High schools: Bishop Brady girls’ basketball tops Concord in Cap Area semifinals

Monitor staff
Friday, December 29, 2017

This is not the same Bishop Brady girls’ basketball team that won the Capital Area Holiday Tournament a year ago. Sam Will, the 2016 tourney MVP, is out with an injured wrist. Riley Bennett, a 1,000-point scorer and All-Tournament team selection last year, has graduated.

The revamped Green Giants started two freshmen and a sophomore in Thursday night’s Cap Area semifinal against Concord, a Division I team that had huge size advantages over D-II Brady at most positions. It took the Giants time to get over some nerves and find their touch, but in the end the gutsy, fast-paced Brady team pulled away for a 65-52 win.

“I liked the grit, the fight,” Brady coach Annie Alosa said. “I asked them to prove to me with their eyes, because body language is a big thing for me, that they wanted to win and they deserved to be there, and they did that.”

The Green Giants (2-1 in D-II) will look for a second straight Cap Area crown when they face Merrimack Valley, the 2015 champs, in Friday’s 5:30 p.m. final at NHTI.

“We always want to come in here and keep making a statement that Brady is a team to watch,” said senior Lauren Roy, one of the familiar faces from last year’s team who finished with 14 points and seven rebounds on Thursday.

The Crimson Tide (1-3 in D-I) is in its first year under coach Tim LaTorra, and the new head man is already seeing signs of progress.

“I’m proud of the effort. If you look at where we were the first two games of the season to where we are now, I think we’ve grown leaps and bounds,” LaTorra said. “When teams went on runs before, we’ve gone away from the challenge. Tonight, (Brady) was shooting lights out and playing quickly, and I thought for the most part, with the exception of a two-minute stretch, we countered their runs with runs, and we weren’t doing that three weeks ago.”

Unfortunately for Concord, the stretch where it didn’t respond came in the fourth quarter. After an aggressive drive and layup from the Tide’s Caroline Clark (seven points), things were tied, 43-43, with 7:05 left on the clock. But the Giants went on a 9-0 run from there to create a cushion they would ride to the win.

Brady senior Sarah Doherty, an All-Tournament team selection last year, struggled to find her shooting touch for the first three quarters, but she started the key run with a free throw and a 3-pointer. After that it was freshman Ami Rivera (10 points, nine rebounds) hitting a pull-up jumper and then grabbing an offensive rebound and feeding Kaylee Smith (game-high 18 points) for a layup.

Concord’s Ashley Kelley (10 points, four rebounds) eventually ended the run with a 3 to bring the Tide to within six, 52-46, with 3:21 remaining. But just nine seconds later, Smith answered with a statement jumper to let the crowd at NHTI know the Giants weren’t going to let this one slip away. That bucket started a 9-2 run that effectively closed the door.

“Shooters got to shoot,” Alosa said of Smith, who finished 8-for-16 from the field, including 2-for-4 from beyond the arc. “I was a shooter, so Kaylee and I have a pretty special bond right now.”

The Giants opened the game with an 8-0 run, but the Tide fought back behind 3-pointers from Kacie Maloney (13 points, nine rebounds) and Kelley and held an 11-10 lead after the first quarter. Concord’s Jada Duvert scored seven of her 11 points in the second quarter while Brady’s Doherty scored seven of her 14 points in the back-and-forth frame that ended with the Giants taking a 28-26 lead into the locker room.

“Our coach told us at halftime to go in there and get it because this is our championship to take again,” Roy said. “So we just came together as a team, made sure we passed the ball around, had good communication and worked hard.”

In the first semifinal, MV beat Pembroke Academy, last year’s runner-up, 51-46. The Pride (2-2 D-II) trailed, 36-31, after three quarters, but outscored the Spartans (2-2 in D-II), 20-10, in the fourth to claim the win.

MV senior Abby Grandmaison shot just 3-for-15 from the field, but she went 13-for-15 from the line to finish with a game-high 20 points to go along with nine rebounds. Carly Huckins had 15 points, eight rebounds and three assists for the Pride, which also got eight points and five boards from Lauren Pettingill and six points from Sara Osborne.

