By: Ross Laorenza
The Bow Falcons improve to 3-1 after a hard fought win against the Royals from Mascoma Valley Regional High School, 45-40. This game was close from start to finish as both teams clamped down on defense. It was an all-around team effort in the victory for Bow, who tried to push the pace throughout the game.
Starting for the Falcons was Will Holmes (#3), Adam Nelson (#23), Nate Alford (#30), Michael Malette (#32) and Matthew Ehrenberg (#21). Starting for Mascoma was Zack Pequita (#2), Andrew Cashe (#3), Walter Hammond (#14), Kyle Wilson (#4) and sophomore Alex Schwarz (#5).
Schwarz would open the scoring in the game with a nice right hand lay in. Bow played a lot of man to man defense and tried to continually trap the ball out high forcing several turnovers. Mascoma featured a swarming zone, which kept points at a premium all game. One of the keys to this game was Bows ability to get to the free throw line and sink shots. Nate Alford got to the basket with a strong move, fouled and the way up in the early going. He hit both free throws tying the game at 2 apiece.
Matthew Ehrenberg showcased some acrobatic skills as he flew towards the basket on Bow’s next possession to give his team a 4-2 lead. Mascoma then took the lead with back-to-back shots from Walter Hammond and Kyle Wilson. Hammond is a big presence in the middle at 6’4’’ and used his size early and often to get to the hoop. After Ehrenberg lost the ball out of bounds Bow’s regained possession leading to a score in the paint for Alford. Game tied 6-6. It was clear early on that we had a close game on our hands.
The Mascoma defense gave the Falcons fits with 2:34 left in the first quarter. However, after a lengthy possession in which all five Falcons touched the ball, Ryan Andrews( #12) who has just been inserted found himself open for a jumped and drilled it to give Bow an 8-6 lead.
Alex Schwarz scooped up a loose ball at the other end of the court and scored easily to knot the game again at 8 apiece. After returning to the court from a brief break, Matthew Ehrenberg found himself at the line shooting two. He missed the first and made the second to give Bow a 9-8 lead with less than a minute to play.
Mascoma closed out the quarter with a 4-0 run. First, Hammond scored in the paint on a nice feed from Schwarz and then Schwarz himself drilled one at the buzzer to give Mascoma a 12-9 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The sophomore sensation Schwarz would open the scoring again in the second quarter getting fouled on the way to the hoop and making the basket. The free throw rimmed out but the Royals held their largest lead of the game 14-9. Timeout Bow. After two quick possession resulted in nothing Mascoma then called a timeout with 6:08 left in the half.
After everyone had caught their breath and coaches implemented their strategies Bow was able to 8 consecutive points to pull ahead 17-14. Adam Nelson scored with a nice lay up on a fast break opportunity and Michael Malette sank three straight shots in the 8-0 run for Bow.
Mascoma and Walter Hammond would answer. Hammond used his strength down low against Alford, scoring twice in the final two minutes to give Mascoma an 18-17 lead at halftime.
Schwarz and Hammond tied with 8 points each in the first half leading the way for Mascoma. Malette’s three consecutive shots gave him the edge in scoring for Bow. Nate Alford had four in the first half for the Falcons.
Bow pushed the pace to open play in the second half. Coach Chris Gaudreau touched on that postgame, “We liked where we were coming out of the half. We thought we could continue to push the pace and maybe wear them down a little.”
Alford scored with a nice inside move picking up both hoop and harm on his way to a three point play. Adam Nelson followed up his teammate by scoring one of the few three pointers of the night giving Bow a 23-18 lead. Alford capped off an 8-0 taking a sweet inbounds feed from Shane Wunderli (#10) on his way to the hoop. He was fouled and had a chance for another three point play, but missed the free throw. Still, halfway through the third Bow carried the momentum to the tune of a 25-18 lead.
Devin Duhaime (#11) stemmed the tide momentarily for Mascoma with a quality shot. Andrew Cashe drilled a three from the corner to cut the Bow lead down to two, 25-23. With less than two minutes to play in the third, Bow had three attempts at an inbounds play. The first two were redirected out of bounds by Mascoma. On the third Sean Stewart (#14) found Nate Alford who got hacked down low by Hammond. Alford hit both free throws.
With Mascoma on the attack, Will Holmes came up with a steal and took it coast-to-coast for an easy lay-up. Andrew Cashe wound get one shot in before the horn. Cashe played with a lot of energy in the game. He and Matthew Ehrenberg had to be separated after what could be described as a minor disagreement about a hard foul.We play on. At the end of the third Bow holds a slim 29-25 lead.
Ehrenberg took over the fourth quarter with speed and skill. His aggressive moves to the basket led to one of two things, points or free throws. He scored 9 in the final frame including 4 of the first 5 for Bow. After his second shot fell Mascoma called a time out to regroup.
Alex Schwarz accepted the challenge of bringing his team back from a 9 point deficit with just over five minutes to play. After scoring one basket, he helped steal the inbounds pass away from Bow, scored again on an easy 2 on 1, then one Mascoma's next possession he fed Walter Hammond down low for two more. The 6-0 run by the Royals to cut the lead to 34-31.
Nate Alford showed his ability to drive the lane and score through contact as he drew another foul down low. He converted the three point play to put Bow back on top by 6. The always acrobatic Ehrenberg hit an unbelievable shot to grow the lead to 8 points, but Mascoma would not quit.
After two Alford free throws put Bow in front 40-32, Andrew Cashe responded with a quick three pointer to cut the lead to five. Shane Wunderli went 1 for 2 at the line then saw Schwarz charge down the court to score for Mascoma. 41-37 with less than a minute to play.
Adam Nelson went 1 for 2 from the stripe for Bow with 34.5 to play, but Schwarz hit a three at the other end cutting the lead down to 42-40. After a big collision with Hammond, Ehrenberg got to the line and went 1 for 2. Then, Bow’s defense caused a big turnover with less than 10 seconds as the game hanged in the balance. Ehrenberg hugged the ball as he received the inbounds pass, getting fouled again with now 7.4 second left. He hit his final two free throws to give Bow a 45-40 victory.
“The kids did a fantastic job, I’m so proud of them.We’re working on building here and this was a big win for us,” said Coach Gaudreau after the game, “This was a good win over a good team.”
Nate Alford led the Falcons in scoring with 15 points overall. Matthew Ehrenberg scored 12 total, with 9 of those 12 coming in the fourth quarter. Alex Schwarz led all scorers with 17 points for Mascoma. His teammate Walter Hammond finished with 10 points.
From Bow High School, Ross Laorenza: New Hampshire Notebook