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High schools: Coe-Brown uses balanced effort to top Pembroke, stay perfect

  • Coe-Brown’s Kyshaun Rowell (left) steals the ball away from Pembroke Academy’s Noah Cummings during Monday night’s game in Pembroke. Coe-Brown won, 60-42. GEOFF FORESTER/ Monitor staff

  • Pembroke Academy’s Sean Menard (left) tries to wrap up Coe-Brown’€™s Kyshaun Rowell (right during the second half Monday night, January 8, 2018. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Coe-Brown Northwood Academy’s Brendan Eaton (23) and Pembroke Academy’€™s Shea Shackford battle for a rebound in the first half Monday, January 8, 2018. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Pembroke Academy’s Brandon Linscott (10) and Tyler Smith (12) battle with Coe-Brown’€™s Brendan Eaton (23) during the second half of Monday’s game in Pembroke. The Bears continued their undefeated start to the season by beating the Spartans, 60-42. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff



Monitor staff
Monday, January 08, 2018

When the Coe-Brown boys’ basketball team defeated Pembroke, 60-42, on Monday night, coach Dave Smith attributed the same factors to the win as he did to his team’s success early in this season: consistency and defense.

Just as consistency led Coe-Brown to a 12-1 start and a trip to the Division II finals last year, the Bears are once again opening up the season on a hot streak sitting at the top of the division with a perfect 4-0 mark following the victory on the Pembroke’s home court.

Coe-Brown made shots and controlled the boards early, giving the Bears a 15-6 first-quarter lead and a 34-20 advantage at halftime – a start that Smith said was necessary against such a high-scoring Pembroke (3-2) team.

“Pembroke is a very good team,” said Smith, in his 29th year at the helm of the Bears. “Offensive consistency was important to get us off to a good start. (Pembroke) can score points in a hurry. They are well-coached and have several weapons.”

Jake Sherman (20 points) was one such weapon who was in good form, but Coe-Brown put forth a well-rounded effort, led by strong two-way games from senior Brendan Eaton and junior Luke McCusker.

Eaton was one steal shy of a triple-double, getting nine steals and 12 deflections in a strong defensive showing, to go along with a game-high 22 points and 10 rebounds.

McCusker was “strong on the boards all night,” according to Smith, and finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Scott Spenard (17 points) and Kyshaun Rowell (nine points) played well offensively to help build Coe-Brown’s lead, but it was the play off the bench that proved crucial in preserving that lead when two starters got into foul trouble in the second quarter.

“Defensively, we had a solid night, which was positive,” Smith said. “We got some good minutes off our bench. They maintained (our lead) very well. They didn’t score as much, but they were extremely active defensively. You have to be against a good team like that.”

Pembroke’s 42 points were the lowest the team has scored all season. The squad’s previous lowest point total was 54.

Sherman hit some key buckets in the third quarter and the Spartans outscored the Bears in frame, cutting Coe-Brown’s lead to 46-37 heading into the final quarter.

That nine-point gap was as close as Pembroke would get as Coe-Brown’s consistent offense and defense gave the Bears a 14-5 advantage in scoring in the fourth quarter to close out the win.

“(Pembroke) certainly had some solid performances defensively,” Smith said. “Fortunately we had some big shots in the fourth quarter to open it up a bit.”

The win leaves Coe-Brown and Merrimack Valley at the top of the division with matching 4-0 records.

Only one of the two teams will still have a perfect mark after the squads tip off in Penacook on Thursday.

Regardless of their opponent, Smith and Bears know they need to play consistent basketball day-in and day-out.

“In order to get better we have to continue to work on the basics. We have to work very hard on our defense and our rebounding,” Smith said. “As far as hard work and intensity, we’re doing that very well. It’s a nice, full-team effort (so far this year). We’re still trying to find what we can do best.”

(Dan Attorri can be reached at dattorri@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @DanAttorri.).

BOYS’ BASKETBALL

Hopkinton 82, Raymond 36

Key players: Hopkinton – Kevin McGrath (17 points), Dustin Rose (15 points), Zachary Signor (10 points), John Jacobsen (9 points), Michael Baer (7 points), Kevin Newton-Delgado (7 points)

Highlights/key moments: Hopkinton broke open a 15-11 first-quarter lead by going on a 30-4 run in the second quarter.

Coach’s quote: “It was nice to see all 11 players contributing whether on defense or offense. It is tough to defend a team where you don’t know who the leading scorer is going to be that night.” – Hopkinton’s Stephen Signor

Records: Hopkinton 6-0; Raymond 1-4

Inter-Lakes 55, Moultonborough 46

Key players: Inter-Lakes –Eli Swanson (19 points), Jayden Lara (16 points)

Highlights/key moments: The Lakers rebounded from a tough loss to Somersworth with a victory over the D-IV Panthers.

Records: I-L 4-2; Moultonborough 4-3

Pittsfield 71, Farmington 44

Key players: Pittsfield – Matt St. George (16 points, 4 assists), Josh Whittier (14 points, 12 rebounds), Cam Darrah (12 points, 7 assists, 5 steals), Brandon Bojarksy (9 points)

Highlights/key moments: The Panthers dominated the middle quarters, outscoring the Tigers, 44-15, in the second and third, led by St. George’s career-high 16 points.

Coach’s quote: “Those middle quarters were big for us. St. George’s energy on defense is what got us going. Sometimes the stuff St. George does doesn’t appear in the scorebook. Darrah went from scorer to facilitator and ran an organized attack. Whittier was huge in the post and when they started doubling him, he found Bojarksy who finished all his opportunities at the rim tonight. Good team win.” – Pittsfield’s Jay Darrah

Records: Pittsfield 5-1; Farmington 1-3

GIRLS’ BASKETBALL

Hopkinton 49, Raymond 20

Key players: Hopkinton – Maurgan McGrath (12 points), Katie Meserve (10 points), Abby Houston (8 points)

Highlights/key moments: The Hawks jumped out to a 17-4 first-quarter lead en route to their fifth straight victory.

Coach’s quote: “Great effort from the whole team tonight. Everyone played and everyone contributed.” – Hopkinton’s Patrick Roye

Records: Hopkinton 5-2; Raymond 0-6

Farmington 47, Pittsfield 19

Key players: Pittsfield – Haylee Gilleney (10 points, 4 rebounds)

Highlights/key moments: The Tigers’ press was too much for the Panthers and they couldn’t contain Katie Martineau (22 points) as Farmington jumped out to a 16-3 lead early and extended it to 32-7 at halftime.

Coach’s quote: “We had a lot of trouble with their press and couldn’t get anything going offensively.” – Pittsfield’s Heidi Hall

Records: Farmington 4-0; Pittsfield 1-7