During the preseason teams all across the state scrimmage each other in preparation for the season. You'd be hard pressed to find a scrimmage that was played at a higher level than Friday night's tilt between defending Division I champs Bishop Guertin and perennial Division II contender Pembroke.
While both teams went a little deeper and played their benches slightly more than they normally would, they played their starters a lot, ran their sets, played to win and for the most part treated it like it was a state tournament game. There was a good crowd on hand, you could feel the intensity in the gym and the game was played at a very high level. In the end, Guertin came away with a 65-63 win.
BG was playing without 2 of their starters - seniors Joe McCarthy and Nate Chartrand. 2 players who really played well for the Cardinals in this game were 6'4" junior forward Jeff Lunn and senior wing Cooper Paul. Paul played tough defense and hit some key three-pointers, while Lunn was a force inside rebounding the basketball and going up strong with shots inside.
Junior point guard Rene Maher led the way for the Spartans, effectively running the offense and making some strong drives to the rim. 6'3" sophomore forward Jordan Williams has excellent quickness and athleticism for an inside player and like Lunn for BG, Williams was also very active on the boards and went up strong with shots in the paint.
This Friday night is opening night of the regular season for boys D-I and D-II. Bishop Guertin plays at Manchester Central, while Pembroke plays host to Portsmouth. Both of them are possible championship game previews, and both will be covered by the NH Notebook.