By: Ross Laorenza
All that stars were out for the Granite Games, Saturday afternoon at NHTI. The games, sponsored by the NHBCO, allow the state’s best play together on one court. It was great getting to see some of the talented athletes I covered during the season come together for some great basketball. Here is a recap of both the Division III vs. Division IV game and the Division I vs. Division II game.
Division III tops Division IV Girls
The girls from Division III bested the girls from Division IV 68-55 in the first match-up of the day. The game was close through the entire first half. Peyton Curtis (White Mountain Regional), Rachel Hill (Somersworth), Suzie Barry (Bow) and Dina Tischofer (Bow) all played well for the Division III team. Hill scored a team high 17 points in the victory. She was 8 of 9 from the free throw line. Curtis showcased her accuracy from long range, sinking all three of her three-point attempts, as part of a 12 point performance. Suzie Barry was third in scoring for Division-III. She was 4/6 shooting on the afternoon and totaled 10 points. Dina Tischofer added nine points of her own. She won the free-throw shooting contest prior to the game. They were coached on the afternoon by Nick Hill, Willey Billings and Gary Noyes.
Josee Brunault(Colebrook), Makenna Burke (Groveton), Bekah Adams (Pittsfield) and Lauren McGlaughlin (Concord Christian) shined for D-IV. Brunault looked like a real leader on the court for the D-IV squad. She showed some impressive on-the-ball defensive skills in the first half. Numerous times she would attack the ball-handler out high to disrupt the D-III offense. Her agility made it difficult to get a clean pass off. Brunault also led her team in scoring with 15 points and the only D-IV player in double figures. Her points came from all over the floor - 2/3 from three point range and 5/8 on free throws.
Bekah Adams and Makenna Burke 7 rebounds each for the D-IV girls who out rebounded their D-III counterparts 32 to 19 on the game. Six of Burke’s 7 were defensive. Adams had 4 offensive and 3 defensive. Annaliese Schmidt (Newmarket) had six boards of her own; three offensive and three defensive. The D-IV girls were coached by Tim Latorra, Randy Edgerly and Tim Haskins.
Division II vs. Division I
With great efforts from all their players the Division-II girls were able to best the Division-I girls in the second matchup of the afternoon, 72-63. Moriah Morton (Lebanon) led the way in scoring for her team with 17 points. Emily Kehoe (Lebanon) and Alicia Brown (Portsmouth) followed her with 14 points each. But this game went beyond the stat sheet. It really did take a total team effort to pull out this victory.
Dina Pitsas (Milford) and Kelsey Schiebel(Windham) were instrumental parts of the D-II squad. Pitsas’ defense was key in slowing down the D-I attack that featured “Ms. NH Basketball” herself, Meghan Green. Schiebel used her quickness and agility to push the ball the full length of the court late in the game and stretch the Division I defense out. The young Jaguar never seems to tire and helped Pitsas feed the D-II offense throughout the game.
Meghan Green (Bishop Guertin), Nikki Hayner (Bishop Guertin) and Caitlyn Perry (Nashua South) all scored in double figures for Anne Alosa’s D-I squad. Green led all players in scoring (23 points) and rebounds (13 total) on the afternoon. Hayner notched 12 points, and Perry scored 11.
Allie Hartford (Memorial) and Genevieve Gosselin (Nashua North) gave it all they had throughout the showcase game. Gosselin is well known for her leadership on and off the court in Nashua. Hartford has great ball distribution skills and has shown ability to light of the scoreboard in the past for Memorial.
The games yesterday at NHTI gave these girls a chance to showcase their true talents and passion for the game of basketball against some of the best players in the state. It was nice to see a few smiles on the court as well, showing the lighter side of the sport.
Congratulations to all the girls who had the privilege of playing in both games. I wish you all the best of luck moving forward. Thank you to the NHBCO for putting together the event. It’s always an honor meeting true professionals.
From NHTI in Concord, New Hampshire, Ross Laorenza: New Hampshire Notebook