ferge, who hit 4 three's in the first half yesterday vs. West. Audie Melendez and Wol Majon stepped up in his absence. Melendez plays a ton of minutes, and still manages to play with a ton of energy the whole time he's out there. He plays hard, hustles and is a very good defender. He also had a big and-1 play late in the game off of a nice pass by LaCount in transition. Central wins 57-51.

Next up was West vs. Exeter. I was eager to see how this one played out, as these two teams are right next to each other in my Class L rankings. Unfortunately it was tough to gauge too much, because once again James Holler wasn't there for the Blue Hawks. Exeter still played hard though, their best player today was Louie Vigars. They play good team ball which kept it close most of the way. But West was just too fast and too athletic for them. West and South are the two most athletic teams in NH. Valentin didn't have one of his better games for the Blue Knights. He made a couple nice dishes and played good defense like always, but he forced some shots and shot a low percentage. The players who impressed the most for West were Greg Asselin, Jose Gonzalez and Quentin Hunter. West wins 57-47.

The third game of the day was Trinity and Merrimack. Trinity was once again playing without starting point guard Phil Hayden. You would think that two teams that are so good would have made for a better game than this. The first quarter was sloppy, and in the second quarter both teams played their bench the whole time. Then the starters played the whole fourth quarter and the benches played the fourth the first four minutes before the starters went back in at the end. This made made it very tough for the players to get in much of a rhythm out there. Madol and Watson didn't have their best games. Really the only player that did stand out in this one was Dimitri Floras. Also, Zach Stevens and Travis Maser played decent. Merrimack won the 3rd place game 52-45.

Finally, it was time for the QCIBT title game, Dover and Memorial. This likely would have been a different game, but the Crusaders played without two of their top three players, Matt Couture and Shomari Morgan. Still, Dover played some great basketball en route to a blowout win, 69-30. This game wasn't close at any point. Dover was making shots the whole game, and they played great defense. Alex Burt had 20 points and was given the Ron Pappas Memorial Award, as the tournament's MVP. Rory Duffy and Kenaan Al-Darraji also played very well for the Green Wave. Tough game for Memorial, but with the injuries kids like Rodney Martinez, Hervens Desire and Vinnie Zenni were able to get more minutes and they'll be better players because of it. Coach Fitzpatrick did the right thing by sitting his two guards. It would be nice to win the QCIBT, but the Class L tournament is the one that really matters. Memorial now had 8 days until their next game. Couture and Morgan are able to rest up, and they should be back healthy for the team's next game. As for Dover, they have a lot of momentum heading into the rest of their season. After the game Coach Fitzpatrick said, "They're not just in mid-season form, they're in tournament form."

Congrats to Dover on the win, and good luck to all of the teams the rest of the season.

Day 4 - Tuesday, December 29
The first three days of Holiday tournament action, I was in Lowell and Manchester. Today I was in Lawrence and Nashua. After seeing the same teams for three days in a row I was eager to see some different teams today.

First game on the dockett was at the beautiful Lawrence High School, for Pinkerton vs. Greater Lawrence Tech. Before I talk about the game I must say that I was amazed at Lawrence High's gymnasium, it's gorgeous. It looks much more like a college gym than a high school one. If you haven't seen a game there I highly recommend doing so. As for the game I was expecting a Pinkerton win, and that's what happened. It was only a couple weeks ago when I saw Greater Lawrence scrimmage Winnacunnet. The Warriors played without two of their three best players, Jesse Gould and Harry Knowles, and they still beat Greater Lawrence by about 20. Pinkerton had their full roster at their disposal today, so they were clearly the favorites in my mind. However they didn't play very well in the first half. They trailed the whole time, and at the half it was 38-31 Greater Lawrence. Chad Park is a good player for the Astros. But he sat out for almost the whole second quarter, and Pinkerton's guards struggled without him on the floor. Park played well when he was in there, but did have some turnovers as a result of pushing the ball too fast on the break. Ben Proulx and Alex Patrikis were the two best players for Coach Rosinski's team. Zach Mathieu had a decent game but lacked energy, although he played 31 minutes so that could explain it. Pinkerton ended up winning 60-51. One of the area's best players, Donald Celestin from Greater Lawrence, was unconscious scoring the basketball in the first half. He cooled off in the second half, and Pinkerton took advantage. The Astros played some solid basketball in the second half against a decent team.

