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High schools: Kearsarge finds Mattos and finds holiday win against Pembroke Academy

  • Pembroke's Jake Sherman (4) goes up for a shot during a Capital Area Holiday Tournament boys' basketball game at NHTI in Concord on Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2017. Kearsarge defeated Pembroke, 64-49. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff) Elizabeth Frantz—Monitor staff

  • Kearsarge's Tyler Johnson (23) makes a rebound during a Capital Area Holiday Tournament boys' basketball game at NHTI in Concord on Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2017. Kearsarge defeated Pembroke, 64-49. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff) Elizabeth Frantz—Monitor staff

  • Pembroke's Jack Lehoullier (14) looks past Kearsarge's Taylor Mattos (5) during a Capital Area Holiday Tournament boys' basketball game at NHTI in Concord on Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2017. Kearsarge defeated Pembroke, 64-49. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff) Elizabeth Frantz—Monitor staff

  • Kearsarge's Tayler Mattos (5) dunks the ball during a Capital Area Holiday Tournament boys' basketball game at NHTI in Concord on Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2017. Kearsarge defeated Pembroke, 64-49. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff) Elizabeth Frantz—Monitor staff

  • Kearsarge's Kyle Hernon (12) goes up for a layup during a Capital Area Holiday Tournament boys' basketball game at NHTI in Concord on Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2017. Kearsarge defeated Pembroke, 64-49. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff) Elizabeth Frantz—Monitor staff

  • Bow's Stephan Guerette (32) shoots the ball during a Capital Area Holiday Tournament boys' basketball game at NHTI in Concord on Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2017. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff) Elizabeth Frantz—Monitor staff

  • Bow's James Cohen (23) takes a shot during a Capital Area Holiday Tournament boys' basketball game at NHTI in Concord on Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2017. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff) Elizabeth Frantz—Monitor staff

  • Bishop Brady's Tommy Fraser (32) finds his way blocked by Bow's Ben Harris during a Capital Area Holiday Tournament boys' basketball game at NHTI in Concord on Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2017. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff) Elizabeth Frantz—Monitor staff

  • Bishop Brady's Bryce Johnson (4) takes the ball down the court during a Capital Area Holiday Tournament boys' basketball game at NHTI in Concord on Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2017. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff) Elizabeth Frantz—Monitor staff



Monitor staff
Thursday, December 28, 2017

They were looking for him all game and from every angle – alley-oops in the half-court and on the break, off pick-and-rolls, high post to low post, whatever. And since Kearsarge senior Tayler Mattos stands 6-foot-9, it wasn’t too hard for his teammates to find him.

The Cougars did an especially good job feeding their big man in the fourth when he scored 12 of his game-high 32 points and turned a close game into a comfortable 64-49 win on Wednesday night in the Capital Area Holiday Tournament at NHTI against Pembroke Academy.

“I’ve got to give credit to my teammates, Kyle Hernon, Will Chadwick, Tommy Johnson, all of them, for finding me down low,” said Mattos, who also had 18 rebounds and six blocks. “That’s when we really pulled away, when we moved the ball.”

Kearsarge (3-0) opened the game with a quick 5-0 run, but the lead stayed right around there for most of the night as the Spartans kept things close with their outside shooting. Senior Jake Sherman scored all of his team-high 18 points from beyond the arc, going 6-for-9 from 3-point land. And when he hit a 3 with 6:05 left in the fourth, Pembroke trailed by just four, 50-46.

“Sherman doesn’t need a whole lot of space to get it up. There were times when we were in his face and he still drilled it,” Kearsarge coach Nate Camp said. “He’s a special player.”

After that long ball from Sherman, Mattos put on his own kind of special display. There was an inbound play underneath the basket and the Cougars simply threw the ball toward the rim for Mattos to go get. He did get it, and he got three straight offensive rebounds as he kept missing bunnies and kept grabbing rebounds as the Spartans flailed at his forearms.

Eventually Mattos went to the line and sunk a pair of free throws to begin 10-1 run that put the game out of reach. That run included a pair of post-ups from Mattos that began with on-time and on-target feeds from Johnson (16 points, three assists) and Hernon, who celebrated his 17th birthday with seven points, six rebounds and two assists.

“Our guys have been able to see the floor pretty well, and I think that’s big for us, unselfish play,” Camp said. “And there were times tonight when we did a nice job with that and made the extra pass.”

