Here's a pop quiz, kids. If a 10-4 team plays against a 3-12 team and they already played each other twice with the 10-4 team winning both match ups (one of them by 22) then if the third time they play each other if the 3-12 team wins would it be considered an upset? Kids, if you answered yes then you are correct. Because this scenario is exactly what happened on Thursday night at Goffstown High.
Hollis-Brookline was 10-4 coming in, while Goffstown was just 3-12. The first meeting between the 2 teams was in the Chick-fil-A Holiday Tournament, and Hollis-Brookline won that game in overtime. The second meeting was just 2 weeks ago in Hollis, with the Cavaliers winning 62-40. So it was definitely an upset when Goffstown not only defeated Hollis-Brookline on Thursday night, but they led by double digits for much of the game as well. Hollis scored 62 points in the last meeting but only 34 this time, as Goffstown pulled off the upset 47-34.
How did it happen? Well I wasn't at either of the first 2 meetings, so let's ask the coaches.
"We controlled the tempo" said Goffstown head coach Mark Elmendorf. "We held the ball for longer periods of time each possession. Also in that last game we did not shoot well."
"All the credit goes to Goffstown" lamented Hollis-Brookline head coach Mike Soucy. "They slowed the tempo down so we didn't get enough shots. We were sloppy and turned it over. They took it to us instead of us taking it to them. They outplayed us and deserve the win."
Both teams were playing zone all game, and it was a game that was primarily played in the half court with very few fast break opportunities. That would account for the low scoring. That, however is exactly what Goffstown wanted.
Hollis-Brookline had some good interior passing early and they certainly had more size up front, but the baskets still came few and far between. Sophomore Mike Bailey hit a 3-pointer from the corner against the Hollis-Brookline zone and it was 5-3 Goffstown. Defense dominated early though, as Hollis 6-foot-6 senior forward Shea Whalen drew a charge on Pat Kelsey (1 of 2 charges Whalen took on the game). Logan Blake made a strong drive and finish to tie it up 5-5.
Whalen continued to be a defensive presence, blocking a shot attempt by Tim Comeau to prevent a layup. That gave possession back to Goffstown on the baseline with just 1 second left in the 1st quarter. The inbounds pass went to senior guard Tim Riehl, who caught the basketball and immediately released the shot from the right wing. The shot was good at the buzzer, and the Grizzlies led 8-5 after 1 quarter.
Goffstown got the momentum on their side with that buzzer beater, and they carried that momentum with them into the 2nd. Kelsey hit a foul line jumper, then junior guard Marcus Haynes drilled a spot up 3-pointer to cap an 8-0 run for Goffstown as they now led 13-5. After a Hollis basket Riehl hit another 3, making it now an 11-2 run and a 16-7 Goffstown lead.
Hollis was trying to battle to get back in it. Junior Matt Fothergill is a solid guard for the Cavaliers. He pushes it hard up the floor when leading the break or the half court set, keeps his head up and sees the floor well. He also hit three 3-pointers on the game. He made a nice pass to Cole Gallant for a layup, and then Whalen drew his second charge of the game, this one on Bailey.
Again though, Goffstown was able get a bucket right before the end of the quarter. This time it was Haynes, who cut to the rim, caught the ball in stride and made the layup with 6 seconds left. It was 23-12 Goffstown at halftime.
Hollis came out firing to start the 2nd half to try and get back in it. Fothergill hit a 3 right off the bat to cut the lead to 23-15. Goffstown was severely undersized (at least when 6-foot-8 junior forward Ryan Roggenbuck wasn't in the game). When Roggenbuck wasn't in there Kelsey (10 points and 12 rebounds) was their center and he's only 5-foot-11. Kelsey plays much bigger than that however, and actually grabbed a few rebounds away from Whalen at 6-foot-6.
Daniel Bentall hit a runner off the glass to cut the Grizzlies' lead to 23-17, but Goffstown answered right back as Riehl (11 points) drove on the left side and banked in a leaner of his own to push it back up to 25-17. Hollis was pressing full court to try and come back, but Goffstown broke the press, creating a 2-on-1 opportunity. Haynes made a nice dish to Comeau for the layup, then Kelsey made a strong drive, spin move into the lane for a bucket and it was 29-17 Goffstown with 4:32 left in the 3rd. The Grizzlies then drew a charge and Coach Soucy called timeout.
Out of the timeout Goffstown kept adding to their lead, as Kelsey again went inside for 2 more and it was 31-17 Goffstown. Riehl made a solid feed inside to Roggenbuck for a layup, but then Hollis answered with quick baskets by Ryan Papineau and Whalen as they were finally starting to push the tempo. That forced Coach Elmendorf to call timeout with 2:09 left in the 3rd and his team leading 33-23. That was the score after 3 quarters.
Fothergill started the 4th quarter just like he started the 3rd - by nailing a 3 from the top of the key. Now the lead was down to 33-26. Riehl made a good move, used to dribbles towards tim to create space, then hit a 15-footer to make it 35-26. Then Haynes (game-high 14 points) hit perhaps the shot of the game, a clutch 3-pointer from the left wing off the catch and the lead was back to double digits 38-28 Goffstown.
"We played well" said Elmendorf. "Tim Riehl is an unbelievable competitor, Kelsey and Comeau are animals underneath and Haynes can really shoot it."
Haynes then made yet another big time play for his team. Against some tough defensive pressure he went coast-to-coast, taking it all the way to the rim for a layup. n the next trip down the floor it was Haynes again delivering. He drove hard to the rim, got to the line and made both free throws. It was now 42-29 Goffstown and it seemed like this was all but over.
Fothergill buried another 3 though to try and keep the Cavaliers in the game and the lead was cut to 43-34. There was still time for a comeback but Hollis had to hurry. Unfortunately though Goffstown kept on scoring, as they threw a long pass over the H/B press to Kelsey for a layup (although it looked like he may have traveled first).
Now we were under a minute left and Goffstown is up 46-34. They added another free throw and won it 47-34.