Division IV Concord Christian makes a name for itself at Basketball Bash, Coe-Brown teams also make deep runs

  • Concord Christian senior Jake Turner (24) looks for a pass down low while Kennett’s Alex Clark defends during the boys’ basketball final of the 42nd Annual Mike Lee Holiday Basketball Bash at Farmington High School. Courtesy of Ball603.com

  • ABOVE: Coe-Brown’s Brady Kouchoukos, left, defends against Concord Christian’s Brode Frink. Photos courtesy of Ball603.com

  • Coe-Brown senior Jack Lano battles his way past a defender during the boys’ semifinal of the 42nd Annual Mike Lee Holiday Basketball Bash on Wednesday against Concord Christian. Courtesy of Ball603.com

  • Concord Christian senior Isaac Jarvis (left) goes up for layup against Kennett’s Evan Koroski during the final of the 42nd Annual Mike Lee Holiday Basketball Bash at Farmington High School on Thursday night, where they fell 55-46. Courtesy of Ball603.com

  • LEFT: Concord Christian sophomore Megan Muir (3) goes up for shot while being double-teamed by Kennett’s Hope Elias (10) and Sam Sidoti (31).

  • Coe-Brown senior Ellie Wolthuis, right, attempts to dribble around Kennett’s Kaylee McClellan during the girls’ championship game of the 42nd Annual Mike Lee Holiday Basketball Bash on Thursday night at Farmington High School. Kennett won the title game, 60-23. Courtesy of Ball603.com

Monitor staff
Published: 12/31/2021 11:46:41 AM

Concord Christian might be a Division IV basketball program, but the Kingsmen aren’t sneaking up on anybody. Not anymore.

D-II Kennett may have swept the titles at the 42nd Annual Mike Lee Holiday Basketball Bash – topping Coe-Brown in the girls’ final, 60-23, and Concord Christian in the boys’ final, 55-46 – but with impressive outings against teams in higher divisions, the Kingsmen showed they can compete with anybody.

Both programs from Coe-Brown Northwood Academy had deep runs as well, with the Bear boys falling to Concord Christian in the semifinals, 55-53, in a thrilling matchup that came down to the final possession.

The Lady Kingsmen were also one step short of the finals, losing to Kennett – the D-II runner-up last year – 58-52 in overtime. The victory gave the Eagles the top spot in Pool A and a place in the Bash championship game.

(For a complete list of tournament results, see page below.)

Led by All-Tournament Team freshman Brode Frink (nine points) and senior Isaac Jarvis (seven points), junior Ethan Young (nine points), junior Austin Spurr off the bench (10 points) and senior big man Jake Turner (six points), the Concord Christian boys led, 19-9, after the first quarter of Thursday night’s championship at Farmington High School. But Kennett senior guard Grady Livingston (30 points) drained four three-pointers in the second quarter to cut CCA’s lead to 31-29 at halftime and the Eagles led, 41-34, after three.

“We didn’t execute in the second half; some turnovers led to wide open 3s,” Concord Christian second-year head coach Eric Heizer said. “But overall, I was pretty pleased. You look at it at the beginning of the tournament and think, ‘OK, we’ll get three games,’ but five games in five nights with no practices is a lot. We’re not familiar with those opponents. We learned a lot on the fly and hung in there pretty well.”

That five-day stretch included victories over 2018 and 2020 D-IV finalist Newmarket (61-51), last year’s D-IV runner-up Portsmouth Christian (80-43) and D-III St. Thomas (64-47) before closing out the tourney with back-to-back games against D-II programs.

“(Concord Christian’s) inside-outside game, to have the size they have … it creates space,” longtime Coe-Brown head coach David Smith said. “Big guys usually don’t have that mobility around the rim, as well as being able to shoot outside. That causes problems.”

Jarvis stands at 6-feet-8, while Frink (6-4), Turner (6-4) and senior forward Colby Carlile (6-3) provide the Kingsmen plenty of height.

Spurr came off the bench when the Kingsmen starters were in foul trouble early, scoring seven points in the first half against a playoff-caliber D-II Kennett program (3-3 in NHIAA play). That speaks to the unique depth of this D-IV team.

“We’ve got a good variety where we can switch guys in and out,” Heizer said. “I’ve got a lot of roster flexibility. Last year we snuck up on some teams. This year we won’t be able to.”