Making the extra pass is one of the things Pembroke coach Rich Otis wants his team to do.

“We’ve got to start doing the little things that win basketball games,” Otis said. “Things like finding the open man, making the extra pass, and then especially on defense, we need to rotate and stop the ball and do those kind of things. ... I know they have it in them, I wouldn’t be upset if I didn’t think they had it in them, it’s just getting it out of them.”

Kearsarge finished with 12 assists on its 25 field goals while the Spartans had just five assists on 19 buckets. Three of those PA assists belonged to junior point guard Noah Cummings, who also finished with 10 points and five rebounds.

“I really like Cummings. He’s the kind of player who makes everyone around him better,” Camp said. “Pembroke is a good team. Rich has done a good job with them and I think they’ll be a top team, for sure.”

The Spartans will get their chance to work on the little things when they face Merrimack Valley on Thursday at 11:30 a.m. in the consolation bracket. And they’ll get another crack at Kearsarge in a week when they travel to North Sutton for a regular-season Division II matchup on Jan. 3.

Next up for the Cougars is a semifinal matchup with D-III Hopkinton on Thursday at 7 p.m.

“Last year we lost in the championship of this tournament to Concord, so this year we want revenge,” Mattos said. “We want to win it all.”

(Tim O’Sullivan can be reached at 369-3371 or tosullivan@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @timosullivan20.)

BOYS’ BASKETBALL

Concord 61, John Stark 45

Key players:Concord – Tyler Blodgett (15 points, 2 steals), Teddy Blodgett (13 points); John Stark – Parker McQuarrie (9 points, 4 rebounds), Christian Barr (8 points), Payton Marden (played well off the bench).

Highlights/key moments: The Crimson Tide used defensive pressure to take a 41-22 lead into halftime and earn the first-round win at the Capital Area Holiday Tournament. Concord will face Bow in Thursday’s semifinals.

Records: Concord 2-0; John Stark 1-1

Bow 53, Bishop Brady 47

Key players: Bow – Shaun Lover (14 points), Ben Harris (11 points, 10 rebounds); Bishop Brady – Bryce Johnson (25 points), Tommy Fraser (16 points)

Highlights/key moments: The Falcons hit 12 of 13 free throws in the fourth quarter, and shot 88 percent from the line for the game, to earn the win at the Capital Area Holiday Tournament. Bow will face Concord in Thursday’s semifinals.

Coach’s quote: “We didn’t play great tonight but kept fighting all game. We rebounded well and hit our free throws at the end to grind out a win.” – Bow’s Frank Moreno

Records: Bow 1-1; Bishop Brady 0-2

Hopkinton 56, Merrimack Valley 47

Key players: Hopkinton – Dustin Rose (17 points), Kevin Newton-Delgado (13 points), Kevin McGrath (9 points), Zachary Signor (8 points), Caleb Yianakopolis (7 points); MV – Kyle Dube (20 points), Ryan Defina (11 points), Jake Hebert (10 points)

Highlights/key moments: The Hawks dominated the glass in this Capital Area Holiday Tournament game, outrebounding MV 37-19 overall and 17-5 on the offensive glass.

Coach’s quote: “I am extremely proud of how hard they worked on the boards tonight. It was a total team effort with five different players scoring seven points or more.” – Hopkinton’s Stephen Signor

Records: Hopkinton 4-0; MV 2-0

Coe-Brown 69, Keene 62

Key players: Coe-Brown – Scott Spenard (21 points, 6 deflections), Brendan Eaton (16 points, 10 rebounds), Luke McCusker (13 points, 5 rebounds), Mason Winiarski (8 points), Kyshaun Rowell (7 points, 3 assists, 3 deflections), Albert Lapiejko (4 points off bench)

Highlights/key moments: The game was tied going into the fourth quarter, but the D-II Bears stayed the course on the defensive end against D-I Keene and Winiarski hit five fourth-quarter free throws as Coe-Brown advanced at the Keene State Holiday Tournament.

