Thursday, January 23, 2014

NH Notebook Girls Basketball Statewide Top 10 Teams - 1/23

Here's our current top 10 girls basketball teams in the NHIAA, regardless of division. We've taken into account not only record, but strength of schedule, what direction the team is heading in (hot or cold), injuries, etc.

1. Bedford - there any doubt about it? The defending D-1 champs have their top 7 players. They are the hands down favorite to win it all again, and until someone takes them down they are #1.

2. Londonderry - tough call for the #2 spot between rival schools Londonderry and Pinkerton. Both teams are 6-0 with 5 blowout wins and one close call (Londonderry with a close win over BG and Pinkerton narrowly defeated Alvirne). The Lancers are a little deeper though and have more size, so they get the slight nod. These teams play twice in the regular season, don't be surprised if they split those 2 games.

3. Pinkerton - like I said, Bedford is the hands down favorite in D-I. However, if anyone does take them down, it will likely be either Londonderry or Pinkerton.

4. Bishop Guertin - they're 6-2 but those 2 losses came to the top 2 teams in the state, Bedford and Londonderry. BG came very close to beating Londonderry last Friday night. They just got Paige Parkinson back a couple games ago, plus they have North transfer Marie LaPlante and freshmen Abby Field and Meghan Cramb. That's a lot of new pieces to mix in with returning players Jamie Sherburne, Megan Kerutis and Gigi Piercy (not to mention a new head coach in Jeremy Faulkner). Look for them to get better as the season goes on, as they all get used to playing together.

5. Nashua North - Taylor Choate and Dezi Okorie is a young, exciting, dynamic back court. Some good young talent on this team. Their only losses are to Bedford and BG. The BG loss was very close, and North actually beat BG when they played over the holidays (Kerutis didn't play in that game though).

6. Alvirne - the Broncos have beaten the teams they were supposed to beat, and they lost to the upper echelon teams. However they played Bedford and Pinkerton VERY tough in those 2 losses. They nearly beat Bedford last Friday night and that would have been a big upset and a huge win for their program.

7. Winnacunnet - the Warriors are 2-2, with the 2 losses coming to #2 Londonderry and a close loss to #5 North. The Warriors got a nice double digit win over a tough Salem team.

8. Hanover - this is the team to beat in D-II. They're the only undefeated team in the division. Souhegan is up there too, but they fell to Lebanon a couple weeks ago and Hanover beat Lebanon 61-43 last month. Led by JJ Daniell and Lexi Hamilton, and one of the best girls coaches in the state Dan O'Rourke, this is a team to watch. Until someone takes them down, they're the favorite.

9. Lebanon - Hanover is the favorite in D-II, but Lebanon is right behind them. Yes they lost by 18 to Hanover, but they didn't have center Vanessa Fleury that game. She returned during the Holiday tournament. After starting out 1-2, Fkeury returned to the lineup and since then Lebanon has won 6 in a row (9 wins in a row if you include the QCIBT where Lebanon beat Memorial, Hollis-Brookline and Trinity). Hanover has Daniell and Hamilton, but the Raiders have a dynamic duo of their own in Heather King and Samantha MacDonald. When these 2 teams meet again on February 12 look for it to be much closer than the first time.

10. Manchester Memorial - the Crusaders are 5-1 in D-I play, and 4 of those 5 wins have been by double digits.

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