High schools: Concord can’t finish boys’ tennis semifinal upset against No. 1 Pinkerton

Monitor staff
Published: 5/25/2018 12:39:34 AM

DERRY – Halfway through Thursday’s Division I boys’ tennis semifinal, it didn’t look like No. 5 Concord would sneak past top-ranked and undefeated Pinkerton Academy. It looked like Concord would blow past the Astros. 

The Crimson Tide led on five of six singles courts, and the other match was on serve. But Pinkerton (16-0) used the resiliency it has shown all season and came back to take four of six singles points and an eventual 6-3 win for a spot in Tuesday’s final.

“Every single court was in play here for us today, but I think in the end Pinkerton had a little more experience and poise on the big points than we did,” Concord coach Dave Page said.

While the Tide (12-4) lost its top four from last year’s semifinal team, the Astros returned their top five from their 2017 semifinal squad. That experience helped Pinkerton pull out close wins earlier in the year against Concord (6-3 in the season opener), Exeter and five-time defending champion Bedford, a 5-4 win on May 16 that broke the Bulldogs’ 111-match winning streak. And that experience helped the Astros again on Thursday. 

“If you have a lot of guys that are young that can be tough on them, so bringing back guys that have played a lot of matches is a huge advantage,” Pinkerton coach Brian Hashem said. “And I think that showed up in their resiliency. They get down but they know they’re not out of it and they keep battling, and they did an excellent job of that today.”

Early on, Concord’s young guys were playing beyond their years. Winsor Bean – who wasn’t even on the team last year, never mind in the top six – raced out to a 6-1 lead against Conor Jowett at No. 6 and finished off an 8-3 win.

After dropping the first game against Jowett, Bean adjusted the strategy he used in his quarterfinal singles win on Wednesday against Dover. Instead of pressuring the net, he stayed back and forced Jowett into making mistakes. The plan worked and the Tide took a quick 1-0 lead.

As Bean finished off his win, Concord was building leads on courts two through five. Ethan Crandlemire was up 6-3 on No. 2, Liam Grennon held a 6-2 lead on No. 3, Anders Norton led 4-3 on No. 4 and Nate Levine was up 3-2 on No. 5.

Pinkerton tied the team score when Seb Tonini pulled away at the end to take an 8-5 win at No. 1 against Kevin Neary. It stayed that way for about 10 minutes before three matches ended at nearly the same time, and none of them brought good news for the Tide. Henry Andrews outlasted Norton for an 8-6 win on No. 4 while John Marineau (9-7 at No. 2) and Henry Su (8-6 at No. 3) pulled off major comebacks.

“(Marineau) just started playing his game, he was playing (Grennon’s game), but he turned that around,” Hashem said. “And Henry Su started moving (Crandlemire) around the court. (Crandlemire) is a great player, he gets everything back, and the way you have to play against someone like that is move him around and be aggressive at the right spots, and Henry pulled that off in the end.”

That left Levine, who had fallen behind Jeff Marquis at No. 5, 6-5. But Levine stayed steady and strong while Marquis lost his legs, and the Concord senior pulled out a 9-7 win in front of the full crowd to keep the Tide alive for doubles.

“We had some opportunities in the singles that we didn’t take advantage of and that cost us, but I still felt like we had a chance going into doubles,” Page said.

Those chances felt a lot better after Crandlemire and Jon Shamash rolled to an 8-0 win at third doubles. Crandlemire refocused his energy after the tough singles loss and was all over the court, while the 6-foot-6 Shamash imposed his will at the net.

Just like in singles, Concord held leads on all the doubles courts midway through the matches. And just like in singles, the Astros adjusted and rose to the occasion. After trailing, 3-2, at second doubles, Pinkerton’s Su and Andrews ran off five straight games against Levine and Grennon before claiming an 8-4 win that sealed the match.

“Our guys started to lose some confidence and the other kids gained confidence, you could see that in the way they played,” Page said.

Concord’s Neary and Norton held a 6-5 lead at first doubles before falling to Tonini and Marineau, 8-6, for the final score.

The near misses were hard to take for the Tide, but the semifinal appearance, the team’s eighth straight, should ease that pain.

“I’m not happy with the result today, but I can’t say I’m disappointed with the season,” Page said. “The kids grew a lot. We had two great senior leaders (Neary and Levine) that we’re going to miss, but I think if we can replace the leadership they provided we’ll be in a position to be back here again next year.”

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


Merrimack Valley 10, St. Thomas 6

Key players: MV – Brian Nylen (win, 6⅔ IP, 5 K), Caleb Heath (2-for-3, 3 runs, 2 RBI), Cal Chevarie (2-for-3, RBI)

Highlights/key moments: After allowing a pair of runs in the first, Nylen settled down and scattered six hits over the next five innings. Chevarie struck out the final batter of the game to earn the save. The Pride posted six runs through the first two innings, highlighted by RBI hits from Alan Thompson and Nylen. MV plated three more in the third with most of the damage done by Caleb Heath’s double to left-center. Chevarie plated the final run in the sixth with a double that brought home Heath.