Coach’s quote: “The difference tonight was defense and rebounding. It was one of our better games on the boards.” – Coe-Brown’s David Smith

Records: Coe-Brown 1-0; Keene 0-4

Franklin 71, Mount Royal 64

Key players: Franklin – Jayden Torres (26 points), Ben Lafrance (25 points, 11 rebounds), C.J. Gaslin (8 points), Harrison Clark (7 points); Mount Royal – Andrew Normandin (21 points), Alex Normandin (21 points)

Highlights/key moments: The Golden Tornadoes came flying out of the locker room after halftime, outscoring Mount Royal 17-8 in the third quarter to earn their second win at the Mike Lee Holiday Bash in Farmington.

Records: Franklin 0-2; Mount Royal 3-1

GIRLS’ BASKETBALL

ConVal 46, Coe-Brown 45

Key players: Coe-Brown – Ahna McCusker (15 points, 4 rebounds, 4 steals), Lauren Curtin (11 points, 3 steals), Val White (10 points, 5 rebounds), Jenny Bettencourt (7 points, 3 steals)

Highlights/key moments: ConVal pulled out this back-and-forth game at the Manchester Central Holiday tournament when Emma Hixson hauled in a long pass, got fouled and sank one of the free throws for the final one-point margin.

Coach’s quote: “Tough loss. Wake up tomorrow and try again. Effort was there, just couldn’t hit a shot when we needed it at the end.” – Coe-Brown’s Joe Vachon

Records: Coe-Brown 1-2; ConVal 1-3

Kearsarge 47, Hopkinton 46

Key players: Kearsarge – Taylor Albright (10 points, 4 rebounds), Tori Andrewski (6 points, 8 rebounds); Hopkinton – Abby Houston (8 points, 7 rebounds), Maddie Bishop (8 points), Sophie Potter (7 points)

Highlights/key moments: Kearsarge had a nine-point halftime lead and held on despite a Hopkinton comeback that saw the Hawks take a late lead in the consolation bracket of the Capital Area Holiday Tournament.

Coach’s quote: “We made a nice comeback and got contributions from everyone. Learning how to close out games will be a key to the rest of our season.” – Hopkinton’s Patrick Roye

Records: Kearsarge 2-2; Hopkinton 3-2

Bow 58, John Stark 41

Key players: Bow – Lauren Goyette (17 points, 6 rebounds), Lea Crompton (16 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists); John Stark – Lauren Martin (10 points, 2 steals)

Highlights/key moments: Bow held a 35-25 halftime lead and kept growing that advantage in the second half of this consolation game at the Capital Area Holiday Tournament.

Records: Bow 1-1; John Stark 2-2

Inter-Lakes 62, Pittsfield 27

Key players: Pittsfield – Haylee Gilleney (15 points, 4 rebounds), Katie Rollins (8 points, 4 steals, 4 assists)

Highlights/key moments: The Lakers dominated from the start and opened up a 35-7 halftime lead. It was the second loss in a row to a D-III team at the Farmington Holiday Tournament for the D-IV Panthers, who fell on Tuesday to St. Thomas, 60-34, despite good games from Gilleney and Rollins.

Coach’s quote: “We had some trouble getting by Inter-Lakes’ full court press and couldn’t get into any offensive flow. The girls did a great job of readjusting our game plan at half and were able to get more scoring chances.” – Pittsfield’s Heidi Hall

Records: Pittsfield 1-3; Inter-Lakes 4-1

BOYS’ HOCKEY

Concord 7, Bow 3

Key players:Concord – Colin Kastle (2 goals, 3 assists), Drew Livingston (2 goals, 2 assists), Evan Makris (goal), Andrew Paquette (goal), Shane Riley (goal, assist), Liam O’Brien (2 assists), Spencer Burgess (14 saves); Bow – Nathan Carrier (45 saves)

Highlights/key moments: The Crimson Tide took a 2-0 lead after the first period at the Manchester Holiday tournament, and then opened things up to 6-3 after the second period.

Coach’s quote: “We moved the puck well and had some good chances.” – Concord’s Dunc Walsh

Records: Concord 3-0; Bow 1-2

Bishop Brady 3, Rice Memorial 1

Key players: Brady – Max Lamora (goal, assist), Matt Strickland (played well in goal)

Highlights/key moments: The Green Giants claimed the holiday season win against Vermont’s Rice Memorial.

Coach’s quote: “The guys played a complete game and sealed the win with a good defensive play which resulted in an empty net goal.” – Brady’s Ed Seney

Records: Bishop Brady 2-3-0