Szulc’s 31 points lead Concord boys to comeback win over Dover
Concord's Walter Szulc makes a shot over Dover's defense in the game between the schools on January 7, 2014 at Concord High School. Concord defeated Dover.
(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)
Concord's Seimou Smith charges past Dover defense to carry the ball to the basket in the game between the schools on January 7, 2014 at Concord High School.
(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)
Concord missed its first 15 shots, trailed by as many as 14 points in the first half and faced an eight-point deficit early in the fourth quarter. But after Dover scored the first points of that final frame, the rest of it belonged to the Crimson Tide.
The Concord boys’ basketball team (2-1) went on a remarkable 25-0 run in the fourth, holding the Green Wave (0-2) scoreless for more than seven minutes, to turn its slow start into a commanding 69-53 win last night at home.
“It was crazy,” Concord Coach John Finnegan said, “but that just goes to show you the ability of some of these kids.”
The kid on top of that list last night was junior Jacob Szulc, who finished with a career-high 31 points, including 13 in the fourth, to go along with 12 rebounds and three steals.
“He was the star of the day, and he deserves it,” Finnegan said. “He works hard and he tries so unbelievably hard, and sometimes that works against him … but for the most part he was under control tonight.”
Szulc, a 6-foot-2 guard/forward, was surprised when he heard about his point total, and he was quick to credit the team’s defense for creating his offense.
“We were playing great ‘D’ in the fourth quarter, it all starts with that,” Szulc said. “We’re not very big, but we can run the court, so it all starts with getting steals and running up the floor for the fast break ... I had a lot of open shots.”
Concord did start its fourth-quarter comeback with five quick transition points from Garrett Jewell (seven points, five assists) and Sam Marquis, who scored 11 of his 13 points in the second half, but the Tide also went to work on the glass.
Robert Kelly (nine points, seven rebounds) converted a pair of free throws after grabbing an offensive rebound to give Concord its first lead, 52-51 with 6:17 left on the clock. Szulc scored on offensive rebound putback after that, sparking a stretch where he scored eight of Concord’s next 12 points as the Tide put the game out of reach.
On the other end, Szulc was guarding Dover’s top scorer, Karim Winn, who finished with a team-high 25 points, but had none in the fourth. And Concord’s Seimou Smith blanketed the Green Wave’s point guard, Jordan Lyndes, helping to force Dover into five fourth-quarter turnovers and 3-for-12 shooting in the frame.
That was a far cry from the opening half, when Dover took a 19-10 lead after the first quarter behind nine points from Winn. The Tide used a 10-0 run to pull within 31-27 late in the first half, but Concord was too undisciplined on the defensive end, giving up nine points on free throws in the second quarter alone, including three in the final 32 seconds of the half as Dover took a 34-27 lead into the break.
“Coach was a little angry at halftime, he was a little mad,” Szulc said. “They kind of embarrassed us a little bit in the first half on our court, so he just told us to come out and fly around in the second half.”
The Tide did just that, and it’s that kind of in-game improvement that really matters at this point in the season, especially if it winds up in a win.
“Hopefully we’ll grow from it, that’s what it’s all about, growing, day to day and game to game,” Finnegan said. “All in all, it’s a good win. We go to Nashua South (today) and if we can learn from this and be disciplined, take care of the ball, and play our game, it will be a game.”
(Tim O’Sullivan can be reached at 369-3341 or email@example.com or on Twitter @timosullivan20.)
Pembroke 76, Merrimack Valley 33
The Spartans stayed perfect, improving to 4-0 in Division II by jumping all over MV in the first half. Pembroke built leads of 27-8 after one quarter and 47-13 at the half and never looked back.
Pembroke’s Pat Welch had a great all-around game, scoring a game-high 29 points to go along with five steals and five rebounds. Kafani Williams notched a double-double, scoring 19 points (including 11-for-11 from the foul line) and pulling down 12 rebounds.