Next I made the drive over to Nashua South for the Chick-fil-A tourney. The first game there was Alvirne vs. Moore Catholic. Alvirne took care of business. They beat a team they should beat. Moore Catholic has some speed, but they do lack skill. The Broncos played without Caleb Donnelly, who sat out with a minor knee injury. Donnelly should be fine for Alvirne's next real game a week from now. Moyen, Sweeney, O'Hearn and Lambert all played solid ball for Coach Bonney's squad. They win 48-45.

Next up was Bedford and Hollis. This went as expected, a 58-38 Bedford win. Bedford played their whole team, 12 kids so it was tough for anyone to get in much of a rhythm. Overall they were just the better, deeper team and it showed. Mike Marinelli and Joey Maher played well. Maher is clearly fully healed from the ankle injury that sidelined him a couple weeks ago. Hollis will have a tough time winning games in Class I, but they're actually not as bad as I thought. Some of the kids who got minutes for them in summer and fall leagues are actually on JV. And some of their varsity players didn't play in the summer and fall leagues. So the team I saw today wasn't as bad as I expected them to be. Miles Tobin is a decent player for the Cavaliers.

Next up in Nashua were the two semi-final games. First it was North vs. Campbell. As many of you already know, Campbell won. Not only did they win 77-66, but for most of the game it wasn't even that close. Their lead was actually between 12-17 for most of the night. The Cougars' "Big 3" of Kiel Canada, Josh Morgan and Shawn Henriquez all played exceptionally well. Don't be confused by their Class M classification. Campbell, and Conant for that matter also, could compete with anyone in Class L or I. Campbell and Conant played each other last Tuesday night, and from what I heard from people who were there it was an unbelievable basketball game. Back to today's game between North and Campbell. A big factor here was Javon Williams. He's a great player when he's on the floor. But he was in foul trouble all game and only played about 6 minutes. Also, Ryan Gauthier didn't have one of his better games. I was impressed by Alex Pratt and Mike O'Connor for the Titans. Zach Nadeau is also a scrappy player and is very unselfish. Kevin Rosenberg's basketball days are over, so North will need Nadeau and O'Connor to continue to play well.

The other semi-final game was South vs. Thornton Academy. I didn't know what to expect from Thornton, but I was impressed by them. They're a good basketball team and were flat out better than South tonight. They have a kid named Andrew Shaw who's 6'5", very strong, he plays point guard for them and he can shoot. Tough player and the rest of their team just fed off of his energy. I don't know how Thornton only beat Hollis by 5 yesterday. As for South, they had moments when they looked pretty good but overall they didn't look great. Defensively they weren't tough enough and offensively only Kaleb Joseph stood out. Brandon Cox, Nilsson Basora and Nick Haskell also made some decent plays but weren't consistent enough. The play of the night was an awesome drive and dish play by Joseph, which really got a rise out of the crowd.

Thornton wins 58-47 to advance to the title game tomorrow vs. Campbell. I expect a good basketball game between those two teams. The 3rd place game will be North vs. South which should also be a decent ballgame. The 5th place game will be Bedford vs. Alvirne which should also be good. Both of those teams have been playing the games in this tournament more like scrimmages though, hopefully they treat tomorrow's game more like a real game. If they do it will be a good one.

Day 5 - Wednesday, December 30
Today was the final day of my 5 day journey. It was the final day for the Farmington, Nashua and Oyster River tournaments. I started my day in Durham, then made the hour drive to Nashua for one game, then went all the way back to Durham once again.

