Boys’ basketball: Concord falls in familiar fashion to Merrimack in overtime

Monitor staff
Saturday, January 13, 2018

The script, unfortunately for the Concord High boys’ basketball team, is eerily similar. The Crimson Tide had two home games this week that were not played on its home court. The Tide controlled both games early, gave up second-half leads in both and then lost both by one point in overtime.

The latest heartbreaker for Concord (2-3) was a 58-57 loss against Merrimack (3-2) on Friday at Merrimack Valley High School. The gym floor at Concord High is still under repairs for water damage, which is why the Tide has played these home games away from home. On Tuesday Concord lost to Londonderry in overtime, 53-52, at Rundlett Middle School.

“Tonight was a carbon copy of the game against Londonderry,” Concord coach Dave Chase said. “We just self destructed.”

The Tide held a nine-point lead midway through the fourth quarter on Friday against the Tomahwaks. But Merrimack’s Owen Ploss scored 11 of his game-high 22 points in the fourth quarter while Concord was missing free throws, just like it did against Londonderry.

The Tide was 18-for-28 from the free-throw line on Friday, and went 8-for-12 in the fourth quarter. Not terrible numbers, but not good enough in a tight game against a quality team.

Still, Concord held a late three-point lead until the Tomahawks hit a 3-pointer to tie things at 50-50 with nine seconds left. The Tide then threw away the inbound pass, but Concord senior Tyler Blodgett came up with a steal of his own and fired a 35-foot 3-pointer at the buzzer that could have won it, but went off the back rim instead.

The Tomahawks took a quick lead in overtime as their shots just kept falling, no matter who was taking them, “Their coach told me one of the kids who scored in overtime, it was his first bucket of the season,” Chase said. The Tide clawed back and had the ball with six seconds left in overtime and a chance to win, but an open man was missed on an inbound play and Concord had to face another tough loss.

“We had plenty, plenty, plenty of opportunities, and we’re playing pretty good basketball against some good teams – Londonderry was undefeated when we played them,” Chase said. “We’re giving it all we have, we just can’t seem to get over the top with a win.”

John Kalisz, who also led Concord in scoring on Tuesday, finished with a team-high 13 points and eight rebounds on Friday. Tyler Bruns also had another good game with 12 points and eight rebounds. Ryan Canabano had 11 points and four assists for the Tide, while Jacob Knowles led the defensive effort. The Tide led 14-6 after the first quarter and 22-15 at halftime before the Tomahwaks surged after the break, taking a 33-31 lead into the fourth.

The Tide will try and write a new script on Tuesday against Bedford (2-2) in another “home away from home” game at Rundlett.

“It’s frustrating that we can’t finish,” Chase said, “but we’ll keep battling.”


Oyster River 56, Bow 55

Key players: Bow – Ryan Andrews (23 points), Ben Guertin (11 points)

Highlights/key moments: The Falcons had a fast start and held an eight-point lead at halftime, but the second-place Bobcats secured the win with 19 points in the fourth quarter.

Coach’s quote: “Another really tough loss. We’ve shown we can play with the best teams in D-II. We just have to learn how to win. The first half was the best we’ve played all season.” – Bow’s Frank Moreno

Records: Oyster River 5-1; Bow 1-4

Kennett 58, John Stark 54, OT

Key players: John Stark – Parker McQuarrie (13 points, 15 rebounds), Chase Patterson (14 points), Troy Gamache (12 points)

Highlights/key moments: The Eagles made a shot with 20 seconds left in regulation to tie the game, 46-46, and the Generals’ shot at the buzzer rimmed out. The Eagles outscored John Stark, 12-8, in overtime. Kennett had a 17-12 first-quarter lead and a 26-22 halftime lead, before the Generals went ahead, 35-32, going into the final frame.

Coach’s quote: “Chase scored all of his points in the second half and overtime. He led the charge in the third quarter.” – John Stark’s Mike Smith

Records: Kennett 2-4; John Stark 2-2

Mascoma 60, Franklin 49

Key players: Franklin – Jayden Torres (28 points), Harrison Clark (12 points), Jakob Beaupre (18 rebounds, 6 points)

Highlights/key moments: Mascoma went on a 22-13 second-quarter run. Franklin outscored the Royals, 21-16, in the fourth, but couldn’t completely catch up.

Coach’s quote: “The loss by 11 doesn’t show just how hard a game we played. Playing three freshmen in a regular rotation shows a good future and Jayden Torres, D-III’s leading scorer, had the crowd excited with his 28 points. I was extremely impressed by the play of freshman forward Jakob Beaupre with 18 rebounds and an overall great effort.” – Franklin’s Michael Donnell

Records: Mascoma 2-4; Franklin 0-6

Monadnock 57, Winnisquam 34

Key players: Winnisquam – Gunnar Horman (13 points), Kyle Mann (10 points)

Highlights/key moments: After falling behind, 25-10, in the first quarter, the Bears went to a zone defense that slowed down the dribble penetration from the Monadnock guards. The change worked and the Bears got the lead down to eight points in the third quarter, but the Huskies pulled away in the fourth when they stalled and forced Winnisquam out of its zone.

Coach’s quote: “Monadnock is a solid squad, but if there was a shot clock we could have stayed in the zone and maybe things would have been different. The kids did some decent things tonight, we just have to keep getting better.” – Winnisquam’s Kevin Dame

Records: Winnisquam 1-6; Monadnock 7-2