High schools: Hopkinton edges Conant in battle of D-III boys’ basketball contenders

  • Hopkinton’s Caleb Yianakopolos fires a shot from the outside in the first half on Thursday in Contoocook. He scored 13 of his team-high 15 points in the second half. Rich Miyara / NH Sports Photography

  • Caleb Yianakopolos (2) drives by Conant’s Connor Hart (22) and takes the ball to the basket in the first half. Rich Miyara / NH Sports Photography

  • Hopkinton’s Tyler Allen (11) goes up for a shot on Thursday in Contoocook. The Hawks earned a 43-40 victory over the Orioles to remain undefeated in D-III play. Rich MiyaraNH Sports Photography

  • Hopkinton’s Caleb Yianakopolos (2) drives the baseline around Conant’s Aaron Rich (2). Rich Miyara / NH Sports Photography

  • Hopkinton’s Daniel Minor (5) makes a 3-pointer late in the game as Hopkinton mounts a comeback. Rich Miyara / NH Sports Photography

  • Hopkinton’s Kevin Newton-Delgado (32) brings the ball up the court as Conant’s Jake Drew (4) defends. Rich Miyara / NH Sports Photography

  • Hopkinton’s Kevin Newton-Delgado (32) takes a shot in front of a full Hopkinton student section. Rich Miyara / NH Sports Photography

Monitor staff
Published: 1/10/2019 11:57:34 PM

They trailed most of the way, but when it counted most, Caleb Yianakopolos, one of two players on the Hopkinton boys’ basketball team with significant varsity experience, made his shot count.

Yianakopolos, a senior forward, drained a 3 with 1:35 remaining to break a 38-38 tie to lift the Hawks (7-0) to a 43-30 victory over perennial Division III contender Conant (5-2) to claim sole possession of first place.

A solid defensive effort for three quarters allowed Hopkinton’s offense some time to warm up and Yianakopolos dominated his home floor, dropping 13 of his team-high 15 points in the second half, nine of them in the fourth quarter.

“He’s been our energy and big part of our team offensively and defensively,” Hopkinton head coach Stephen Signor said. “We were struggling a little bit offensively in the first half, we changed our defense with a minute left in the first quarter ... I knew if we held them on defense our shots would start to fall and that’s what happened in the second half.”

Conant, winners of nine D-III titles plus two runner-up finishes since 2000, took a 16-9 lead after the first quarter, but the Hawks stymied the Orioles’ offense in the second quarter and kept the margin within seven points, 21-14, at halftime.

The shots started falling in the second half with Yianakopolos, Kevin Newton-Delgado (12 points), Daniel Miner (nine points), Shepyrd Murdough (five points) and Michael Baer (two points) trimming the deficit to 31-27 heading into the fourth.

Despite outscoring Conant, 16-9, in the final quarter, Hopkinton didn’t take its first lead until there were about three minutes left in the game.

The Orioles took advantage of a technical foul by the Hawks to tie the game, 38-38, before Yianakopolos connected on the game-winning 3 with 1:35 left.

Conant scored a basket to cut Hopkinton’s lead to one point, 41-40, but Miner made a pair of free throws in the final minute to extend the lead.

Peyton Springfield led Conant with 17 points.

“It’s a great confidence win,” Signor said. “We didn’t have a lot of guys with varsity experience (at the beginning of the season). They’ve been gaining confidence each game. We still have a lot of games ahead of us, but they’re working hard.”

Next up for the Hawks is a showdown at second-place Campbell (5-0) on Tuesday. The Cougars are the only undefeated team remaining in D-III, aside from Hopkinton, and are responsible for Conant’s other loss, another three-point decision (54-51) on Dec. 18.

Boys’ basketball

Merrimack Valley 52,
Sanborn 44

Key players: MV – Kyle Dube (21 points), Griff Wheeler (20 points)

Highlights: The Pride outscored the Indians, 13-2, in the second quarter to build a 30-19 halftime lead, but Sanborn outscored the Pride, 19-8, in the third quarter to tie the game, 38-38, heading into the final frame.

