Sunday, March 18, 2012

Granite Games 2012 Recap

On Sunday it was the annual Granite Games event at NHTI in Concord. The NHBCO announces their All-State teams, Player of the Year and Coach of the Year for each of the four divisions, for boys and girls. They also have a quadruple-header of senior all-star games, with the Division III girls vs. Division IV, followed by D-III vs. D-IV boys, then it was the Division I girls vs. Division II and the day was capped off with the D-I vs. D-II boys all-star game.

The teams are determined by the top 12 seniors according to the NHBCO's all-state voting. The games consisted of two 18 minute halves, and a SHOT CLOCK was used in all of the games. It is a nice way for the seniors to end their careers.

Overall it was a great day for NH basketball, as the coaches and top players from all around the state came together in the same gym for an entire day of basketball and recognized the best players and coaches from the 2011-2012 season. My only gripe is that the PA announcer butchered so many of the kid's names!

Here is a brief recap on each of the games, along with video highlights plus a listing of the NHBCO's Player of the Year award winners.

NHBCO Player of the Year
Boys Division I - Tyler Gendron, Merrimack HS
Boys Division II - Kamahl Walker, Portsmouth HS
Boys Division III - Curtis Arsenault, Berlin HS
Boys Division IV - Marcus Swedberg, Moultonborough Academy

Girls Division I - Meghan Green, Bishop Guertin HS
Girls Division II - Jane White, Souhegan HS
Girls Division III - Rebecca Arnone, Campbell HS
Girls Division IV - Bethany Kalliel, Derryfield School

Full game DVD's of all of this year's Granite Games are available for purchase. Save the memories forever. Email us at for details.

Boys Division I vs. Division II
This was a very fun game to watch, with D-I winning 93-92. D-II had the edge in the paint with bigs Trevor Fahmy (Bedford) who had 12 points and Dan Gorman (Hanover) who had 13. Mark Davidson (Lebanon) also did a nice job inside battling for boards and chipped in with 11 points. The advantage the D-I team had was their speed, as guys like Ryan Gauthier (Nashua North), Javon Williams (Nashua North) and Anthony Muccioli (Nashua South) can really get up and down the floor in a hurry.

The D-I all-stars went up 31-20 before D-II went on a run late in the 1st half to go up 48-43 at halftime. Trevor Glassman (Bedford) caught fire during that run, scoring 13 of his game-high 23 points during the last 5 minutes of the 1st half.

D-I came back and took a 13 point lead in the 2nd half, as Chris Light (Pinkerton) and Tyler Gendron (Merrimack) got out on the break and made some nice finishes. D-II made a curious comeback late which fell just short, with D-I hanging on for the 93-92 win. Jonathan Klecan (Salem) played tough defense, while Derek Defranzo (Pelham) made a number of terrific passes.

Boys Division III vs. Division IV
Division III wins 92-77. D-IV had went up 26-18 early, but as the game went on D-III took control. The 2 standout players in this game were Tyler Weinstein (Hillsboro-Deering) who had a game-high 18 points, while Donoven Emerson (Pittsfield) led the way for the D-IV all-stars with 15 points.

The Division III team was deeper and had more shooters, as Jake Drouin (Berlin), Frankie Beane (Hopkinton), Ethan Dickinson (Mascoma) and Joe Morin (Raymond) all hit at least 2 three-pointers. D-III had the shooters, while D-IV had the inside game with Emerson, Nathan Smith (Groveton) who had 12 points, his Groveton teammate Tyler Burt had 13. Plus Marcus Sweedberg (Moultonborough) and Allen Komisarek (Profile) also played well inside.

Girls Division I vs. Division II
This was the most well played game of the day, no question about it. The boys D-I vs. D-II game was fun to watch but had very little defense and many forced shots. The girls D-I vs. D-II game on the other hand had much more defense and team play. You had the majority of the top girls basketball talent from the NHIAA all playing in this game. They played hard and moved the ball well. Considering it was an all-star game where the teams didn't get a chance to practice together in advance and many of them had never played together before you really could not ask for a more well played basketball game. In the end it was the D-II girls who won it 71-68.

The Division I team actually had the game's two highest scorers, as Emily Rose (Timberlane) had 18 points and Amra Elezovic (Manchester Memorial) had 17. But the D-II team had a more balanced attack, as they had 7 different players score at least 6 points. Other than a couple times when D-I took a slim lead it was D-II who led most of the game, although it was very close the whole way with neither team having a double digit lead at any point.

Division II was led by Katie Stopera (Hollis-Brookline) who had a team-high 14 points. Brittney Page (Kearsarge) played tough defense, Kerry White (Windham) and Tori Forrest (Souhegan) battled on the boards while Markey Flewelling (Portsmouth) and Meredith Grady (Coe-Brown) lit it up from beyond the arc.

The match up to watch in this game though was between Jane White (Souhegan) and Kirsten O'Neil (Winnacunnet). White and O'Neil were the 2 best guards in the state this season, but they never get to play against each other since they're in different divisions. That's why it was so fun to watch them go head to head in this game. They both went at each other hard, with White scoring 11 points to O'Neil's 3. But to be fair O'Neil and Anna Sullivan both had to leave with 10 minutes left in the game to go to a banquet at Winnacunnet. If they stuck around till the end of the game maybe a different team wins. Plus D-I was playing without all-stater Ashley Clough (Keene) who was sidelined with a knee injury.

Girls Division III vs. Division IV
This was the upset of the day, with D-IV not only beating D-III but they won EASILY 73-58. It is easy to see how Littleton won the state title this year in D-IV, as they have 2 players (Julia Winn and Alyssa Keefe) who made first team all-state while Taylor Glidden made second team. All 3 of them played well in this game, especially Winn who did a great job of not only scoring but also setting her teammates up with some nice dishes. She had 16 points to go with 6 assists and 4 steals while Keefe and Glidden combined for 14 points and 11 rebounds.

The game's high scorer was Jordan Phinney (Newfound Regional) who dropped 20 points including a combination of three-pointers and inside shots. Also playing well for the D-III all-stars was Rebecca Arnone (Campbell) and the Fall Mountain back court duo of Jess Zabielski and Jenn Allen who had 9 points apiece.

Division IV was just a deeper team though. They moved the ball and worked for better shots on offense. Bethany Kalliel (Derryfield) had 12 points, while Carolin Hall (Groveton), Liza Bourdon (Sunapee) and Corrina Kinder (Woodsville) also played well in the win.

The D-IV girls made a statement with this win that they deserve some respect and should get just as much if not more coverage compared to the D-III girls.

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