In the past few days we've done articles on Casey Evans and Sara Messler committing to D-II schools on basketball scholarships. At about the same time as their commitments, Meg Knollmeyer of Winnacunnet High was doing the same. That's right - three bigs from NH in the same week committing to schools on hoops scholarships. All 3 of them played AAU with the NE Crusaders.
Knollmeyer is a 6-foot forward who led a Winnacunnet team which had just 1 senior starter to the D-I title game last year as a junior. She was also a 2nd team All-State selection. Knollmeyer has committed to the New York Institute of Technology (NYIT). The Bears are a D-II program which competes in the East Coast Conference (ECC). They went 20-11 last season, advancing to the conference title game before falling by just 2 points.
"Meg could have been a freshmen on the varsity team her freshmen year had there not been 15 bodies and the shadows of Carly Gould and Mimi McLoud taking a majority of the minutes" Winnacunnet High girls basketball coach Cassie Turcotte told the NH Notebook. "She is quick, agile, tall and sees the floor well."
Knollmeyer really started to show signs that she was taking her game to a new level during the spring/summer prior to her junior year while playing AAU with the Crusaders. She was getting more aggressive attacking the paint, looking for her shot, running the floor well and crashing the boards. That translated into more success during the high school season, as Knollmeyer emerged as one of the state's more dominant bigs.
"What sets her aside from other athletes is her passion for the sport" set Coach Turcotte, who has coached Knollmeyer on the Warriors' varsity team for the past two years. "Meg touches a basketball year round, but has never been forced to do so; she does because she loves the sport. She has been the leading rebounder and scorer for WHS for the last year, following a year of working tandem with Mimi as her mentor. She bloomed into a leader on the floor and a scoring force that led us to many of our victories last year. Meg helps to settle a pace for us on the floor. She plays with aggressive finesse. She has been and will be our force under the basket."
Knollmeyer is the latest dominant post player who has come up through the system at Winnacunnet.
Our program, based upon the highly successful program set forth for decades by former head coach Ed Beattie, has allowed for the athletes within the program to grow together" Coach Turcotte explained. "All teams practice together. When Mimi was a freshmen she competed against Samantha Corcoran and Emily Siegart and was in the shadow and working tandem with Carly Gould. Same for Meg, she competed against Mimi and Carly and then worked with Mimi. Freshmen are competing against seniors everyday. Practices are highly competitive and values are placed upon hard work and motivation. We know what success feels like and it is a feeling worth working towards year in and year out. These athletes also work hard year round. It is to their credit that they take the initiative to work with numerous coaches and programs year round. They are a product of successful programs, a very supportive family and community.
Now that she's made her college decision, Knollmeyer can now focus on having a big senior year. And with Knollmeyer, Katie Valcich and Kaya Cadagan back, Winnacunnet will be a favorite to make it back to the Final Four this winter.
"I really look forward to working again with Meg this year as I am sure she still is to reach her full potential at the high school level" Coach Turcotte concluded. "I am very excited for her and the opportunity she has to work with NY Tech and hope to prepare her further for that next step this upcoming season. She is not only a skillful and intelligent basketball player, but a wonderful person too."
Knollmeyer's older brother Sam will be a sophomore guard for the Wentworth Institute of Technology men's basketball team this winter.