For the Pride (2-3), Cole Remillard, Bruce Barton, Justin Williams and Brady Wentworth scored six points apiece to lead the pace the offense.
“We played hard and made adjustments,” MV Coach Kevin O’Brien said. “We’ll take what we learned from this and move on. We have 13 games left, and our goal is to make the tournament.”
Bishop Brady 70, Goffstown 55
Playing their first regular-season game in more than three weeks, the Green Giants (1-1) pulled away by limiting the Grizzlies (0-3) to nine points in the third quarter, turning a 40-31 game into a blowout at 58-40.
“We did a better job communicating and rebounding” in the third, Brady Coach Mark Yeaton said.
Joe Bell scored eight of his 14 points in the third quarter to help the Giants open up their lead. Jourdain Bell led the offense overall with 25 points, and Brendan Johnson added 16.
Plymouth 50, John Stark 29
The Generals’ defense, according to Coach Mike Smith, “played as well as (it) can at times,” but a shaky offensive night spelled doom again for Stark, which fell to 0-4. The Bobcats stayed perfect at 4-0.
“We just can’t buy a basket,” Smith said.
The game was tied at 8-8 after one quarter, but Plymouth broke it open with a 13-4 edge in the second quarter and 15-8 in the third.
Drew McQuarrie grabbed 10 rebounds for Stark, while Zach Gagnon led the offense with seven points. Ryan Thompson had his “best game of the season off the bench,” Smith said. “Very strong defensively.”
Prospect Mtn. 35, Belmont 29
The Red Raiders (0-3) executed Coach Derek Hamilton’s defensive game plan, forcing the Timberwolves (2-1) into contested shots, but Prospect Mountain grabbed 14 offensive rebounds to take control.
“They killed us on the offensive rebounds,” Hamilton said. “That was pretty much the difference.”
Neither team shot well, as Belmont led 7-4 after one quarter before Prospect took a 13-9 lead into halftime. The Timberwolves, however, clinched the game at the free-throw line in the fourth, hitting 7 of their 10 attempts.
Corey Derosier (12 points) and Trevor Hunt (six points, seven rebounds) stood out for the Raiders.
Conant 81, Hopkinton 48
A battle of Division III unbeatens turned into no contest moments after the opening tap, as the Orioles (3-0) scored the first nine points of the game on the way to leads of 25-6 after the first quarter and 44-13 at halftime.
“Really frustrating,” said Hopkinton Coach Dave Chase, whose team fell to 3-1. “I had thought we might be closer. …We’re still not ready for them yet. That’s a complete team.”
The Hawks hit only 3 of 13 shots in the first quarter.
Gabe Nichols led the offense with 19 points while grabbing six rebounds, and Liam McNicholas added 16 points and six rebounds.
Sanborn 67, KearSarge 44
The Cougars couldn’t overcome the loss of their two best players to injury and remained winless at 0-4.
With senior captain Carter Noordsij and 6-foot-7 Zach Mattos out, the Cougars steadily fell farther behind, trailing 13-9 after one quarter, 30-17 at halftime and 49-27 after three.
Coach Nate Camp, however, had plenty of praise for the players who stepped up and filled in, including senior Logan Maville, who scored his first varsity points and finished with 10, which was tied for team high with junior Matt Roy (who made his first varsity start).
Lucas Courser (nine points), Nick Bailey (seven) and Trent Noordsij (six) also chipped in.
Hillsboro-Deering 56, Monadnock 48
The Hillcats got 16 points from Rood Monta to earn this first win of the season.
“We’re pretty excited about this win,” first-year H-D Coach Kevin Fowler said, “it means a lot to get one with these kids.”
Monadnock (1-2) led 26-24 at halftime, but Max Parenteau (12 points) hit three of his four 3-pointers in the third quarter to help the Hillcats (1-4) take a 42-37 lead after three. Josh Gould added five points for H-D and played tough defense on Monadnock’s top scorer, Isaiah Prince, holding him to 10 points.
