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High school notes: John Stark boys’ basketball stuns Plymouth

With possession, a one-point lead and less than two seconds to go, it looked like Plymouth would be handing the John Stark boys’ basketball team its second loss of the season.

But not if Nick Simione had anything to say about it.

As Plymouth advanced quickly down the court and drove the lane, Simione “drew a perfect charge at the buzzer,” Stark Coach Mike Smith said. Simione drained the two foul shots to give the Generals their first win, 39-38, and hand Plymouth its first loss.

A close game throughout, Plymouth (2-1) led, 11-9, after the first quarter before Stark (1-1) pulled ahead 24-19 at the half. The banter between teams did not stop there, however. Stark led 35-17 after the third quarter, but a strong Plymouth offense turned the score around late in the fourth, leading 38-37 just before Simione’s performance at the buzzer.

“This (late comeback) was a great example of our emerging toughness,” said Smith, whose improving team has only narrowly lost to its last two opponents. The Generals fell to Bishop Brady by just one in the Capital Area Tournament last week, and to Bow, 66-63, in triple overtime. The Generals’ toughness was further illustrated when the team did not allow a single offensive rebound in the fourth quarter.

Zac Gratton contributed both game-high points (14) and rebounds (15) for the Generals, and Nic Lloyd scored 10 to add to the offensive effort. Cam Williams contributed six in a solid effort off the bench, and Simione finished the game with four points and seven rebounds.


Concord 51, Nashua North 49

Despite missing starting guard Kaleb Marquis, the Tide (1-3) claimed its first regular-season win with a victory over Nashua North (1-2).

Farradon Young played well in place of Marquis.

Marc Gaudet was the Tide’s top scorer with 14 points, while Jacob Szulc (13 points) and Sam Marquis (10 points) also were key in the Tide’s win.

Pembroke 60,
Merrimack Valley 42

Pat Welch scored 27 points to lead the Spartans (4-0) to victory against the Pride (2-2).

Pembroke jumped to an early 17-8 lead after the first quarter. The Pride inched closer to trail 26-22 at half, but the Spartans did not relent. Jordan Williams (10 points, seven rebounds) and sophomore Dominique Timbus (eight points, 11 rebounds, five steals) aided the Spartans, pushing them to a 39-28 lead after the third quarter and to 21 more points in the fourth.

Ryan Head (10 points, 10 rebounds) was the leading scorer for Merrimack Valley.

Winnisquam 55, Newfound 48

Winnisquam (1-4) trailed by a score of 10-9 after the first quarter and 25-20 at halftime, but a well-played third quarter led the Bears to their first win of the season.

Winnisquam outscored 0-5 Newfound, 21-10, in the third thanks to an effective full-court press and good shooting, including two 3-pointers from Austin Hunt.

Christian Serrano led Winnisquam with 17 points and Tommy Mahoney had 10. John Montalto played a great game on defense and on the boards.


salem 71, concord 58

Concord (0-5) trimmed a 13-point first-quarter deficit to nine points heading into the fourth quarter, but Salem (3-3) responded with defensive pressure in the fourth quarter and the Tide comeback fell short.

Concord was down 22-9 after the first quarter, but battled back to 48-39 heading into the fourth quarter. The Blue Devils forced enough turnovers to extend its lead to 17 points, but the Tide brought it back to as close as 11.

Freshman Peyton Osgood was the leading scorer for the Tide, totaling 18 points on 6-for-8 shooting, including going 4-for-5 from 3-point range. Cassidy Emerson (13 points, team-high 17 rebounds) and Brynne Rardin (14 rebounds, 13 points) both had double-doubles.

Merrimack Valley 57,
Pembroke 36

The Pride (2-3) got off to a quick start, outscoring the Spartans 22-10 in the opening quarter, en route to a 21-point victory over Pembroke (3-3).

An Olivia Thurber 3 at the buzzer put the Pride up 35-24 at halftime.

“Defensively we played well,” said MV Coach Joe Raycraft, whose team had 57 rebounds, including 29 defensive boards.

Molly Mullen (13 points, seven rebounds) was the leading scorer for the Pride while Jordan Neylon (nine points, 12 rebounds) and Rebekka Donovan (seven points, 11 rebounds) were the top rebounders.

Many other players contributed to the Pride’s victory, including Jordan Filion (nine points, three assists), Cassidy Huckins (seven points), Erin Frost (four points, seven rebounds) and Mary Mullen (seven rebounds, two points, three assists). Emily Mulleavey, Belle Weeks and Haley Adams all played well on defense.