The first stop on my agenda today was heading over to ORHS to see Portsmouth vs. Timberlane. This was a 7th-place game, and it showed. Neither team was particularly sharp. Considering Portsmouth had their whole roster and Timberlane was playing without starting forward Aaron Judson, I figured Portsmouth would win easily. But Timberlane actually started out the game with a 24-9 lead. Kevin Baker and Jake Siemering played well for the Owls. Portsmouth struggled to score against Timberlane's 2-3 zone, which they played the whole first half. The Clippers also used makeshift lineups early on. They were subbing 5 in 5 out, and split up the starters between the 2 groups so it was tough for them to find a rhythm. They played their starters and key bench players for the majority of the second half, and that's when they made their run. Portsmouth did rely too heavily on the 3 point shot, however. Nate Jones and Kyle DiCesare showed some good hustle in the second half. I left before this one was over, since I wanted to catch the majority of the North/South game an hour away in Nashua. When I left Portsmouth had a 55-50 lead with 4:51 left in the ballgame.

Then it was off to Nashua for the North/South game. Coming all the way from Durham, I actually thought I was going to miss the first few minutes. But the game started a few minutes late, which worked out great for me. Electric atmosphere for this game and a packed gym. Two rival teams with some good talent going at it. Good stuff. It was an up-tempo barn-burner, so it was a fun, exciting game to watch. A ton of athleticism on the floor with kids like Williams, Gauthier, Muccioli and Basora. North wins it 60-51, though they probably should have won by more than that. The Titans led 31-16 at the half, and in the 3rd quarter they led 41-24. Someone else already said on here that tonight was the best they've seen Javon Williams play, and I agree. He was shooting from the outside, driving, making nice dishes, playing great defense and playing with a ton of energy. He was in foul trouble all last night and only played about 6 minutes. If he could have stayed on the floor North would have beaten Campbell. That's not to take anything away from the Cougars though, they played very good basketball that game. But Javon does make a big difference for North. I thought Gauthier also played well. In the first half he was getting some good looks at the basket, they were just rimming out for him. It looked like he was letting the missed shots get to him. It was clear however that he was able to keep his head up, because those shots started to fall for him in the second half, when he really did a nice job of getting to the basket and making things happen off the dribble. It probably helped his confidence by drilling a three right before the halftime buzzer. As for South, for the second straight game, Kaleb Joseph was the team's best player. He made some very athletic moves to the bucket, drives and dishes and also some outside jumpers. He did show his youth though, with a couple silly fouls and turnovers. Basora, Brandon Cox, Anthony Muccioli and Chris Thistle also played well for the Purple Panthers. The difference was a couple of big runs that North made. The key to these runs was forcing turnovers and turning those forced turnovers into easy buckets on the other end. When North was at their best they were also playing unselfish on offense. The play of the game was when North came down on the fast break and Rancourt made a nice extra pass to Pratt for the layup. Some great passing and team chemistry by Coach Otaka's team on that play, and it really gave them a lot of momentum. South made a run late to try and come back, but then Williams hit a big jumper then on the other end he took a charge around half court. A couple of big plays by Williams which iced the game. Zach Nadeau also played well for North.

Immediately following the North/South game I left Nashua and made the hour long drive back to Oyster River. I wanted to see the Bobcats play Spaulding in the Oyster River Holiday Classic championship game. I managed to get to Durham just a minute and a half into the game. I expected an Oyster River win and that's what happened, 62-61. Just like with the North/South game, this one was also a great atmosphere, loud crowd and a packed gym. It was a back and forth first quarter, with both teams making a lot of shots. Spaulding lives and dies by jump shots from their "Big Two" Brian Cronin and Brad Mondoux. Both players hit a ton of outside shots tonight which kept it close. It was 20-17 Spaulding after one quarter. The second quarter featured a pair of runs. Oyster River started the quarter on an 8-0 to take a 25-20 lead. Then over the next two minutes Spaulding went on a 7-0 run of their own, and led 36-30 at the half. While Cronin and Mondoux might do most of the scoring for the Red Raiders I have to give some credit to senior forward Glenn Roderick. He took four charges in the game, and also tried to take another one but was called for blocking. He's an unselfish player who just plays his butt off, and even though he's an undersized forward at only 6'0", maybe 6'1" he battles down low and is a solid rebounder and defender. And while I'm talking about Spaulding I'll say this. They might not win a lot of games this year. And after seeing them tonight they remain in the #16 spot in my Class L rankings. But Cronin and Mondoux are two of the best shooters in NH. As long as those two are in the lineup you can't count Spaulding out of the ballgame. They'll have at least one or two big comeback wins this season just watch. Ok, now back to the team that won this tournament, Oyster River. Chris Walker played a good all-around game, and the Bobcats got god inside play from the 6'3" Alex Hennessey, 6'4" Jack Nadeau and 6'5" Adam Goodwin. Their 6'3" point guard Tommy McDonnell is a good ball handler and controlled the tempo well, but he did force some shots in the first half,a nd missed 5 free throws in the second half. And Donovan Kelley is a tough, hard nosed guard. He's not much of an offensive threat, but he's a very good defender and very unselfish. I think you can tell by reading my post on underrated players that I value the importance of having good role players. You need stars to win, but you also need players who accept their roles, play hard, defend and take charges. They might not make the all-state team or get the recognition that the stars do but every good team needs good role players like Zach Nadeau (North), Glenn Roderick (Spaulding) and Donovan Kelley (Oyster River).