Coach’s quote: “Playing with our backs against the wall seems to bring out the best in us. The kids battled all day and earned this win.” – MV’s Sean Wheeler

Records: MV 7-9; St. Thomas 7-8

Pelham 1, Pembroke 0

Key players: Pembroke – Cole Hapgood (6 IP, 4 H), Justin Legere (2 hits), Jared Murray (2 hits)

Highlights/key moments: Pelham scored one run in the third and it was enough to put away the Spartans.

Records: Pelham 8-7; Pembroke 6-10

Winnisquam 2, Franklin 0

Key players:Winnisquam – Jack Beaulieu (complete-game win, 1 H, 10 K; 4-for-4, 2 doubles, winning RBI single); Franklin – Harrison Clark (complete game, 9 K, 8 H)

Highlights/key moments: Winnisquam plated two runs in the seventh inning to capture the win. In the seventh, Nick Snyder singled, moved to second on an errant pickoff attempt, and scored on Beaulieu’s single to left field. Michael Allard scored an insurance run when he stole third and scored on a wild pitch. Clark broke up Beaulieu’s no-hitter with a leadoff single in the sixth inning.

Coach’s quote: “Jack was outstanding. He was ahead most of the day with 21 first-pitch strikes and had a day at the plate, too. We battled against a tough pitcher; Harrison threw a great game, too. Now we wait to see if we get in.” – Winnisquam’s Fred Caruso

Records: Winnisquam 6-11; Franklin 2-14

Inter-Lakes 9, Kearsarge 8

Key players: Kearsarge – Levi Wilson (2-for-4, 2 runs), Tyler Crawford (1-for-2, 2 walks, 2 runs, RBI), Brendan Akpan (2-for-4, 2 RBI), Noah Grey (2-for-3, 2 runs)

Highlights/key moments: Kearsarge took a 8-7 lead in the top of the seventh and Inter-Lakes won it in the bottom on a two-RBI single, closing out the Cougars’ season. Inter-Lakes has one more game at Newfound on Friday.

Coach’s quote: “We had several chances to take command of the game and we would just give it right back. It’s the way the season has been, we would get solid leads in a lot of games, but our defense was never crisp or sharp enough to keep the lead. We never found the ways to win the tight games. Hopefully, we all learn from these situations and get better over the summer and into next year.” – Kearsarge’s Travis Pelletier

Records: Inter-Lakes 11-4; Kearsarge 3-16

Pittsfield 10,
Portsmouth Christian 0

Key players: Pittsfield – Jesse MacGlashing (3-for-3, 3 runs), DJ Zensky (2-for-2, 4 RBI, double), Kyle Stockman and Casey Clark (combined pitching for 2-hit shutout)

Highlights/key moments: The Panthers made quick work of Portsmouth as Garrett Guerrero-Hadley, Cam Darrah and Casey Clark all scored in the first inning. The Panthers scored two more in the second on a two-RBI single by Darrah. The Panthers kept the scoring going with three more in the third and ended the game on a two-RBI single by Zensky in the fifth to win via mercy.

Coach’s quote: “I was very happy with the way we played. We played a very quick, clean game. Our pitchers were very efficient and pounded the strike zone.” – Pittsfield’s Rob Stockman

Records: Pittsfield 14-1; Portsmouth Christian 4-11

Bishop Brady 11,
Hillsboro-Deering 9

Key players:Bishop Brady – Alex Andrews (win, 4⅓ IP, 2 ER), Max Lamora (hit, 2 RBI, run), Ismael Rivera (2 hits, 2 RBI, run), Pat Brust (double, RBI, 2 runs); H-D – Jack Ferguson (2 hits, RBI), Thomas Ferguson (3 hits, 4 RBI), Sawyer Jones (2 hits, 2 RBI)

Highlights/key moments: Brady trailed 2-0 in the top of the second, but exploded for seven runs and a 7-2 lead highlighted by a two-RBI single from Lamora. H-D answered back with six runs in the bottom of the third to take an 8-7 lead. Brady scratched out a run in the fourth to tie it and added two runs in the sixth on a triple from Andrews and an RBI single from Kevin Anderson. Andrews shut the door pitching scoreless baseball the rest of the way to seal the win.

Coach’s quote: “We battled all day just like we have battled all year. Proud of the kids to finish 10-6 in the regular season with the schedule we have had. Hoping this win will get us a home game in the first round of the tournament.” – Brady’s Skip Foy

“Bishop Brady played a great game today and earned this win.” – H-D’s Erik Hagstrom

Records: Bishop Brady 10-6; H-D 7-8


Merrimack Valley 11, St. Thomas 1

Key players: MV – Lauren McLaughlin (3-for-3, 2 RBI), Haleigh Boutwell (2 RBI, double), Meghan McGonagle (3-for-3, 2 RBI), Sadie Barton (7 IP, 0 ER, 8 K, 3 H)

Highlights/key moments: The Pride scored seven runs in the fourth and ran away to earn the win.

