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Preview capsule outlook of today’s high school tournament action

High school tournaments today

Boys’ hockey

Division II quarterfinals

No. 6 Goffstown (13-5-0) at No. 3 Bow (14-3-1), 7 p.m.

head to head: Bow blanked Goffstown, 6-0, on Feb. 12.

Notes: Sure, the Falcons want to reach at least the final four, and, yes, Bow easily dispatched the Grizzlies a month ago, but Tim Walsh’s crew knows it can’t look past anyone. With that in mind, the Falcons bring the league’s second- and third-leading point scorers to the ice in Jake Rand (24 goals, 16 assists) and Chris Fournier (17-19), along with five other players who have scored at least five goals. Robbie Margeson (1.54 goals-against average, .941 save percentage) has been reliable all season in net. He and the Bow defense don’t have one particular Goffstown player to focus on, with Mason Mable (14-9), AJ Potvin (9-8) and Corey Kasiaras (9-4) the top scorers on a low-scoring team.

Division III quarterfinals

No. 6 Kennett (8-10-0) at No. 3 Belmont-Gilford (15-3-0), 4 p.m.

head to head: Belmont-Gilford swept the series, winning 6-2 in the season opener at home and 5-2 in Conway.

Notes: Belmont-Gilford started the season with 10 straight victories, not losing until the calendar turned to February. Still, the Bulldogs’ only losses were to top-ranked Berlin (twice) and No. 2 Souhegan, a team they beat to close the regular season. Caleb Drouin, the division’s fifth-leading goal scorer, paces the B-G offense with 21 goals and 10 assists, while Daryll Cahill (14-13), Andrew D’Amour (11-16) and Dylan Treamer (12-5) have all scored more than 10 goals. Goalie Calvin Davis (2.13 gaa, league-leading .908 save percentage) will be tasked with stopping a Kennett offense led by Brad Canavari (21 goals, 15 assists) and Nick Ansaldi (11-9).

No. 5 John Stark-Hopkinton (10-6-1) at No. 4 Portsmouth (11-4-1), 1:15 p.m.

head to head: The teams played two overtime games, tying the season opener, 6-6, and with John Stark-Hopkinton taking the return engagement, 5-4.

Notes: The defending champion Generals have improved steadily throughout the season and are now ready to aim for a second straight D-III title. Jake Blanchette (20 goals, 12 assists), Robbie Ferguson (14-11), Kyle Kolehmainen (12-9) and Cal Loos (10-15) are the leading scorers, with Josh Gagne posting a 3.35 gaa and .855 save percentage. Portsmouth counters with a powerful 1-2 punch of Aaron Rancourt (20-14) and Beau Arsenault (19-11).

No. 7 Laconia-Winnisquam (7-11-0) at No. 2 Souhegan (15-2-0), 5 p.m.

head to head: Souhegan beat the Wolfpack at home, 8-3, late in the season.

Notes: Laconia-Winnisquam and goalie Brayden Harriman (4.18 gaa, .893 save percentage) will need to be at their defensive best against Souhegan’s offensive juggernaut. The Sabers boast the second- and third-leading point scorers in the league in Joe Nutting (24 goals, 26 assists) and Mike Hayden (15-27), as well as three other players with at least 14 goals: Matt Wilson (21-13), James Wilson (16-12) and Alek Medic (14-14). Dakota Tyno, a former Concord High player, has 22 goals and 14 assists to lead the Wolfpack and rank fourth overall in D-III, while Matt Missert (12-14) is another scoring threat for Laconia-Winnisquam.

Boys’ basketball

Division II quarterfinals

No. 8 Kennett (14-5) at No. 1 Pembroke (18-1), 7 p.m.

Previous tournament games: Kennett edged No. 9 Hanover, 44-40. Pembroke rolled past No. 16 Souhegan, 63-45.

head to head: The teams did not meet during the regular season.

Notes: Pembroke’s title defense was an example in dominance, and the playoff opener was no exception as the Spartans eased by the Sabers. Pembroke, with six 70-point games during the season, can rack up the points, and Kennett has had trouble keeping up with the best teams in Division II, averaging only 44.4 points while going 1-4 against the class’s top seven teams. The Eagles won’t find scoring any easier against Pembroke, which has held all but three teams under 60 points. Patrick Welch (15 points against Souhegan) is the main cog in the Spartans’ offensive machine, while athletic forwards Kafani Williams (21 points), Cameron Taylor (12 points) and Dominic Timbas, all 6-foot-4 or taller, give Pembroke plenty of size in the frontcourt.

No. 5 Bishop Brady (14-5) at No. 4 Pelham (16-3), 7 p.m.

Previous tournament games: Bishop Brady stopped No. 12 St. Thomas, 67-53. Pelham ousted No. 13 Merrimack Valley, 57-41.

head to head: The teams did not meet during the regular season.

Notes: Last round’s victory helped steady the Green Giants, who entered the playoffs having lost three of their previous five games. They’ll need to stay sharp against a tough Pythons team that won 15 straight games before dropping the finale, then hit its stride again in a convincing win over the Pride. The Giants benefitted from balance in their opening round win, as guard Jourdain Bell (16 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists) and Joe Bell (eight points, nine rebounds, three steals) produced while center Aaron Svendsen had a career game with 27 points and eight rebounds. If Brady can continue to distribute the ball and get big games from its playmakers, a trip to the semifinals could be in their grasp.

Division III quarterfinals

No. 8 Mascoma (13-6) at No. 1 Hopkinton (18-1), 7 p.m.

Previous tournament games: The Hawks beat No. 16 Somersworth, 68-41. The Royals topped No. 9 Laconia, 59-43.

head to head: Hopkinton edged Mascoma, 52-47, on Jan. 24.

Notes: The Hawks’ winning streak reached 15 games with their victory over the Hilltoppers, which they sealed with a dominant second-half push. Now the focus shifts to a Royals squad that gave them a significantly tougher challenge in their lone meeting. The teams were tied at 35 after three quarters, and Luke Luneau’s clutch free throws in the final quarter helped the Hawks eke out the win. Luneau, with 15 points and 10 rebounds in the win over Somersworth, has been one of the team’s standout performers, along with Liam McNicholas (18 points last round) and Gabe Nichols (16 points against Mascoma). Wes Rose and Brian Hauschild lead a tenacious Hopkinton defense, one that will have to be clicking again to hold off charges from the upset-minded Royals.


High Schools: Merrimack Valley girls pull off improbable quarterfinal comeback

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

With :02 on the clock, her team down by two and a trip to the Division II semifinals at stake, Mary Mullen stepped to the line. She had to step away when Lebanon called timeout, but the extra time to think didn’t ice Mullen, it calmed her. “It definitely helped me to take a break and clear my head,” Mullen …

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