So that concludes my five day journey around the various holiday tournaments. I went to 5 different tournaments, and saw 22 games over the last 5 days. It was a blast. I saw some really good basketball games, and I'm pumped for the rest of the 2009-2010 basketball season. Keep checking back to this site for more coverage!


  1. Who is Richardson from Merrimack? What year is he?

  2. richardson is a soph, amigo is another talented player off the bench but sometimes lets his temper get the better of him and brian goodridge is a good defender and has shown an improved offensive game

  3. Amigo is the read headed kid that getsgood minutes i think that is who jeremy meant richardson wasn't even there.

  4. Yeah, I meant Amigo. He was wearing #22 yesterday, and according to Merrimack's roster #22 is Richardson.

  5. Jeremy,
    Quick update from Keene.
    Lebanon over Smithfield Rhode Island by about 10+
    Milford over Coe Brown by around 30
    Souhegan over Monadnock by a ton
    Conant over Keene No score reported.

    Tomorrow's semi's are
    Souhegan vs Conant and Milford vs Lebanon.

  6. Mike, according to Conant beat Keene 45-36. Those two semi-finals in Keene should both be competitive games. Then again, I thought Milford @ Oyster River as going to be closer than it was.

  7. My first look at Lebanon was not impressed but the team they played was real weak. Hard to believe they are 2-1 in Rhode Island. I will get better scores and stuff for you tomorrow.
    My prediction is Conant beats Souhegan and Milford beats Lebanon.
    Milford beats Conant in the title game.

  8. By the way, Milford had 20 assist tonight. Shot 9 for 20 from 3 point land and that was with only one starter (Holder) being on the floor more than 20 minutes. This team is currently shooting 44% from behind the arc this season. They are averaging around 18 assist a game and have scored, 77 points in two of the three games and have not been held under 70 points yet this season.
    Scary stats from a team that did not play fall league and is playing everyone on the roster.

  9. Smithfield was 3-0 in D1 in RI according to there parents, Lebanon made them look bad.

    Milford looked strong vs Coe Brown. CB just could not break the press. Milford is the real deal. I think they may go undefeated

    Lebanon's point guard didn't play in the first half after he got cut in the mouth he played in the second and they won fairly easily.

    Monadonock is awful

    Souhegan and Conant tongight will be a good game. I think Conant is a little better.

    The best two teams in the tourney play tonight in Lebanon vs Milford


    For those interested

  11. i know redmond from souhegan is out hurt, where was mckenna last night? big 6'5" kid stepped in and did a nice job.

  12. BG over La Salle Academy by 20.

  13. Jeremy,
    You have a lot of good info, and I can tell your working very hard, but I must say you have to be a little easier and more accurate with your opinions and stats. Some of the things you say in this blog are blunt, and just flat out false in many cases. I would recommend choosing your word a little more wisely, and making sure what you say is accurate.

  14. 6:37, did you ever notice that journalists tend to be blunt and opinionated sometimes? Have you read many blogs, sports, political, or otherwise? Jeremy is free to express his opinions and thoughts, and what you say is false someone else might say is truth.