Brooklyn Zanis had 17 points and nine rebounds to lead Pembroke. Ciera Clark (eight points, six rebounds) and Olivia Langevin (seven points, 10 rebounds) also had solid games for the Spartans.

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


Belmont 60, Winnisquam 37

Key players: Belmont – Julianna Estremera (23 points, 7 assists), Mackenzie Donovan (2 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists), Morgan Hall (10 points, 8 rebounds), Elaina Hoey (14 points, 10 rebounds)

Highlights/key moments: The Raiders earned a convincing win over the Bears in the Lakes Region Holiday Tournament on Wednesday.

Records: Belmont 2-4 in D-III; Winnisquam 0-6 in D-III

Coe-Brown 59, Manchester West 9

Key players: Coe-Brown – Ahna McCusker (20 points), Val White (7 points, 10 rebounds), Sydney Neuman (12 rebounds), Mary Thoms (8 points), Sydney Gast (5 points)

Highlights/key moments: Tough defense helped lift Coe-Brown to a dominant win over a young West team.

Coach’s quote: “West put in good effort from start to finish. We needed a win like this for us. We worked on some things that we haven’t been doing, which should help us in our future games.” – Coe-Brown’s Joe Vachon

Records: Coe-Brown 1-2 in D-II; West 0-5 in D-II

St. Thomas 69, Pittsfield 23

Key players: Pittsfield – Katie Rollins (12 points, 4 rebounds, 4 steals)

Highlights/key moments: Pittsfield kept it close in the first quarter trailing St. Thomas by five, but the Saints pulled away for a 27-8 lead at halftime.

Coach’s quote: “We had a great first quarter and did a great job at slowing them down but it didn’t last long and we couldn’t keep up for the rest of the game.” – Pittsfield’s Heidi Hall

Records: St. Thomas 3-2 in D-III; Pittsfield 1-3 in D-IV


Kearsarge 65, Hopkinton 47

Key players:Kearsarge – Tayler Mattos (21 points, 16 rebounds), Tommy Johnson (20 points, 6 rebounds); Hopkinton – Zach Signor (14 points)

Highlights/key moments: Kearsarge is heading back to the finals in the Capital Area Holiday Tournament after defeating the Hawks on Thursday. The Cougars dominated play under the basket, forcing Hopkinton out to the perimeter but the Hawks struggled to find second-chance opportunities.

Records: Kearsarge 3-0 in D-II; Hopkinton 4-0 in D-III

Concord 62, Bow 46

Key players:Concord – Scott Lampron (15 points), Tyler Blodgett (15 points), Tyler Bruns (13 points), Rylan Canabano (10 points), Jacob Knowles (4 assists, defense); Bow – Shaun Lover (12 points, 5 rebounds)

Highlights/key moments: The Tide held Bow to three points in the fourth quarter to secure a bid in the finals and a rematch of last year’s championship against Kearsarge. Concord was 7-for-15 from 3-point range and shot 47 percent from the field.

Records: Concord 2-0 in D-I; Bow 1-1 in D-II

Pembroke 66, Merrimack Valley 62, 3OT

Key players: Pembroke – Jake Sherman (18 points), Shea Shackford (13 points), Noah Cummings (10 points), Jack Lehoullier (10 points)

Highlights/key moments: Pembroke mounted a 15-point lead by halftime, but the Pride answered back with strong play in the second half to force overtime. Sherman and Shackford hit big shots in overtime to push MV over the edge and seal the win for the Spartans.

Coach’s quote: “We didn’t play well in the third and fourth quarters, but we slowed it down in overtime and got the win. It was a great game of basketball for both teams.” – Pembroke’s Rich Otis

Records: Pembroke 1-1 in D-II; MV 2-0 in D-II

Bishop Brady 51, John Stark 48

Key players: John Stark – Kyle Hagman (14 points), Chase Patterson (6 points), Parker McQuarrie (6 points, 9 rebounds)

Highlights/key moments: Bishop Brady got the best of the Generals in this tight consolation game at NHTI’s Capital Area Holiday Tournament.