The Concord Christian girls had a similar run, cruising to victories over D-III Inter-Lakes (71-16) and D-IV Epping (72-20) before coming up short to the eventual champion Eagles.

The Lady Kingsmen only have 10 girls on the roster (four of them eighth graders, two of them freshmen) but have four players averaging double figures – sophomore Megan Muir, freshman LilliCarlile and eighth graders Emma Smith and Sarah Muir.

Sarah Muir and Smith were named to the All-Tournament Team.

“Our girls are such fierce competitors; they’re selfless,” third-year head coach Rebecca Carlile said.

“I don’t have any player who wants to be the one who scores. … They’re willing to make the extra pass to get the better shot. … They were able to compete defensively, but that’s probably where we lost the game. Kennett has good size, a good inside game and they can shoot.”

The Eagles used those same strengths against Coe-Brown in the girls’ final, pushing the Bears around near the rim to take a 9-0 lead to open the game and shot lights out all over the floor to build a 20-4 lead after the first quarter and a 33-14 advantage at halftime.

Sydnie Chin (21 points) and KaleyGoodhart (12 points) were deadly shooting from 3-point land for the Eagles, while senior Ellie Wolthuis, sophomore KalinaKasprzak, and juniors Emma Broadstone, Alexis Cowan and Geneva Telehala all scored four points each for Coe-Brown.

“The tournament overall was very positive for us,” said Coe-Brown head coach Joe Vachon, who is in his eighth year at the helm of the program. “For us, the lack of varsity experience on the floor (made the difference). When you have a team like Kennett with that experience, it’s hard to replicate that with a team that hasn’t been there. That’s no excuse taking things away from what Kennett is.”

“We’ve had spurts where we’ve looked really good and we can compete and then other times we’re mentally lost and trying to figure out what’s happening. It’s a process. We need to face teams like Kennett in order to understand where we need to be. … The thing about my team that I really enjoy is they don’t get down. They move on from things pretty well.”

Smith viewed the Coe-Brown boys’ experience at the Bash with a similar mindset.

“We’re fortunate to be able to play four (extra) games. It helped us immensely for our foundation for the January marathon we have ahead,” Smith said, referring to the 12 games the Bears have in January due to the new consolidated schedule the NHIAA is implementing for most of its divisions this year. “We’d like to have been in one more game, but it was some good experience. We saw some development both offensively and defensively, rotations are getting better. We have our work cut out for us, but it was a good opportunity for some positive experience for the kids.”

Coe-Brown senior Jack Lano, senior Molly York and Kasprzak were named to the boys’ and girls’ All-Tournament Teams, respectively, while junior Brady Kouchoukous won the boys’ Individual Sportsmanship Award.

The Coe-Brown boys (1-3 in D-II) return to NHIAA action on Monday at home against Milford, while both the Concord Christian girls (5-0 in D-IV) and boys (3-0) also play on Monday on the road against Milford.

The CBNA girls (2-2) play Kennett in a rematch on Wednesday.




Preliminary round

St. Thomas 82, Nute 42

Holy Family 68, Profile 66

Epping 60, Newmarket 49

Kennett 65, Derryfield 46

Concord Christian 80, Ports. Christ. 43

Coe-Brown 62, Farmington 43

First round

Concord Christian 61, Newmarket 51

Epping 65, Profile 54

Portsmouth Christian 63, Inter-Lakes 41

Coe-Brown 63, Holy Family 33

Raymond 63, Nute 56

Derryfield 49, Farmington 48


Kennett 64, Epping 34

Concord Christian 64, St. Thomas 47

Portsmouth Christian 59, Raymond 36

Coe-Brown 65, Derryfield 48


Kennett 59, Portsmouth Christian 31

Concord Christian 55, Coe-Brown 53


Kennett 55, Concord Christian 46


Pool A

(Top team advances to final)

Kennett 65, Epping 7

Concord Christian 76, Inter-Lakes 17

Concord Christian 72, Epping 20

Kennett 71, Inter-Lakes 16

Epping 37, Inter-Lakes 22

Kennett 58, Concord Christian 52, OT

Pool B

(Top team advances to final)

Coe-Brown 49, Farmington 22

Littleton 44, Farmington 24

Coe-Brown 49, Littleton 34


Kennett 60, Coe-Brown 23

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