  15. You are way off base 6:37. As a matter of fact, you aren't even on the field. You are in the locker room with your post.

  16. 6:37, could you give me an example of a time when I should have chosen my words more carefully?

    One of the things that makes this site different than others is that I'm not your typical sports journalist. Most others just report the facts. They give the stats, standings and the scores ant that's it. They don't go out on a limb with opinions because it's too risky and they don't want to look bad. But I'm different because I'm opinionated. Also my writing style is blunt. I tell it like it is and get right to the point. I didn't go to journalism school, my background is in broadcasting, I'm an announcer not a writer. So my writing style is the same way I speak, rather than using all kinds of metaphors and other writing techniques.

    Anyways, back to basketball. I'll be posting my diary entry for today shortly...

  17. Any one know how bg is doing?

  18. BG beat Lasell Academy (RI) by 17 points in the BABC Holiday Classic today. BG handled them pretty easily. BG will have a challenging matchup tomorrow against Sabis Charter School of Springfield, MA. Sabis beat Cambridge Rindge and Latin in the other bracket. Sabis has a kid named Kamali Bey, who is a Division 1 prospect and plays for the BABC AAU team.

  19. Kaleb had 23 in the win for South tonight, North won and so did Campbell over Alvrine.

  20. how much did South beat Bedford by?

    Campbell over Alvirne? Wow.

  21. Campbell 57 Alvrine 54
    Campbell-Josh Morgan 17
    Alvrine- Dave Skinner 12

    Thorton Academy 52 Hollis/Brookline 47
    Thorton Academy- Andrew Show 20 Hollis/Brookline- Dan Baerthlein 10

    Nashua North 60 Moore Catholic 55 OT
    Nashua North- Javon Williams 20
    Moore Catholic- David Acres 23

    Nashua South 73 Bedford 70
    Nashua South- Kaleb Joseph 23
    Bedford- Tyler Webber 26

  22. Wow, Campbell over Alvirne is very surprising. Also Thornton Academy must not be very good if they only beat Hollis by 5. And I would have thought South would have beaten Bedford by more than three. Tyler Weber with 26 points? Wow, he must really be playing well. Interesting stuff.

  23. Thornton must have lost alot from last year's team if they only beat H-B by 5

    Surprising win by Campbell over Alvirne. Thought Alvirne was going to be so good with Moyen back, huh Jeremy?

    Nice job by Weber, and nice job by Bedford for only losing to South by 3. South sure does miss Nelson

  24. Also, Skinner led Alvirne in scoring? What about Donnelly, Sweeney, O'Hearn and Moyen? Did they not play?

  25. hey, 11:18, you stole all my thoughts!

  26. That is from the web site of the tourney not sure if it is the leading scorers.

  27. David Skinner is a senior forward for Alvirne. He transferred to Alvirne over the summer from Nashua Christian.

  28. Why didn't Tyler Amigo play today for Merrimack?

  29. Campbell over Alvirne is not that surprising...they are that good. Alvirne is right there...but Campbell could compete in Class L pretty easily.

  30. Bedford was actually beating Nashua south for most of the game. Loss only came at the end when NS smartly took advantage of being in the double bonus and Bedford didn't. The foul line is where Kaleb scored most of his points. Also Bedford seemed to run their starters almost the whole game so at the end, when it counted, they just ran out of steam.

  31. I think this blog is great for the kids to get there name out there, so stop bashing Jeremy and just talk about the kids.
    DO i think he is right on all his opinions no, he is love with Floras and Merrimack but if one college scout comes to a game to see Floras because of this blog and it helps Watson or another player get a scholarship. Then this blog is doing it's job.

    Keep it up this is a pretty good place.

  32. If you don't like the blog or the posts don't come back - most of us enjoy it - if you don't stay away.

  33. Why didn't Tyler Amigo play today for Merrimack?

    Tuesday, December 29, 2009 3:01:00 AM EST

    I wouldn't know Amigo Family. Why don't you ask the coach.

