Friday, February 22, 2013

The Fundamentals of a Spartan

By: Ross Laorenza
To truly excel at your craft, you must exhibit outstanding fundamental comprehension. The Pembroke AcademySpartans have proven to me tonight that they indeed excel at their craft: Playing the game of basketball.

On the road at Bishop Brady, Pembroke put up 63 points with 23 of those coming from stand out junior (#15) Pat Welch. The kid can flat out play play: period. All of the Spartans can.

The fundamental basketball that is being taught in Pembroke deserves an award. Excellence should always be rewarded in my book. All of five starts show significant understanding of the game they are playing. It was a true honor watching these kids play tonight.

Pembroke is now 16-0 in NHIAA regular season with just 2 games remaining. They will be a tough match-up for anyone competing in the Division-II tournament. They ARE the team to beat right now. If either Oyster River or Lebanon can knock them off at the end of the regular season I hope I’m there watching. Because if I’m there in the stands it means the game is important. (It was good to shake off the rust tonight after more than a month away).

Giant Expectations
From all of the rafter hanging in the gym tonight and from all the stories my family has told me about the great Bishop Brady squads from the 1960’s through the 1980’s I knew I was in once proud institution. The pressure is on these young Giants to succeed.

With the Bell brothers (Joe #12 and Jourdan #10) starting at the Varsity level, soon they will become a great squad. Tonight, their team scored a modest 44 points. But, for boys at that age, against such a great and talented group (Pembroke Academy) they should feel blessed. When you get to watch a duo of brothers play basketball together, you can already expect some on-the-court chemistry. That goes for any team sport. The Bell brothers showcased that talent tonight. These two give Bishop Brady a future to build upon.

On the Court and Inside the Gym
Noises swarmed from both sides of the gymnasium as the teams took the floor for pregame warm-ups. Rene Maher, Dom Timbas, Matt Persons, Jordan Williams and Pat Welch all took their regular warm-ups. Focus could be seen in the eye of each Spartan.

On the court closer to my vantage point, the Bishop Brady team took part in several shooting drills. You could sense they’re excitement and see that some were tense. They knew this game was a big one tonight. Good completion breeds better completion (and the occasional foul or seven….)

Both teams traded baskets early. Bishop Brady led a few times early on (2-0, 4-2, 6-3). From then on, Pat Welch and Rene Maher took command for Pembroke, running the offense on the court. With under two minutes to play in the first quarter Welch hit a three-pointer to put Pembroke up 12-8.

Rene Maher and Jordan Williams opened the second quarter with back to back scores bringing the lead to 16-8. Great ball movement by Bishop Brady in the seconds helped to slow down some of the offensive onslaught, but you can stop pure talent.

Jourdain Bell sank a three pointer for the Giants with just under four minutes to play in the in the half, but that was quickly countered by a three from Matt Persons. 22-18 is now the score. Pat Welch had a remarkable DUNK with just under 30 seconds to play in the half, which the got the entire Spartans cheering section on their feet! That was part of a 9-4 run to end the half. At the end of the first half: Pembroke-31,Bishop Brady-22.

As legs began to tire in the second half, the lead for Pembroke swelled to 19 points with 2:41 to play. The fan bases for each team kept themselves entertained with continuous cheer and jeers back-and-forth. The best moment for any fan is the point when they know the game is out of reach.

It’s all over but the crying,” a wise man once said. Though no visible tears were shed on this by either side I’m sure there were a few heavy heart from the home team and prideful ones from the victors. Final Score: Pembroke: 63. Bishop Brady: 44

Best of luck too both schools as the regular season winds down. Big thanks to Bishop Brady for providing an excellent vantage point on stage for me and some fellow media members tonight. It’s an honor getting to watch and report such talent youths.
From Concord, New Hampshire; Ross Laorenza: New Hampshire Notebook

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