Saturday, August 3, 2013

Sam Carey All Star Classic / BST Finals Recap

The Sam Carey NH Alumni Classic was a huge success last night at Central High. The NH basketball community came together in support of the late superstar. Their was a ton of local talent on display in the alumni game, the proceeds went to a great cause. Oh yeah, and San Antonio Spurs forward Matt Bonner also made an appearance. Bonner gave a pre-game speech about Carey and about his 'Rock On' foundation which aims to rebuild outdoor basketball courts in Concord and Manchester. Then at halftime there was a raffle, with winners getting a chance to go against Bonner in a 3-point shooting contest. Mike Martineau, Tim Riehl (Goffstown HS) and Dawson Dickson (Manchester Central) were the participants. Dickson made it to the finals, but Bonner drilled a whopping 19 3-pointers from the top of the key to win it. At one point Bonner made 10 threes in a row (at ease as if it was a layup for him), leaving the sold out crowd in awe.

The game itself was equally entertaining. The White Team jumped out to a quick 15-0 lead, led by David Cooper, Miguel Gonzalez and Corey Hassan. But the Blue Team stormed back, made a great comeback and went on to a 104-88. They were led by Scott Hazelton, who had a team-high 26 points. Keith Friel was unconscious from beyond the arc, hitting 5/6 threes. Luke Bonner used his size and skill to dominate the inside to the tune of 15 points. Gonzalez (former SNHU standout) led the White Team with a game-high 28 points, Cooper had some thunderous dunks and Tim Lee (another former SNHU standout) was also hitting everything from the outside with 21 points on 7 threes.

It was great to see all of that talent on display, and they played an up-tempo, high scoring brand of basketball that was fun to watch. Not only were these great players but they were also out there smiling, joking around with each other and and talking to fans. On the court and off, they were great role models for the younger players coming up. They were all there to show their support for Carey's memory and his family. As a tribute to Carey, a video highlight reel was displayed for the fans to see before tip-off.

In the BST Summer League finals, it was Manchester Central who captured their third consecutive league championship. The Little Green defeated NYDL-White by a final score of 51-41 to cap a great night of basketball.

You have to give credit to BST Basketball and the 'Rock On' foundation for all of their hard work to put this event on. Jamn 94.5 and Muscle Milk were also in attendance which only added to the atmosphere. Everything was done to the tee.

Other players who stood out in the alumni game were Chris Burns, Chris Brickley, Joe Fremeau and Troy Bowen.

In the BST summer league semi-finals Manchester Central defeated Bishop Guertin, and NYDL-White cruised by Tewksbury (MA). hat set up the finals showdown of Central vs. NYDL, which gave a nice sneak peak at who some of the top players and teams will be this upcoming winter. NYDL is a team comprised of players from a few different high schools, including Bishop Brady's dynamic duo of Jourdain Bell and Joe Bell, Tim Riehl from Goffstown High, Trinity forward Connor Walsh and Pembroke guard Connor Boucher. However Central led this game from start to finish, proving that they will once again be one of the favorites in D-I this season. The Little Green were led by Dawson Dickson, Brett Hanson, Mike Plentzas and Nick Makris. Those four players in particular really clicking out their together, attacking the rim and moving the ball on offense and playing tough pressure 'D' on the other end.

I like Trinity as the early pick to repeat as champs in D-I, as they return 4 starters in Carmen Giampetruzzi, Pat Keefe, Ryan Otis and Brad Rhoades, plus 6-foot-5 Wenyin Gabriel who was the 6th man last year and Walsh. After Trinity though Central looks like they're as good as anybody.

You also have a good chance for a repeat champion in D-II, as Pembroke is also the early pick. Patrick Welch is the clear cut preseason POY in D-II, and the Spartans also return starters Jordan Williams and Dominic Timbas, plus 6th man Cameron Taylor (all three of them are 6'4" or taller). Plus you have Connor Boucher who has improved a lot this summer.

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