Marissa Kibbee (12 points) was the high scorer for the Spartans. Hannah Seidner (eight points) and Aleanna Clermont (five points, 11 rebounds) also played well.

bow 47, somersworth 29

Bow (7-1) followed up its holiday tournament victory with a decisive win over highly-ranked Somersworth (6-2). Bow led 32-13 at halftime.

Leading the way for the Falcons was Lindsey Nerbonne with 14 points and six assists. Kirsten Bresson also had a good night, hitting three 3-pointers as part of her 13 points. Suzie Barry had seven points and eight boards.

Hillsboro-Deering 27,
Monadnock 24

Marygrace Bartoldus scored four points in the last minute and a half of the fourth quarter, two of which were the product of a defensive rebound, to put the Hillcats on top for good. Both teams now stand at 3-4.

Monadnock led 6-5 after the first quarter and 13-11 at the half before H-D took an 18-17 lead into the final quarter.

Bartoldus and Hannah Pepper dominated the inside, contributing seven points each to the H-D offense. Guard Paige Vincent was responsible for all seven of the Hillcats’ third-quarter points, scoring 10 overall.

Winnisquam 52, Newfound 43

Angie Roy scored 13 of her game-high 22 points in the first half to help Winnisquam (4-3) build a 33-21 halftime lead in a victory over Newfound (3-4).

Kaylee Howard heated up in the third quarter, scoring eight of her 16 points (including four 3-pointers) as the Bears extended their lead to 50-33 entering the finale quarter. Newfound’s press helped it pull within single digits in the final quarter, but Winnisquam held on for the win.

Along with Roy and Howard, Hannah Chapin dropped in 10 points for Winnisquam. Amber Plummer led Newfound with 20 points.

Pittsfield 47,
Wilton-Lyndeborough 28

After jumping to an 8-2 lead, the Panthers stayed ahead to improve to 5-2.

Pittsfield led 21-10 at the half and 28-19 after the third quarter, but it was a 19-point fourth quarter that sealed the victory.

Brooke Vien (15 points) and Sage Anthony (13 points) led the offensive effort, with Becca Adams contributing nine points and Katie Doucette playing well off the bench.


Concord 45, Salem 27

Nick Engel and Vinny Benincasa each had key wins to lead Concord past previously undefeated Salem.

“They (Engel and Benincasa) turned things around for us,” Coach Ham Munnell said

Benincasa (152 pounds) won by a 7-3 decision and Engel won his 160-pound match by pin.

Connor Stadnicki (106), Sean Hall (113), Merrick VanHoesen (182), Walters Ndi (195) and Travis Reyes (220) all won by pin. Brandon Simpson (120) won by forfeit.

Munnell further added that, “we competed harder tonight,” as a reason for the Tide’s victory.

Plymouth 62, Bow 12

A short-handed Bow team fell in a dual meet to Plymouth. The Falcons were missing several wrestlers either to illness or because of missed practices during the holidays.

Bow was able to compete in only six matches, but had two winners. Robert Caslow (106) won by forfeit and Tony Roberts (182) won by pin.

John Stark 66, Franklin 13

Though seven Franklin forfeits tipped the scales in John Stark’s favor, the Generals “continue(d) working hard, which is sometimes hard to do when you know you’re up,” Stark Coach Bill Walton said.

John Stark needed just one victory on the mats to dominate the Tornadoes, but instead took four. At 132, Josh Vaillancourt won by pin in just 15 seconds. Josh LaValliere (182) pinned his opponent in 22 seconds. Terry Zervos (152, 3:23) and Andy Hewey (160, 3:16) also won by pin.

Deric Farris (106), John Wilcox (113), Codi Gaudreau (126), Nick Widmann (133), Greg LoFaro (145), Al Long (220) and Isaiah Prevo (285) all won by forfeit.


Manchester Memorial 3,
Concord 2

Concord bounced back from a rough holiday tournament showing against out-of-state teams to play one of New Hampshire’s preseason favorites shot for shot.

The Tide (2-1-1) did suffer its first Division I loss, but also showed it can skate with the state’s best.

“It was a really good game. They’re supposed to be one of the top two or three teams,” Concord Coach Dunc Walsh said of Memorial (4-1-0), a finalist last year that returned most of its team. “I’m happy with the effort. They’re a decent team, and we had our chances.”

