The highly anticipated North vs. South Clash was a success Thursday night at Southern New Hampshire University. We had 3 good games, a lot of talent on display and a good time was had by all. SNHU, Stonehill College, Rivier, Norwich University and NHTI were just some of the schools who had coaches in attendance.
Over the next 6 days the NH Notebook will have complete coverage off all of the action for this event. We'll have highlight videos, game recaps and player evaluations for all 3 girls games as well as all 3 boys games (which will be played on Friday night). First up is the Girls Underclassmen Game, which featured many of the top freshmen and sophomore players from all over the state.
Team South won it 45-36. For the most part this was a hard fought, well played basketball game. Team South had to be the favorite in this one, with their whole team made up of Division I and II high school players, whereas Team North had many players from the lower divisions. And although the south team won this game, it was definitely competitive, with Team North showing that they have some talent.
Team South jumped out to the early lead thanks to some strong play by McKenzie Brown and Kelsey Brown (no relation). Team North came right back though to cut the lead to 1, 11-10, as the Lebanon High duo of Moriah Morton and Trina Scheie made their presence felt. The south team closed the 1st half on a 15-4 run, and led 26-14.
Team South maintained a comfortable lead for most of the 2nd half, but then the north team made a nice comeback late. They cut the south lead to 36-31 with 5:00 left to play after a layup by Morton. At that point the game was really being played at a high level and was fun to watch. Then Aliza Simpson got a three-pointer to bounce in to push the south lead back up to 39-31. They were able to hang on from there for the 45-36 final.
Trina Scheie, Lebanon HS (2013)
Scheie picked up right where she left off in the D-II girls semi-finals and championship game. It was yet another impressive performance by the 5'10" forward. Scheie is tough, strong, physical and active on both ends of the floor. She is fearless and goes hard to the basket and on the boards. She had over 10 points, 10 rebounds and 3 blocked shots.
Moriah Morton, Lebanon HS (2013)
Morton was flat out playing the game at a faster speed than the other players. She plays hard every minute she's on the floor, played terrific defense and was able to beat her defender off the dribble and go hard to the rim. That super-aggressive, tenacious mind set is one you simply can't teach, many girls players don't have it, well Morton has it no doubt about it.
Kelsey Brown, Oyster River HS (2013)
Brown certainly had a strong showing in this game, knocking down a pair of outside shots in the beginning of the game. For a girl who is now 6'0" you have to be impressed when a player has that kind of shooting touch from the perimeter. Brown also ran the floor well and made good decisions with the basketball.
McKenzie Brown, Bedford HS (2014)
Clearly one of the top freshman in the state, Brown is 6'1" and has a very soft shooting touch from 15 feet and in. One of the best shots in this game came from Brown as she caught the ball in the post, and made a running hook shot off the glass and in with a hand in her face. Brown also ran the floor well and showed a high basketball I.Q.
Aliza Simpson, Londonderry HS (2014)
Simpson plays with such poise, it's hard to believe she's only a freshman. She is a prototypical point guard, because she knows how to run in an offense and handles the basketball very well against even the most intense defensive pressure.
Clairee Putnam, Windham HS (2014)
Putnam is a very quick player with a motor that is always running. She excels in transition where she can either start for finish the break. Putnam is a good passer, but also had 2 of the better finishes at the basket in this game. Both of them came on strong drives to the basket and with a defer right on her hip, she finished one with the left and one with the right hand.
Jamie Sherburne, Bishop Guertin HS (2013)
Sherburne is another player who is lightning quick, plays hard all the time and can handle the basketball well. She also likes to get out on the break and make things happen, and played just has hard on defense as she did on offense. She had one of the better shots of the game, off a drive to the basket where she leaned in and made a very tough shot inside.
Meghan Green, Bishop Guertin HS (2013)
Green has good size at 6'1" was effective at getting good position in the post in order to score and grab rebounds.
Other Strong Performers
Allie Hartford, Manchester Memorial HS (2013)
Good floor general who looked to get her teammates involved first, but was also not afraid to take the open shot or take it hard to the rim.
Lindsey Nerbonne, Bow HS (2013)
Nerbonne is in excellent physical shape, you can definitely tell she has hit the weight room since the high school season ended. She is one of the stronger guards around which helps around the basket and on defense. Nerbonne hit a big three late in the game during Team North's comeback.
Jillian Gilman, John Stark Regional HS (2013)
The last time Gilman played at SNHU was in the D-II semi-finals vs. Souhegan. She had over 10 rebounds in that game, and she had over 10 boards in this one as well. Yes, she is 6'1" which helps, but Gilman also has a nose for the basketball and puts in the extra effort needed to get even the tough boards.
Madison Gibbs, Bishop Guertin HS (2013)
Smart player who did all of the little things well. When Team North made their comeback the south coach had a hard time taking Gibbs off the floor because he knew was a key player who helped the team in so many ways.
Marissa Merrill, Inter-Lakes HS (2013)
Merrill was explosive off the dribble and made good decisions on the break.
Dina Pitsas, Milford HS (2013)
Versatile player who can play on the perimeter and also mix it up inside. Pitsas took the ball hard to the rim and made the extra pass.
Lauren Kidder, Kennett HS (2013)
Kidder is 5'11", has a strong, athletic frame and played the game smart and unselfishly.
Melissa Mcleod, Winnacunnet HS (2014)
Mcleod is a versatile player, because at 5'10" she was able to lead the break, grab boards and loose balls, and play inside and out.
Jordan Filion, Merrimack Valley HS (2013)
Solid point guard with a good handle, Filion is a quick player who can hit the outside shot and also get by her defender off the dribble.
Yvonne Dean-Bailey, Portsmouth Christian Academy (2013)
Hard nosed player who is not afraid to do the dirty work battling under the basket for boards, hustling back on defense and getting into the passing lanes.
Morgan Church, Kearsarge Regional HS (2014)
Athletic guard who is a tough player and moved well without the basketball.
Talia Bedell, Groveton HS (2014)
Bedell is a freshman from Divison IV Groveton High, but she more than held her own in there competing against a team with all D-I and D-II high school players and lots of sophomores. She made a very nice pass on the break from just inside half court for a basket.
Danielle Fletcher, Manchester Memorial HS (2013)
Fletcher was a solid defender and play maker.
Payton Curtis, White Mountains Regional HS (2013)
Curtis is the daughter of a coach and it shows. She is a smart player who competed hard all game.