Friday, June 29, 2012

BST Summer Madness - 6/26 Recap

On Tuesday night the NH Notebook was in the house at SNHU to cover the BST Summer League to see some of the boys basketball teams in southern NH are coming together this summer.

Before we get to the games we saw on Tuesday we must mention an outstanding effort that took place in one of Thursday night’s games. Brandon Len from Souhegan had the best single-game performance in league history, dropping 50 points in a win over Milford. According to our correspondent Tuesday & Friday, Len hit 10 three-pointers and scored 30 points in the 1st half alone, as the Sabers won 78-46. Len is a special player who is on the verge of a HUGE senior season.

Now, onto the games we saw on Tuesday night.

Bedford over Concord
Bedford graduated their two best players off last year’s team (Trevor Fahmy and Trevor Glassman), their next best player left for prep school (Collin McManus) and one of they have two 6-foot-6 kids who are no longer part of the team (Roger Larrivee and Will McInerny). Not only that, but their head coach (John Langlois) just resigned.

So what did they do? They went out and beat Concord 58-43, showing that even with all of those losses they will still be a strong team in Division I next season. How’d they do it? They had some good ball movement and shared the basketball well on offense. Their small but quick and fearless back court tandem of Taylor Grande and Sean Purcell made plays all game long. Both of them are unselfish, look to get their teammates open looks and were effective at creating those looks through dribble penetration.

Also, forwards Sam Thomas (6-foot-7) and Ryan Brown (6-foot-4) both played hard and are showing solid progression. Senior wing James Caparell played tough, in-your-face defense and could be one of the top defenders in D-I next season (which is ironic since he plays offense in football).

Meanwhile the junior duo of Cam Meservey and Jake Capistran will be looked upon to be the main go-to scorers for the Bulldogs, and in this game vs. Concord Capistran had 13 points. Capistran has a good inside-outside game, while Meservey scores most of his points from the perimeter.

Bedford was too big and too deep for Concord to handle. But on the bright side, the Marquis brothers Kaleb and Sam played well for the Crimson. Kaleb scored the basketball from all over the floor. The 5-foot-9 senior took it to the rim, hit pull-ups, scored in the half court and also in transition.

Groton over Windham
Windham suffered a tough loss to Groton/Dunstable out of Massachusetts 49-47. Windham had the ball down by 2 with 5 seconds left, but they weren’t able to get a shot off in the final seconds. This was a close, hard fought game throughout.

The good news for the Jaguars is that they return 4 of their top 5 players from last year. All 4 of those players (Joe Lorenz, Danny Cannone, Andrew Lowman and Conor Redmond) played in this game and played well. Cannone hit outside shots and played tough defense. Lowman had a couple of strong and-1 finishes inside, and guard Tucker Lippold gave the team solid scoring punch off the bench.

Groton played zone all game, which slowed the pace down. Windham has a solid zone offense though. They space the floor well, find the seams in the zone and keep the basketball moving all the time. They just weren’t hitting enough shots and a couple kids from Groton got hot from the outside in the 2nd half of this one.

Bishop Brady over Newmarket
Perennial Division IV power Newmarket tried to make a late comeback but it fell short, and Division II Bishop Brady won 47-46. The two players who stood out the most in this game were Bishop Brady 6-foot sophomore guard Jourdain Bell and Newmarket 6-foot-5 senior forward Josh Eisfeller.

Like always, Bell was constantly pushing the tempo, looking to attack the rim and created looks not only for himself but for his teammates as well. He showed good explosiveness off the dribble when driving right – you simply have to force him left to have any chance. Bell had a number of strong finishes inside, hustled after loose balls and also played great defense on Newmarket star guard Christian Hawkins. Bell defended Hawkins full court all game, played him tight and made it difficult for him to get any shots off or get his team into their offense.

Eisfeller picked up the slack on offense to keep the Mules in the game. He was a force inside, not only on offense but also on defense where he blocked 5 shots. Eisfeller blocked 2 shot attempts by Brady’s Stephen Desmarais on the same possession, then grabbed the loose ball and went the length of the court, got to the rim and banked in a smooth left hand finish.

Brady led 41-31 in the 2nd half but Newmarket made a late comeback as Hawkins drained a clutch three-pointer to cut the Brady lead to 47-42 with :45 left. The Giants then turned the ball over and then Eisfeller converted a layup on the other end. Brady was able to hold on from there for the win. Desmarais had some strong finishes inside for Brady, as did Peter Carlson for Newmarket.

Newmarket actually scored a layup on their OWN basket about halfway through the 2nd half, which gave Brady a 10 point lead. They inbounded the ball on the baseline coming out of a timeout, but instead of bringing the ball up the floor they laid it into their own hoop. Since they ended up losing by 1 that ended up being a pretty big play!

John Stark over Raymond
Like Bishop Brady, John Stark is another team you can expect to be a top 8 seed in next year’s Division II tournament. Stark had most of their core players at this game, while Raymond is a rebuilding Division III team that was playing without their best player in senior point guard Jordon Richard. So as you would expect, Stark took care of business with a 51-33 win.

The senior duo of 6-foot-8 center Zach Grattan and 5-foot-8 point guard Nicolas Lloyd was too much for Raymond to handle. This duo will be too much for most teams in D-II to handle this winter though, so Raymond has nothing to hang their heads about.

Grattan is simply too big for most any kid he’ll go up against in the NHIAA next season, and he is also a very hard worker in the post. If he missed one shot inside he’s going to go hard after the offensive board to follow it up and make the next one.

While Grattan is too big for opposing teams, Lloyd is too quick. Lloyd has a motor that never stops going, he is fearless when attacking the rim and he went coast-to-coast for scores a number of times in this game just because he was able to race down the floor with the ball and get to the rim quicker than anyone else. Lloyd also had some athletic finishes inside and nice dishes over to Grattan for layups.

Still, Raymond played tough, scrappy team basketball and they never gave up so you have to credit them for that. If Richard was in there it would have been a different game. When they’re at full strength, the Rams still have a shot to be a top 10 team next year in D-III – not bad for a rebuilding year.

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