High schools: MV boys pick up first win of the season
Merrimack Valley's Justin Williams reaches to catch a pass during the game against Kearsarge on Monday, December 23, 2013 at Merrimack Valley High School. MV beat Kearsarge 59-34.
(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)
Kearsarge's Carter Noordsij rushes past Merrimack Valley's JT Driscoll in the game between the schools on Monday, December 23, 2013 at Merrimack Valley High School. MV beat Kearsarge 59-34.
(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)
The Merrimack Valley and Kearsarge boys’ basketball teams, both winless coming into last night’s matchup, put it all on the line, but in the end, the Pride (1-2) used its size to its advantage and played outstanding defense for a 59-34 victory on its home floor over the Cougars (0-3).
MV got to work early, taking a 17-8 lead after the first quarter, using a press to stifle Kearsarge’s offense.
“We decided to come with more pressure. We shied away from it in the first couple of games, we thought we were too big,” MV Coach Kevin O’Brien said.
Guards Cole Remillard (10 points, three steals) and J.T. Driscoll (10 points) played well in the pressing strategy on both ends of the floor to help build and defend the lead, but the Cougars responded in the second quarter.
Zach Mattos (14 points), Carter Noordsij (nine points, five rebounds, three assists) and James Bromwell (five points) led a Kearsarge offense that outscored MV, 9-7, in the second quarter and cut the lead to seven points for a large part of the frame.
“We made a nice run in the second quarter … rebounding, making stops, that was a big difference,” Kearsarge Coach Nate Camp said. “I knew that the defense and rebounding battle would be the key to winning the game.”
Led by forwards Justin Williams (15 points, 11 rebounds) and Ryan Head (12 points, eight rebounds), MV outrebounded the Cougars 24-17 and held them to five fourth-quarter points.
“I thought they did a good job mixing up the defenses; they killed us on the glass,” Camp said.
The offense also impressed, dropping 17 and 18 points in the third and fourth quarters despite valiant efforts from Mattos (six blocks, four rebounds) and Bromwell (five rebounds) down low against larger opponents.
“We ran our set plays off of their zone very well. They were patient with the ball and I thought we used our size to our advantage tonight,” O’Brien said.
The win not only snapped the season-opening losing streak for MV, but also gave O’Brien his first victory in many years after a coaching hiatus.
“It was an honor to coach against Kevin O’Brien,” said Camp, adding that it was nice to renew the MV-Kearsarge rivalry with the Cougars now playing in Division III and the Pride in Division II.
There will be plenty of local rivalries later this week when the annual Capital City Classic comes to NHTI. The Pride takes on John Stark (0-3) at 5:30 on Thursday, while the Cougars take on Concord (1-1) in the next matchup at 7.
Pembroke 89, John Stark 35
Pat Welch scored 31 points to lead the Spartans (3-0) to a big home win over the Generals (0-3). Pembroke scored 20-plus points in each period while holding John Stark to single-digit point totals in three of four quarters.
Welch added nine boards, while Jordan Williams had 22 points and eight rebounds. Max Curran put in 12 points and had six boards.
Egan Nickerson was the leading scorer for Stark with 11 points, Parker Welsh had six points, and Drew McQuarrie led the Generals in rebounding with six.
Winnisquam 68, Bow 44
The Falcons (1-2) held a 19-16 lead after the first quarter, but the Bears (1-1) responded by hitting the boards and hitting 3s en route to a win on the road.
“We controlled the glass a little bit better. They got a ton of points in the first half off offensive rebounds,” Winnisquam Coach Kevin Dame said. “We forced them to take the shots that they probably didn’t want to take. Once we started rebounding better they didn’t get as many inside buckets.”
Christian Serrano was the team’s top rebounder, grabbing six boards, while also filling up the stat sheet with 15 points (including two 3-pointers, five steals and six assists. Torrey Martinez (22 points, five steals) was the game’s high scorer and shot 4-for-9 from 3-point range. Mike Buxton (11 points) and Spencer Pevine (nine points, two 3s) also played well.
Bow was led by Matt Sanford (18 points) and Nate Alford (12 points).
Merrimack Valley 74, Kearsarge 27
The Pride (3-0) rode a 24-6 scoring advantage in the first quarter to cruise to a road win over the Cougars (2-4).
Mayson Kimball led MV with 19 points and added seven boards, while Mary Mullen scored 16 points and grabbed seven rebounds. Olivia Thurber (11 points, six steals) and Cassidy Huckins (11 points, four assists, four steals) both played well.
Kearsarge’s high scorer was Anna Cahill with seven points.
Pembroke 57, John Stark 25
The Spartans improved to 3-1 with a decisive win at home.
Strong defense again was the catalyst for Pembroke, holding John Stark (0-3) to four first-quarter points while scoring 22 of its own. The Generals outscored the Spartans in the second quarter to bring the score to 28-13 at halftime, but Pembroke responded with a strong third quarter, outscoring the Generals 21-5 and holding John Stark to seven points in the final frame.
The Spartans won the rebounding battle, 23-18, and forced 26 turnovers while only committing 14.
Winnisquam 51, Bow 37
The Bears (2-2) got a quick start and didn’t look back, knocking off the defending champions on their home court.
“This is a big win for Winnisquam, to go to (Bow’s) gym and be the underdog and do what we did was a great statement for our program … We can play against anybody,” Winnisquam Coach Amy Dutton said.
The Bears took a 17-2 lead after the first quarter thanks to an effective pressure defense that pushed the tempo and made the Falcons (3-2) play Winnisquam’s game. The game was back and forth after that, with Winnisquam holding a 15-point lead at halftime (29-14) and after the third quarter (41-26).
“We were prepared for a Bow push … to the girls’ credit, we never relinquished the lead,” Dutton said.
The Falcons played well around the perimeter, hitting nine 3-point shots, but couldn’t close the gap.
Hannah Chapin (18 points, 12 rebounds) played well around the basket at the forward and center positions and Rachel Willcutt (10 points, seven rebounds) played well at point guard and executed play down the stretch. Kaylee Howard (eight points, three steals) effectively used her speed and played tenacious defense, as did Kendra Lonergan and Tea Michaloski.
Concord 48, Manchester Memorial 10
The Tide (4-1) won nine of 11 bouts en route to a solid win on the road over Manchester Memorial (0-2).
Connor Stadnicki (106), Brandon Simpson (132) and Alex Christie (195) won by pin, while Ian Wagner (160) won a 10-6 decision. George Tarwo (182) “stayed mentally focused and wrestled hard,” according to Concord Assistant Coach Nick Zeras, in a narrow 2-1 decision.
Alex Kamau (138), Christopher Munnell (145), Calvin Crowell (170) and Jake Linquata (106) won by forfeit.
Bow 10, Timberlane 3
Jake Rand and Chris Fournier scored two goals each to lead the Falcons (3-0) to a road victory over winless Timberlane (0-3).
Rand added three assists in a strong offensive day for Bow, which had four goals in the first period and three each in the second and third.
Nate Corriveau was a force defensively, and goaltender Robbie Margeson had a solid night, but Bow Coach Tim Walsh still sees room for improvement after the Falcons gave up goals for the first time in the young season.
“Positionally, we still have some work to do,” Walsh said.
BOYS’ NORDIC SKIING
Warren Bartlett of Bishop Brady and Matthew Doyle of Merrimack Valley teamed up to take first place in the Gunstock Nordic Relays held last Wednesday.