High schools: Bishop Brady girls’ basketball team shows grit, confidence vs. MV

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  • Merrimack Valley guard Alyssa Woodman (left) walks off the court as Bishop Brady’s Ami Rivera (center) and Marissa Payne celebrate their win on Saturday. