High Schools: Bow boys, Bishop Brady girls Cap Area Holiday hoops champs

  • Bishop Brady’s Ami Rivera (32) scores two of her 12 points over Merrimack Valley’s Aislinn McDonald (11) during Tuesday’s Capital Area Holiday Tournament girls’ basketball championship game at NHTI. Bishop Brady beat MV 61-50 to win its fourth-straight Cap Area Holiday title and Rivera was named the tournament MVP for a third straight year. RICH MIYARA / NH Sports Photography

  • Bow sophomore Matt Lamy (10) goes up strong in a crowd during Tuesday’s Capital Area Holiday Tournament boys’ basketball championship game against Bishop Brady at NHTI. Bow won 63-45 to claim the first Cap Area Holiday title in program history and Lamy finished with 23 points and was named the tournament MVP. RICH MIYARA / NH Sports Photography

  • Bishop Brady’s Halle Laramie flips in two of her 10 points early in Tuesday’s Capital Area Holiday Tournament girls’ basketball championship at NHTI. Bishop Brady beat MV 61-50 to earn a fourth-straight title. RICH MIYARA / NH Sports Photography

Monitor staff
Published: 12/31/2019 7:19:44 PM
Modified: 12/31/2019 7:19:27 PM

Teaching often takes priority over winning during holiday tournaments. But what the Bow boys’ basketball team needs to learn is how to win, and that’s exactly what the Falcons did at the Capital Area Holiday Tournament with Tuesday’s 63-45 championship win against Bishop Brady.

“Last year we were in a lot of close wins, and our whole focus early on this year has been on learning how to win,” Bow coach Frank Moreno said. “We needed to learn how to win against good teams, so that was the biggest thing for us here, getting that experience, being in some tight games, playing through adversity and closing out games.”

On the girls’ side, Bishop Brady has holiday winning locked down. The Green Giants’ 61-50 championship game win against Merrimack Valley gave them four straight Cap Area Holiday titles. It was the first ever Cap Area Holiday title for the Bow boys’ team.

“That’s a big deal,” Moreno said. “I’m excited for the program, I’m excited for the school and I’m definitely excited for the kids.”

Bow sophomore point guard Matt Lamy finished with a game-high 23 points and five assists and was named tournament MVP.

“We haven’t even won a game in this tournament in a while, so it was important for us to win,” Lamy said. “We just needed some confidence and that gave us a good confidence booster.”

Ben Harris had 13 points and 14 rebounds for the Falcons and Shaun Lover finished with 10 points. Both were named to the all-tournament team along with Lamy.

“I thought any of them could have been MVP, and then Nick Kiah was a little quiet tonight (seven points), but he played two great games for us,” Moreno said. “And then Steven Guerrette had 15 points againt Concord, so I really loved our balance.”

That balance is helped by unselfish play.

“We strive to get as many assists as we can, and I think we’re doing that pretty well right now,” Lamy said.

The Falcons were sharing the ball as they opened up a 15-6 lead in the first quarter, but the Giants responded with a 7-0 run to close the quarter that was powered by Ishmael Rivera (16 points, four rebounds) and Tommy Fraser (eight points), who were also both on the all-tournament team along with Hopkinton’s Kevin Newton-Delgado.

The 6-foot-5 Harris used his size advantage down low to create for himself and other in the second quarter as Bow took a 32-25 lead into halftime.

Lamy scored nine of his 23 in the third quarter as the Falcons pushed their lead to 44-34. The Giants (0-1 in D-II) were still within striking distance in the fourth, but they shot just 18.2 % in the quarter.

“I liked our defense in this game,” Lamy said. “I think we took five or six charges, and that's something we’ve really been working on.”

Like the Bow boys, the Brady girls were in control were in control of their championship game from the start.

Brady’s Riley Marsh scored 10 of her game-high 18 points in the first quarter as the Green Giants (2-1 in D-II) jumped out to a 22-15 first-quarter lead on their way to the 61-50 win.

Merrimack Valley cut the lead to two, 32-30, by halftime and stayed close in the third, but Marsh scored five more in the fourth as Brady pulled away for its fourth straight holiday title.

“Riley Marsh had a great game,” Brady coach Annie Mattarazzo said. “She’s a kid that’s going to do all the grunt work, but when she’s been left open she’s been hitting some big shots and she hit some huge shots for us today,”

Playing their best in the first and fourth quarters has been a theme for the Giants this season.

“We have this trend where we start strong and we finish strong,” Mattarazzo said. “So, what we’re going to work on at practice is staying strong in the middle, staying mentally focused and competitive.”

Ami Rivera shot just 3-for-14 from the floor, but the Brady junior was 4-for-4 from the free throw line and finished with 12 points, nine rebounds, four assists and four steals, and she won her third consecutive tournament MVP award.

“Ami didn’t have her best game, but she just grinds it out,” Mattarazzo said.

Libbey Hicks had 10 points and 10 rebounds for Bishop Brady, and Halle Laramie had 10 points and six rebounds. In all, 11 Giants saw playing time.

“I think we learned the value of every player on our team and how important that is for us to be really productive by the end of the season,” Mattarazzo said. “It wasn’t pretty in these three games, we didn’t shoot well and I took some deep breaths as a coach, but as a staff we were watching and learning and our players were learning, and that’s what the holiday tournament is all about.”

Alyssa Woodman and Mackenzie McDonald each had nine points for MV (1-1 in D-II) while Aislinn McDonald added eight points.

Brady’s Marsh and Hicks were named to the girls’ all-tournament team along with Rivera, MV’s Miah Boucher and Hayley Kenney, and John Stark’s Chelsea Woodsum.

(Tim O’Sullivan can be reached at 369-3341 or tosullivan@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @timosullivan20)

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