Coach’s quote: “We almost got a shot off at the buzzer. Brady did a very nice job. We struggled in shooting all-around and at the free-throw line, where we were 3-for-11.” – John Stark’s Mike Smith

Records: Bishop Brady 0-2 in D-II; John Stark 1-1 in D-II

Mamaroneck (N.Y.) 73, Coe-Brown 39

Key players: Coe-Brown – Kyshaun Rowell (12 points), Scott Spenard (9 points, 6 steals), Ben Watson (6 points), Brendan Eaton (5 points, 10 rebounds)

Highlights/key moments: The Bears will face Smithfield (R.I.) Friday at 5:30 p.m. for third place at Keene State.

Records: Coe-Brown 1-0 in D-II

Belmont 36, Laconia 29

Key players: Belmont – Matt Thurber (11 points), Matt Pluskis (10 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists), Griffin Embree (8 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals)

Highlights/key moments: Belmont earned its return to the championship round at the Lakes Region Holiday Tournament with this win over Laconia. In the defensive end, Embree caused chaos for Laconia’s guards. He later hit a key 3-pointer in the fourth quarter after Laconia had cut the lead to five points. Nate Sottak pulled down a couple big offensive rebounds and chipped in a few assists to take control and seal the game.

Coach’s quote: “Griff has been the player of the tournament for us so far. He’s controlled pace, applied defensive pressure, scored, assisted on baskets, and been our undeniable leader on the floor and in timeouts. Couldn’t be prouder of his development into a floor general.” – Belmont’s Jim Cilley

Records: Belmont 2-1 in D-III; Laconia 2-1 in D-III

Pittsfield 80, Franklin 60

Key players: Pittsfield – Garrett Guerrero-Hadley (27 points), Cam Darrah (17 points), Matt St. George (11 points), Dylan Bocash (10 points)

Highlights/key moments: Pittsfield broke open a one-point lead at halftime with 21 points in the third quarter, plus another 18 points in the fourth that allowed the Panthers to coast into the semifinals in the Mike Lee Holiday Bash.

Coach’s quote: “I was very happy with how we shared the ball today. We made the extra pass and didn’t settle for contested shots.” – Pittsfield’s Jay Darrah

Records: Pittsfield 3-0 in D-IV; Franklin 0-2 in D-III


Concord 8, St. Thomas-Winnacunnet 3

Key players: Concord – Lilly Vezina (3 goals), Sarah Morin (1st goal of the season), Abby Corbett (21 saves),

Highlights/key moments: The Tide bounced back from two shutout losses with a victory at home.

Coach’s quote: “The coaching staff was very pleased with how our team came out after not playing for a week. They shook the rust off quickly by scoring on the first shift, then settled in defensively. The team is happy to be back at .500, playing the type of hockey we want to play.” – Concord’s Patrick McDonough

Records: Concord 2-2; St. Thomas 1-1


Hanover 4, Concord 2

Key players: Concord – Colin Kastle (goal), Mike Stoddard (goal), Drew Livingston (assist), Derek Kelleher (assist), Alex Forward (assist), Parker Taylor (32 saves)

Highlights/key moments: Concord jumped out to a 1-0 lead 2:52 into the game, but Hanover answered to tie it 1-1 at the end of the first period. Hanover dominated the second period, taking a 4-1 lead into the third period. Concord scored a late goal to make it 4-2.

Coach’s quote: “Hanover is a good team and our mistakes were exposed tonight. We need to clean up our own end and defend better.” – Concord’s Dunc Walsh

Records: Hanover 3-0; Concord


Concord second, Coe-Brown fifth

Key players: Concord – Dalton Mutz (1st 55 dash in 6.69 seconds), Forest MacKenzie (1st 1,500 in 4:19), Josh Adams (3rd 600), Nate Hillyer (4th high jump), Matt O’Brien (5th 1,000), Ryan Devine (6th 1,000), Brayden Kearns (6th 1,500), 4x200 (2nd), 4x800 (2nd); Coe-Brown – Orion Clachar (1st 55 hurdles in 7.89, 4th 55 dash), Porter Heigis (2nd 600), Evan Tanguay (4th 1,500), 4x800 (3rd); Kearsarge – Ben Corbyn (1st high jump at 6-0)