  34. Jeremy, I'm interested in the basis of your statement that West and South are the two most athletic teams in the state. BG has three kids, Green, St. Lawrence, and McLung, that can play near or above the rim, and have dunked repeatedly in actual game situations. That's athleticism. Furthermore, the trio of O'Laughlin, Holder, and Mitchell of Miford are extremely athletic. Who on West and Nashua South play above the rim, and what do you define as "athleticism"? Just curious.

  35. Mcclug can jump but he does not move his feet well at all on defense I would not consider his very athletic.
    When you thin an athletic basketball player you think quickness, jumping, straight speed and strength.
    There is not a better athlete in Class L than Nick Haskell or Nilsson Basora.

    However I would take the above mentioned 6 as basketball players.

  36. By athleticism I mean quickness, coordination, agility, ability to change direction, jumping, etc. West and South are the two most athletic teams in NH. West with Aaron Martin, Quentin Hunter, Sammy Abdalla and Richard Valentin. Even their bigs (Gonzalez and Asselin are more athletic than most bigs). And South has Nilsson Basora, Kaleb Joseph and Louis Muccioli who are are VERY athletic. Plus Haskell and Anthony Muccioli.

    Watching Exeter and West play each other in the QCIBT was very interesting. Exeter is a more disciplined, smarter, more fundamentally sound team. But West won because they were just so much faster, and could jump higher than Exeter. Two teams that are VERY close as far as how good they are overall. If Exeter has James Holler and those two teams play 10 times I bet each team wins 5. Similar teams as far as how good they are, but VERY different teams in terms of their makeup.

  37. Jeremy I respect what you do but if you think Gautheir played well last night then you are losing creditability. He showed flashes and is very athletic player, he took bad shots after bad shot that 3 pointer at the half was an awful shot and had no business settling for it and then taking it.
    Williams did play well best I have seen him play, but again you say he hit big shot put the game away it was an 17 foot jumper up 5 with 130 left in the game. North was in the double bonus. He had no business taking that shot. Lance Bisson Freshman coach at North and a varsity assistant had a great and correct reaction to that shot.

    Both these kids are young and talented players and they are only sophomores and will make mistakes in the course of the game and I am not trying to rip them but it seems like you always say kids that you have ranked high play well.
    And the main reason why South got back in the game was the poor decisions these kids made along with missed foul shots.

  38. I agree 11:10. I sometimes wonder if I was at the same game as he was, even though I see Jeremy sitting in the stands.

  39. Most of the shots Gauthier took were in the flow of the offense. He may have forced one or two but that's it. Like I said I thought he had some tough luck, especially in the first half. A bunch of shots we good looks, they just rimmed out on him. The halftime shot was with 2 seconds left in the half, how is that a bad shot? And in the second half he did an excellent job at driving the ball to the hoop. Almost every time he did he either got the bucket or went to the line. Gautier and Williams are still very young players. Considering they are so young and have the burden of carrying the team on their shoulders I thought they both played well last night.

    And I only say the kids that are ranked high play well? What about my post on underrated players, those are role role players that I recognized, many of which are ranked very high. And what about my paragraph long rant in this very post about the importance of having good role players to win games. I made special mention of Glenn Roderick and Donovan Kelley, and they weren't even ranked before yesterday.

  40. I think all high school players make bad decisions sometimes. Gauthier and Williams will make some bad decisions from time to time like all high school players do. As for them forcing shots? Sure they will they have the ball in their hands a lot and that team really doesn't have a true go to guy so from time to time wither of them may force something that isn't there.
    I also think it is a good sign when they do because it shows they have confidence in their own skill set to want to be the man late in games.
    Being devils advocate it is easy to attack them when they do that but with almost three full seasons ahead of them they both have a chance to make some good things happen at north in the years to come.
    Let them take some chances and try to force things from time to time. They will learn from their mistakes and learn when and how to attack as they mature. Skill wise you cannot argue that they are very talented and going to be very good down the road.

  41. Alex LaRosa had 37 points as Salem barely lost to Lawrence High yesterday 80-77 in the 3rd place game of the Lawrence Christmas Tourney.