Previews of local schools’ NHIAA playoff matchups
High school tournaments today
Division III semifinals
No. 3 Bishop Brady (18-2) vs. No. 2 Bow (19-1), 6 p.m.
HEAD TO HEAD: Bishop Brady topped Bow, 43-24, in the season opener Nov. 30, but the Falcons earned a 45-31 win Dec. 29 and a 42-27 victory Feb. 1.
pREVIOUS TOURNAMENT GAMES: Bow beat Inter-Lakes, 28-20, then beat Laconia, 58-30. Bishop Brady cruised past Franklin, 56-29, before topping Hopkinton, 46-34.
NOTES: There’s no mystery in this matchup, as the Falcons and Green Giants have battled three times already this season. Bow has appeared to gain the upper hand, as the Falcons, after getting overwhelmed by Brady’s up-tempo offense in the season opener, figured it out in a pair of easy victories in December and February. The Giants were hardly alone; the rest of the Division III competition has found it difficult to stop the Falcons, who have won 19 straight since dropping that contest to Brady. A big reason for their success has been the 1-2 punch at guard in Lindsey Nerbonne and Ashlie Tucker, and the Giants will have their hands full again as Nerbonne is averaging 11 points per game against Brady and Tucker scored 12 in the Feb. 1 win. Brady will need big games from Taylor Ong (12.6 points per game), Sarah Thomas (9.5) and Natasha Velez (8.1) if it wants to stop the streaking Falcons and make its first-ever championship game.
Division I first round
No. 10 Concord (6-10-2) at No. 7 Pinkerton (10-8-0), 4 p.m.
HEAD TO HEAD: Pinkerton swept the regular-season series, winning 5-1 at home in early January and edging Concord, 3-2 in overtime, a week and a half ago.
NOTES: Concord heads to the Ice Den in Hooksett hoping to uphold the old adage that it’s tough to beat a team three times in a season. The Tide came much closer in the rematch, leading 2-0 midway through the second before the Astros tied it and eventually pulled out the win in OT. The key for Concord will be finding the back of the net. The Tide has struggled offensively throughout the season, averaging just 2.1 goals per game. Seniors Braden Smith (11 goals, five assists), Mitchell Hayes (six goals, eight assists) and Harrison Murphy (five goals, nine assists), and junior Adam Godbout (seven goals, 12 assists) are the team’s top scorers and will need to pop a few in to help support freshman goalie Ben Nelson (2.62 goals-against, .876 save percentage) and the defensive core of Colin Stevens, Tim Weinhold, John Clary and Bradley Sargent. Dominic Corsetto (16 goals, 17 assists) is the Astros’ leading scorer, with Giovanni Corsetto and Connor Brady having 10 goals apiece.
Division II first round
No. 10 Pembroke-Campbell (8-9-1) at
No. 7 Oyster River (8-5-5), 8 p.m.
HEAD TO HEAD: The two teams played to a 1-1 tie Jan. 12.
NOTES: Not much was decided when these teams played to a deadlock over a month ago, and the teams come into today’s game from different situations. Pembroke-Campbell is trying to rediscover its groove after closing its season with three straight losses, while the Bobcats are 3-1-1 in their past five games. The task at hand for the Pembroke-Campbell defense isn’t an easy one, as it’ll have to find a way to stop Griffin Sperry, the Oyster River forward who has 15 goals in 16 games played this season and six in his last three, as well as teammate Patrick McDonough, who notched a team-high 17 assists and 23 points. Pembroke-Campbell counters with an inconsistent offense that has scored four or more goals eight times but has also been held to a goal or less six times. The team will need contributions from Jonathan Donaghey, Cade Lacroix and Marcus Bessette if it hopes to score the upset on the big ice at UNH’s Whittemore Center.