Highlights/key moments: Mutz and MacKenzie each won events to lead the Tide to second place in a 19-team meet at Dartmouth. MacKenzie’s time in the 1,500 was just .02 ahead of the runner-up, Joe Gagnon of Pinkerton. Pinkerton (82 points) won the meet by nearly doubling Concord (43). Merrimack (30), Keene (28) and Coe-Brown (25) were the other top five teams. Kearsarge tied for 13th with six points, all of them coming from Corbyn’s win in the high jump.

Merrimack Valley first

Key players: MV – Camden Donovan (1st high jump at 5-6, 2nd long jump), Matt Reynolds (1st 1,500 in 4:33), Isaiah Shedd (1st 600 in 1:32), Matt Lyle (1st 1,000 in 2:54), Alex Kusnarowis (1st shot put in 37-5), Christian Oglesby (2nd 600), David Reynolds (2nd, 3,000, 3rd 1,500), Tanna Valliere (2nd shot put), Dylan Lessard (3rd 55 hurdles, 3rd shot put, 5th 300), 4x400 (1st), 4x200 (2nd); Pembroke – Tyler Serafin (3rd 55 dash, 6th shot put), Josh Crandall (4th 3,000), 4x400 (3rd), 4x200 (4th); Gilford – Michael Wernig (5th 600), Josh LaFrance (6th long jump); Bishop Brady – Joey Bergeron (10th shot put)

Highlights/key moments: The Pride won six of 12 events to win seven-team meet at Plymouth State on Wednesday. MV (97) topped D-I Winnacunnet (87), Spaulding (41), Pembroke (23), Goffstown (14) and Gilford (3). Bergeron was the lone competitor for Bishop Brady. Lyle, Lessard, Oglesby and Shedd formed the winning 4x400 for MV, while John Barger, David Quinn, Oglesby and Herman Nixon comprised the runner-up 4x200.


Coe-Brown fifth, Concord 17th

Key players:Coe-Brown – Kathleen Collins (1st shot put in 36-3.5), Addison Cox (3rd, 1,500), 4x800 (1st in 10:15), 4x400 (5th); Concord – Katelyn Jelley (5th long jump), Sarah Zarakotas (6th 1,000); Kearsarge – Mya Dube (8th 1,500)

Highlights/key moments: The Bears tallied 26 points to finish fifth in a 19-team meet at Dartmouth. St. Johnsbury Academy (Vt.) won with 67 points while Bishop Guertin (36), Pinkerton (34) and Hanover (27) were the top four teams. Concord tied for 17th with three points. Kearsarge competed, but did not score.

Merrimack Valley second

Key players: MV – Kaitlyn Covell (1st 300 in 46.06, 2nd 55 hurdles), Theresa Irving (1st high jump at 4-8), Elizabeth Williams (1st shot put in 24-1), Addie Hodge (3rd high jump, 4th long jump), Rebecca Williams (3rd 55 hurdles), Nicole Considine (4th 300, 5th 55 hurdles), 4x200 (2nd), 4x400 (3rd); Bishop Brady – Anna Grafton (1st 1,000 in 3:28); Pembroke – Julia Valotto (4th high jump), Riley Kennedy (3rd 1,500), Avery Gamache (4th 1,500), 4x200 (4th), 4x400 (4th); Gilford – Madison Relf (1st 3,000 in 13:43), Natalie Fraser (3rd 55 dash, 3rd 300)

Highlights/key moments: The Pride won three events and put together solid relays to finish second in an eight-team meet at Plymouth State on Wednesday. D-I Winnacunnet (84) was the only team to top MV (64). Spaulding (59), Pembroke (27), Gilford (16), Bishop Brady (6), Goffstown (6) and Plymouth (5) rounded out the team scores. Covell, Considine, Tabitha Nugent and Hodge made up the second-place 4x200 and Rebecca Williams, Considine, Irving and Madison Palmer made up the third-place 4x400.