Previews of Local Schools’ NHIAA Playoff Matchups
High school tournaments today
Division III final
No. 7 Hopkinton (13-6-0) vs.
No. 1 Bow (18-0-1), 10 a.m.
HEAD TO HEAD: The Falcons earned 2-0 wins over the Hawks Aug. 28 and Oct. 5.
PREVIOUS TOURNAMENT GAMES: Hopkinton beat No. 10 Inter-Lakes, 6-0, No. 2 Belmont, 2-1, and No. 3 Campbell, 1-0. Bow beat No. 16 Stevens, 7-0, No. 8 Somersworth, 6-0, and No. 4 Raymond, 2-0.
NOTES: Bow will look to cap a perfect season against a team that beat it in the title games in 1998, 1999 and 2003. Of course, these players don’t remember those games, but the Falcons can lean on the championship games they’ve experienced the last two seasons, especially last year’s 2-1 final win against Campbell, the team Hopkinton beat in the semifinals. The Hawks played with the talented Cougars in the first half, hung on under duress for much of the second half, and took the win with seven minutes left off a corner kick from Courtney Benson, the team’s leading scorer. The Hawks are otherwise young up front, but they have a tough defense, centered by midfielder Meg Hemmerlein and backs Sabrey Montore and Caroline Sweny. They’ll have to contend with a Bow team loaded with offensive talent in the first and second units and with a defense that’s allowed just two goals all season. The Falcons are the favorites, but the same was true of the last two opponents Hopkinton has faced.
Division V semifinals
No. 3 Monadnock (6-2) at
No. 2 Kearsarge (7-1), 4 p.m.
HEAD TO HEAD: The Cougars beat the Huskies, 21-7, on Oct. 20.
NOTES: This figures to be another smashmouth game in North Sutton between two teams with physical defenses and ground-and-pound offenses. The Cougars did beat Monadnock just two weeks ago, but that game was even closer than its score. Kearsarge returned two interceptions for touchdowns, one 86 yards from Peter Allen (three interceptions for the game) for the first score, and the other 70 yards from Jordan Barthol as the Huskies were driving for a potential tying touchdown. The Cougars’ other score came from Ollie Gallo, who has emerged as the most productive runner in a deep Kearsarge backfield that also features Erik Hauck, Jacob Jones, Barthol and Allen, the quarterback. Like the Cougars, Monadnock wants to run the ball and will do so with a number of backs, led by seniors Dylan Lane and Jake Poulin. Kearsarge will counter with a defense that’s allowed just 12.5 points per game this season, goes six-deep on the defensive line and has speed and size at linebacker.
Division VI semifinals
No. 3 Campbell (7-2) at
No. 2 Franklin (7-2), 1 p.m.
HEAD TO HEAD: Franklin rallied to beat Campbell, 33-29, on Sept. 29.
NOTES: The Golden Tornadoes secured a pivotal victory in dramatic fashion the last time these teams met, as Bruce Carey’s 35-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Butterworth with two minutes to go allowed Franklin to complete a comeback from a 14-0 deficit. The Tornadoes have gotten a key player back since then, however, as Korey Parent returned late in the season to form a one-two punch in the backfield with Kody Benwell. Franklin’s also been riding the hot hand of Carey, who’s 6-1 as the starting quarterback. On the other side, the Cougars have looked vulnerable as of late, with two losses (one by 37 points) in their past five games after starting the season 4-0.
Meet of Champions
At Mines Falls, Nashua South H.S.
Start times: Girls 2:30 p.m.; Boys 3:20 p.m.
Area teams qualifiers: Girls: Concord, Coe-Brown (Division II champion), Hopkinton (Division III champion), Bow; Boys: Merrimack Valley, Hopkinton (Division III champion), Bow
Area individual qualifiers: Girls: Concord – Smita Boesch-Dining; Coe-Brown – Hannah Parker (Division II champion), Elisabeth Danis, Katie Scannell, Brooke Laskowski, Jessie Carney, Katelyn Terry, Meg Scannell; Hopkinton – Emily Calder, Sarah Nadeau, Katie Irwin, Emma Geiger, Shannon Nadeau; Kearsarge – Briggie Carr; Bow – Allie Krause, Hannah Weckstein; Boys: Concord – B.J. Smith (Division I champion), Pepper Smith; Coe-Brown – Jeremy Brassard (Division II champion), Lucas Fisher; MV – Colin Phillips, Vinny Tevnan, Brendan Polichronopoulos, Brandon McCoo; Bow – Andrew Weckstein, Kevin McCully; Sant Bani – Colby Clark; Hopkinton – Cam DeBrusk, Sam Smith, Declan Campbell, Cody Roberge, Alex Bostic; Kearsarge – Conor Terhune