Coach’s quote: “We were sluggish, not sharp. We played well enough to win.” – MV’s Tim Mucher

Records: MV 6-1; Sanborn 1-6

Girls’ Basketball

Kearsarge 55, Milford 22

Key players: Kearsarge – Meg Roy (16 points, 7 rebounds ), Caroline Camp (8 points), Erin Wheeler (14 rebounds, 4 points)

Highlights: The Cougars started the game fast with a 17-1 first quarter and ended up leading 34-6 at halftime.

Coach’s quote: “Our team played Kearsarge basketball tonight. We played together as a group, moved the ball really well and made a lot of shots early. It has been a work in progress and tonight we are seeing the dividends of our work. Just have to keep moving forward with this effort and teamwork. This was a complete team win and I’m very proud of the girls, but it is on to the next game for us.” – Kearsarge’s Keith Roberts

Records: Kearsarge 2-4; Milford 2-5

Pelham 42, Pembroke 30

Key players: Pembroke – Lindsay St. Jacques (13 points, 10 rebounds), Madison Gaskell (17 rebounds, 4 blocks, 4 points), Cierra Hill (8 points, 3 steals)

Highlights: The Spartans hung tough with an aggressive Pelham team, despite being down two starters, and kept the deficit to single digits until the end of the fourth quarter.

Coach’s quote: “I’m really proud of how our kids stepped up tonight. Looking to take this momentum and energy into next week.” – Pembroke’s Michaela Champlin

Records: Pelham 5-4; Pembroke 2-6

Hinsdale 62, Pittsfield 26

Key players: Pittsfield – Haylee Gilleney (11 points), Cora Lemay (4 points, 5 rebounds, 4 steals)

Highlights: The Pacers jumped out to a 19-2 first-quarter lead over the Panthers and never looked back.

Coach’s quote: “I’m proud of how hard the girls played. (Hinsdale is) a good team and we could have easily just given up.” – Pittsfield’s Heidi Hall

Records: Hinsdale 9-0; Pittsfield 1-8


Concord 49, Salem 24

Key players: Concord – Ethan Comeau (win by pin at 120), Trey Fortier (win by pin at 132), James Bonnell (9-8 win at 138), Khan Amiri (win by pin at 145), Nick Bunch (16-6 win at 152), Tyler Simpson (win by pin at 170), Isaac Gladey (win by pin at 182), Joe Streeter (win by forfeit at 220), Noah Giffard (pin at 285)

Highlights: The Tide emerged victorious in a dual meet on the road against the Blue Devils, the toughest opponent Concord has faced in a dual meet so far this season.

Record: Concord 11-0

Campbell 42, Bow 34

Key players: Bow – Alex Boufford (win by major decision at 170), William Zachistal (forfeit win at 285), Wyatt Reinhardt (forfeit win at 106), Skylar Hattendorf (forfeit win at 120), Zack Anderson (forfeit win at 132)

Highlights: Despite a short-handed roster, the Falcons kept it close against the Cougars in a dual meet on Wednesday.

Coach’s quote: “We had a couple guys banged up tonight. To keep it as close as we did with four forfeits is pretty impressive.” – Bow’s Brock Hoffman

Boys’ Alpine ski

Bow 1st, Pembroke 6th

Key players: Bow – Jonathan Cook (2nd), Connor Wachsmuth (4th), Benjamin Wachsmuth (6th), Eli Gabois (10th); Pembroke – Logan Raymond (21st), Jackson Frazier (32nd), Harry Army (37th), Ben Sporcic (48th); Portsmouth – Tristan Hamilton (1st)

Highlights: The Falcons remained undefeated in their inaugural D-II season by sweeping an eight-team giant slalom meet at Crotched Mountain. Bow (382 points) topped Souhegan (366), Portsmouth (358.5), Hollis Brookline (348), ConVal (338), Pembroke (305.5), Wilton-Lyndeborough (173) and Milford (151).