The Crusaders jumped out early, scoring three minutes in and again at 11:12 on the power play to take a 2-0 lead after one.

Memorial made it 3-0 10 minutes into the second period, but Concord responded just a minute and a half later. Mitchell Hayes took a feed from Harrison Murphy and hit Adam Godbout on the right wing. Godbout sent a slap shot low and hard to the far corner to send Concord into the final period down 3-1.

Godbout (from Austin Erickson and Hayes) pulled the Tide within a goal with six minutes to play, backhanding a shot from in close past goalie Joshua Jacob. But Jacob (18 saves) denied Godbout on a breakaway, and another Godbout bid for the equalizer hit the goalie in the chest. Concord also had a minute of a 5-on-3 advantage early in the period but couldn’t capitalize.

Tide goalie Ben Nelson made 17 saves and Concord’s defense held Memorial to just one shot in the final period.

londonderry 6, Bishop Brady 1

Bishop Brady (0-6) played well in the first period, but fell apart, allowing four second-period goals in a loss to Londonderry (4-1).

Thomas Palangas scored Brady’s only goal, in the second period, assisted by Craig Hering and Zach Frament.

The Green Giants took 11 penalties, one of which Londonderry converted into a goal.

Merrimack 3, bow 1

Bow (3-1-1) played its “best game of the year so far,” according to Coach Tim Walsh, and Matt Murray scored a goal 12 seconds into the game, but the Falcons fell short against a talented and undefeated Merrimack team (5-0).

Despite losing its first game of the season, the Falcons still outshot Merrimack, 33-30.

Chris Fournier and Mike Fanaras assisted on the lone Bow goal and Nate Corriveau played well defensively. Connor Simpson made 30 saves in net.

Con-Val 10, Kearsarge 5

Despite rallying for three goals in the third period, the Cougars (1-4) could not walk away with the win over Con-Val.

Kearsarge scored twice in the first period, trailing just 3-2, but fell to a 7-2 deficit after the second. Steve Ricker (two goals, one assist), and Matt Pickman (goal, assist) led the offensive effort for the Cougars. Freshman Delaney Stone scored the program’s first female goal, and Ally Solcik contributed an assist. In goal, Nathan Thompson made 38 saves, and Sarah Beattie closed out the game with six.


St. Thomas-Dover 9, Concord 3

The Tide made a game of it in the third period, coming back from a 7-0 deficit, but still fell to St. Thomas-Dover (3-3).

Isabel Stoddard got Concord (1-3) on the board in the third period with an unassisted goal. Annie Mullen scored a goal (assisted by Aelin Shea and Jess Carroll) before Stoddard potted her second of the game off an assist from Emily Scheer.

Molly Emerson made 21 saves in her second ever hockey game.


Hopkinton second

Local teams did well in the first ski jumping meet of the season on a cold night at Proctor Academy.

Hanover won the meet with 374.5 points. Hopkinton was the top local team, finishing second with 371 points. Plymouth (360.5), Kennett (346.5), Sunapee (340.5), Concord (314.5) and Bishop Brady (92.5) also competed.

Hopkinton also had the overall individual winner, Ian McClusky. James McClusky and Ned Metcalf tied for seventh and Jake Hemmerlein was 14th to lead the Hawks.

Warren Bartlett of Bishop Brady competed as the lone jumper for the Green Giants and cracked the top 10 with a seventh-place finish.

Concord’s sixth-place finish was led by Tyler Dow (21st), Julia Finch (25th), Ben Denoncourt (tied for 32nd) and Ryan Erlich-Mitchell (tied for 32nd).

Legacy Comments2

STUNS?!?!?! Hmmmmm . . . that's not how I'd put it. Our girls hosted Plymouth a few weeks ago - both our JV and Varsity squads defeated them. Our boy's JV were handed a "stunning" defeat by Plymouth but our Varsity boys never trailed. We were in the lead from the jump and managed to hold off a last ditch attempt by Plymouth to pull ahead in the 4th quarter. So after 4 contests it's John Stark 3, Plymouth 1.

Obviously you weren't at the game. Stark had the lead 39-38 when the offensive foul occured. Plymouth did not have the lead, they had the ball in the front court, there was no "advancing the ball quickly down the court", there were no foul shots taken at the buzzer to win the game. The shock came that the ref called an offensive foul with 1.3 seconds left in a frantic final seconds where no one had a chance to get position to take a charge as everyone was chasing the ball handler.

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