Sunday, November 22, 2009

A Night to Forget

In case you're wondering why I haven't posted a game report or given any game balls away after last night's boys Class I prelims, it is because I had quite adventure last night...and not a good one...

I anticipated the best games being Bow/Pelham, Hanover/John Stark, Kingswood/Kearsarge and Lebanon/Bedford. And since Bow/Pelham is the only one of those games that was within an hour and a half drive for me, that was the game I would have liked to see.

Unfortunately the pairings for these games came out on Sunday, and on Saturday I commited to produce a high school hockey game for WTSN. The game was last night at 5:30, BG vs. Oyster River in the girls hockey semi-finals. I could still go to a Class I boys prelim. game. But I would be running a little late depending on when the hockey game got over. Plus WTSN is in Dover, so my options were limited to Portsmouth/Souhegan or Oyster River/Hollis.

By the time I left the station it was 7:10. I should have been able to get to Portsmouth High by 7:30 latest. But there was an accident on my way there. I was held up for 10 minutes, and then had to take a detour to get to the school. By the time I finally got there it was 7:50. Then I walk in, and everyone is leaving the gym. I figure it's halftime, and maybe the game got started a few minutes late. Then I look up at the scoreboard and it says, "Final score Portsmouth: 61 Souhegan 43." I didn't get there until the game was over.

Like the headline says, this was a night to forget for me.

Once I realized that I missed the entire game, I didn't leave though. I took down the stats off the scorebook and talked to the coaches. Some interesting stats for Souhegan: Seth Cordts and Devin Gilligan combined for just 6 points, while junior forward Ryan Redmond had 26 of the team's 43. For Portsmouth, Kyle DiCesare led a balanced Clipper attack with 17 and junior big man Riley McCarthy had 13 points and 12 rebounds.

After talking with Portsmout head coach Jim Mulvey, it is clear that he is a very confident guy right now.

"In the last 6 weeks we haven't had 1 bad practice" Mulvey said glowingly. "Defensively, we're real good."

Portsmouth changes their defense and disguises it constantly, which really confuses teams and keeps opposing offenses off balance.

"I think they were going back and forth between a match-up zone and man-to-man which is initially set up as a 2-3 zone" ventured Souhegan coach Mike Heaney. "They would set it up as a 2-3 and then once we started our offense they picked up man-to-man."

Souhegan has a young team, and it is clear from talking to the coaches that Portsmouth's "trick defenses" had them baffled. Redmond was one Saber who was not baffled, however.

"Myself and the other coaches have been telling each other all year that one any day now Ryan will have a breakout game" Heaney explained. "Tonight was that game for him."

Mulvey was also impressed with Redmond, who is a 6'4" forward.

"He's the best kid on the team" Mulvey said confidently. "We focused our defense at stopping Gilligan and Cordts though and we did that."

Portsmouth moves on to te quarterfinals where they will host Bedford on Friday night. The Bulldogs upset Lebanon to advance.

As for Souhegan, their season is over but after struggling as a program last 2 years this season was a success for them.

"Next year we return 4 starters" Heaney went on. Jack Nelson, Devin Gilligan, Seth Cordts and Ryan Redmond will all be back for us."

It would be 5 starters returning, but 6'4" strongman Brendan McKenna left the team mid-season.

"He left to focuse on football" Heaney said. "He's already being heavily recruited as a football player."

Mulvey also had some very interesting comments about AAU basketball. These comments will be revealed in a separate post that I will make in the coming weeks. So stay tuned, there's a little teaser for you.

I got the feeling that both of these coaches were proud of their teams. For me it was a night to forget, but for Portsmouth and Souhegan they will remember this night.


  1. Being from Souhegan I am happy for Ryan Redmond but to call him the best player on that team is just silly. He had a great game last night because the entire game plan for Portsmouth was to stop others. I am quite sure that is not the norm for him.

  2. This is the exactly the reason why Souhegan has had a horrible second half of the season. You are happy for Redmond, but really you are not and upset Mulvey didn't say your son is the best player. Why do you talk bad about your own team? Why does someone saying X is better than Y on the same team upset you? If you really care about Souhegan Basketball you shouldn't act and feel like that....

  3. Why didn't Gilligan start? Also Souhegan did you notice you were leading in the game (8-6) until your coach put him in that's when Portsmouth went on a 14-2 run... and your team started turning the ball over. I feel Souhegan played much more like a team when Gilligan was not in there he needs to realize he has 4 teammates he can count on. Good Luck next year.

  4. I have made this post before, and I can see that due to some of the posts above it bears repeating.

    First of all congrats to Portsmouth they played hard and well they deserved it Ryan Redmond had a great game as well.

    Now, Souhegan is a young team whose best players are underclassmen the lack of Class I varsity experience certainly hurt this team down the stretch as well as general maturity issues. This program, however, has done a complete turnaround in winning and in expectations for the future over the course of the past few years...from back to back 2 win seasons (and basically everyones whipping boy)to 6 wins and the playoffs in Heaneys first year to ten wins this year. The future for the program is bright as the JV was 18-0 and as mentioned before the top players were underclassmen.

    And this negativity about a sophomore kid (Gilligan) is crazy. 300 point scorer approx. this year and can do things on a basketball court that most class I players couldn't do on their best night...he will continue to get better and more mature as his experience grows.

    If you play Souhegan next year, you might win, but you better be ready. Top 5 in class I for 10-11

  5. Gilligan didn't start because he worked on a school project instead of going to a shoot around. Also the score was 14-10 Portsmouth when Devin went in, also I watched the whole game and I can only recall him shooting the ball about 4 or 5 times. Maybe relying on his team(minus Ryan who played great) a bit too much.

  6. Yeah I was surprised that Gilligan didn't start too, and when he was on the court you only really noticed him because he showed his frustration on the court trying to get ticky tack fouls, or making motions that someone on Portsmouth traveled when they didn't. Portsmouth contained him on offense, they trapped a lot of kids last night on the baseline and forced a ton of turnovers

  7. Sorry, I keep seeing all the Gilligan hype but he continually fails to come through in the big games against strong teams.

  8. Why is your team having a "shoot around" the day before your biggest game of the year... I would have thought that you would be having a mandatory practice like I'm sure every other team playing in the playoffs had. And not to sure about the accuracy of your 5:11 post from watching the game tape. It is what it is a lot of us have seen Souhegan play this past season.

  9. of course Souhegan had a mandatory practice and not a shoot around. As well as a mandatory film session. Whoever called it that has no idea - like so many posters - of what actually happens within a particular program. Its speculation which turn this blog into rants instead of information.

  10. I was only reading 5:11 post that stated "Gilligan was working on a school project instead of going to a shoot around". So I did not speculate I only was commenting on the post and one would assume that if thay new he was working on a school project that he missed a "shoot around" so i'm not seeing the "rant" just comments on posts from what sounds like a Souhegan poster.

  11. 1:13 If you knew anything about basketball at all, you would know that a "shoot around" is used in different ways by different coaches but is almost never a situation where the balls are rolled out on the floor and the players do whatever like you made it sound. It is usually a focused walk through where players are getting shots up but also preparing for their next opponent.

    What would be stupid would be to have a full scale Scrimmage based conditioning type "mandatory practice" the day before the biggest game of the season. Key player gets are dead. So your logic is wrong and you also don't know what a "shoot around" entails

  12. I played with Ryan Redmond when he was a sophomore I was a Senior. He easily has the most amount of talent and potential in that group. The stats may not show it but play with the kid and you'll know.