Pittsfield 77, Wilton-Lyndeborough 56
The Panthers (3-0) were missing two starters, but eighth-grader Cam Darrah stepped into the starting lineup and finished with a game-high 25 points. Darrah, who has been swinging between the junior varsity and varsity in Pittsfield’s first three games, hit four 3-pointers in the first quarter as the Panthers took a 27-15 lead. Wilton (1-2) cut that lead to 38-34 at halftime, but Pittsfield opened things up again in the third and led 57-42 going into the fourth.
Freshman Xenthios Cyr, who also moved into the starting lineup for the Panthers, finished with 19 points. Kris Perkins was saddled with foul trouble but still managed 16 points and Derek Pike added 12 points and eight rebounds.
John Stark 43, Plymouth 28
The Generals (1-3) played a tough 2-3 zone defense, limiting the Bobcats (2-2) to only two 3-pointers in the game, and pulled away in the second half to record their first win of the season.
Hannah Nelson led the offense with 10 points and got plenty of help from center Amanda Berthiaume, who ran the floor and rebounded well, and point guard Madison Janelle, who scored seven points and handled Plymouth’s three-quarter court pressure.
Stark led just 19-14 at halftime but outscored Plymouth 11-6 in the third quarter and 13-8 in the fourth.
Pembroke 48, Merrimack Valley 45
The Spartans improved to 4-1 and dealt the Pride its first loss of the season by holding on after leading by 11 points after three quarters.
MV (3-1) scored 17 points in the fourth but couldn’t get closer than three points.
Belmont 55, Prospect Mountain 42
Chayleigh Cadarette scored 24 points and hauled down 20 rebounds to lead the Red Raiders (3-2) to their second straight win.
Belmont jumped to a 21-9 lead after the first quarter and kept the lead to a safe margin the rest of the way.
Coach Mark Dawalga praised the play of guard Makayla Donovan, who scored just four points but was a huge factor with her defense. “It was unbelievable,” the coach said. “I don’t think there’s anybody better (defensively) on the ball.”
Cassie Contigiani (nine points, nine rebounds) and Courtney Clairmont (two points) ran the point expertly to get the offense in gear, and Shannon Davies (seven points, nine rebounds) and Andreya Murphy (six points) had solid offensive games.
Bishop Brady 67, Kearsarge 45
The Green Giants won their fifth straight game to start the season, pulling away with a 17-7 third-quarter advantage that turned a 37-30 lead into a 20-point bulge.
Sarah Thomas led the Brady offense with 17 points, while Riselly Deoleo scored 14 points and grabbed seven rebounds. Emma Will added 11 points.
Anna Cahill’s 26 points led the Cougars, who lost their third straight to fall to 2-5. Devi Krashaaur scored eight points and played an excellent all-around game.
“We ran out of gas,” Kearsarge Coach Kurt McCandless said. “We ran with Brady, and they’re fast.”
Monadnock 60, Hillsboro-Deering 13
The Huskies (3-3) scored the first eight points of the game on their way to a 14-2 lead after one quarter, an advantage that increased to 28-5 by halftime.
“Not a silver lining to be found in the bag,” said H-D Coach Bill Warnken, whose team fell to 0-6.
Paige Vincent scored nine of the Hillcats’ 13 points.
Pittsfield 42, Wilton-Lyndeborough 32
The Panthers finally got to play a home game after starting their season more than a month ago, and the wait was worth it for the home fans.
Gabby Bartlett provided the biggest spark, scoring a game-high 17 points that included five 3-pointers. In the third quarter, when the Panthers (3-1) pulled away from the Warriors (0-4) and built a 37-23 lead, she hit two 3s and totaled eight points.
Point guard Stefani Gauthier returned from an injury and scored eight points in her season debut, and Katie Steeves helped out with seven points.