Girls’ Alpine ski

Bow 5th, Pembroke 6th

Key players: Bow – Megan Lavigne (4th), Carolyn Johnson (20th), Madeline Soucy (34th), Abigail Hutcheson (46th); Pembroke – Katherine Muise (19th), Alyssa Merrill (25th), Hannah Brown (35th), Lauren Simmons (37th); Hollis Brookline – Stephanie Menard (1st)

Highlights: The Falcons (334 points) and Spartans (321) finished fifth and sixth, respectively, in an eight-team giant slalom meet at Crotched Mountain. ConVal (376), Hollis Brookline (371), Portsmouth (361) and Souhegan (359) were the top four teams, while Bow and Pembroke topped Conant (77) and Milford (76).

Boys’ Nordic Ski

Kearsarge 2nd, Belmont 10th

Key players: Belmont – Zach Ennis (3rd); Kearsarge– Ben Boulton (7th), Trevor Pauling (8th), Tom Lick (12th), Steven Williamson (14th)

Highlights: Division III Kearsarge held its own against D-II powers Kennett (first) and Lebanon (third) in a season-opening 5K freestyle race at Proctor. The Cougars finished just 10 points behind the Eagles in the 12-team meet.

Coach’s quote: “I was really looking forward to seeing our guys skiing against some of the best skiers in the state today and they did a great job. So impressed with sophomore Steven Williamson’s job today. He had a great race.” – Kearsarge’s Kevin Lee

Bow 3rd, Hopkinton 4th

Key players: Bow – London Warburton (3rd), Sam Berube (5th), Kirpal Demian (13th), Luca Demian (16th); Hopkinton – Theodore Mollano (2nd), Michael Eggers (8th), Ryan Hughes (14th), Parker Wuellenweber(22nd)

Highlights: The Falcons and Hawks finished third and fourth, respectively, in a meet at Waterville Valley. Only eight points separated the top four teams, Inter-Lakes (369), Moultonborough (368), Bow (367) and Hopkinton (361). Derryfield (335), Souhegan (324) and Profile (90) rounded out the team scores.

Coach’s quote: “The boys remain consistent in their performance. We need to work on decreasing the spread between them. It is still early in the season, so there is plenty of time to bring them together a little more.” – Hopkinton’s Rob Rothe

Girls’ Nordic ski

Kearsarge 1st

Key players: Kearsarge – Lili Baer (3rd), Marlia Richer (6th), Marliese Baer (8th), Jenna Bears (9th)

Highlights: The D-III Cougars placed four skiers in the top nine to win an 11-team meet at Proctor against D-II powers Kennett (second) and Lebanon (third). All of Kearsarge’s competitors raced well, especially on a tough downhill section that caused several falls.

Coach's quote: “The girls did a great job today. So impressed with the performance that Marlia put together today. She attacked the tough downhill and was able to really fly on the flats.” – Kearsarge’s Kevin Lee

Hopkinton 1st, Bow 4th

Key players: Hopkinton – Emma Rothe (1st), Lily Sabol (5th), Francie Trafton (6th), Lilia Klingler (8th); Bow – Brianna Boone (17th), Isabelle Dolcino (19th), Elizabeth Parker (20th), Tessa Thomas (23rd)

Highlights: The Hawks dominated a meet at Watervile Valley, placing five skiers in the top 10 to win by 20.5 points. Hopkinton (384) defeated Inter-Lakes (363.5), Moultonborough (351), Bow (338.5), Bishop Guertin (337), Souhegan (304), Derryfield (177) and Profile (94).

Coach’s quote: “The girls had another great race this week and showed some good depth out there. They are a tight-knit team and always find a way to have fun in all conditions.” – Hopkinton’s Rob Rothe

Boys’ Hockey

Trinity 4, Bow 0

Key players: Bow – Jason Howe (38 saves)

Highlights: The Falcons were shut out by the Pioneers on Wednesday night.

Records: Trinity 4-2-0; Bow 0-6-1

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