Coach’s quote: “Good win to keep us on a roll heading into the tournament.” – MV’s Sam York

Records: MV 8-8; St. Thomas 12-4

Winnisquam 2, Franklin 0

Key players:Winnsquam – Carly Catty (2-for-2, home run, triple, walk); Chloe Colarusso (2-for-3, run), Natalie Deshaies (1-for-3, RBI), Aubrey St. Onge (win, 3 K, 4 H); Franklin – Felicity Defosses (2 hits), Meghan Johnston (10 K, 2 BB, 5 H)

Highlights/key moments: Catty hit a solo home run in the first for an early 1-0 lead. Franklin threatened with bases loaded in the sixth and no outs, but a double play turned by Winnisquam helped keep Franklin scoreless.

Coach’s quote: “This was our best game of the year defensively and we cut a down a run at the plate in the sixth on a perfect relay throw from Mariah Haney to Hannah Hicks. Unfortunately, Winnisquam’s outfielders made several outstanding catches to take away potential hits.” – Franklin’s Skip DuBois

Records: Winnisquam 8-8; Franklin 11-5

Inter-Lakes 14, Newfound 10

Key players:Inter-Lakes – Julia Gintoff (grand slam), Jade LaSalle (3-for-4); Newfound – Hayleigh Pabst (3-for-4, triple), Caroline Marchand (3-for-4, double), Kylee MacDonald (2-for-4, 2 doubles, defense), Tiffany Doan (double), Kasey Basford (double), Skyler Torsey (double)

Coach’s quote: “It wasn’t the outcome we had hoped for but we have to give credit to Gintof for pulling out that clutch grand slam. Thank you to our seniors Bethany Basford, Kylee MacDonald and Victoria Roman for a great season and for their contributions to NRHS both academically and athletically.” – Newfound’s Kelly Meegan

Records: Inter-Lakes 2-14; Newfound 5-11

Portsmouth Christian 24,
Pittsfield 17

Key players: Pittsfield – Megan Callicoat (3-for-5, 2 runs, double), Emily Thomspon (2-for-4, 2 runs), Mia Clough (2-for-4, 2 runs, double)

Highlights/key moments: Pittsfield came alive in the fourth with 10 runs on eight hits. The Panthers continued their offensive surge in the fifth with Kianna Vincellete and Destine Ellis crossing the plate. The Panthers kept it going with four more runs in the seventh.

Coach’s quote: “Our departing seniors did great in their final appearance in a Panther uniform. Our younger Panthers looked promising and look poised to fill the holes left next season.” – Pittsfield’s Jay Darrah

Records: Portsmouth Christian 8-7; Pittsfield 0-18

Bishop Brady 34,
Hillsboro-Deering 7

Key players: Bishop Brady – Abby Santis (6-for-6, 6 runs, 4 RBI, double), Jamie Cookingham (4 hits, 3 runs, 5 RBI, double, triple), Halle Laramie (4 hits, 4 runs, 9 RBI, 2-doubles, homer), Ami Rivera (4 hits, 3 runs, 4 RBI, double, triple), Aniecia Vargas (4 hits, 4 runs, 3 RBI, double), Jayden Johnson (relief win, 4 IP, 1 ER, K, 0 BB; 3 hits, 3 runs, 3 RBI), Kaitlyn Gleason (3 hits, 3 runs, 3 RBI, double), Jess Beeso (3 hits, 4 runs, RBI), Sara LoPresti (4 walks, 3 runs, RBI)

Highlights/key moments: Bishop Brady scored seven runs in the first inning, five in the second, six in the third, 10 in the fourth and six in the fifth for the win.

Coach’s quote: “This was a rainout make-up game that started very sloppy allowing six runs in the first inning. (Thursday) the sun was shining, the bats came alive and we made all the plays in the field.” – Brady’s Freddy Rivera

Records: Bishop Brady 10-6; Hillsboro-Deering 3-12


Nashua North 18, Concord 9

Key players: Concord – Maggie Connolly (2 G), Maria Armaganian (2 G), Madelyn Farrelly (G), Brenna Vandersea (G), Christina Soule (G), Nicole Toler (G), Fabi McLeod (15 saves)

Coach’s quote: “The team stayed tough throughout the entire game. We had a few dips where they were able to score but we had solid defensive play, seamless transitions in the midfield and well-executed offensive play.” – Concord’s Steph Johnson

Records: Nashua North 5-10; Concord 4-11

Bow 13, Bishop Brady 10

Key players: Bishop Brady – Sam Will (6 G, 11 DC), Abby Tremblay (2 G), Abby Sharpf (G), Molly Levesque (G), Emma Windsor (strong goaltending)

Coach’s quote: “Brady lacrosse gave 120 percent (Thursday). Emma Windsor was outstanding in net and had many key saves. Sam Will’s leadership and game play was outstanding.” – Brady’s Katherine Stearns

Records: Bow 11-2; Brady 7-6

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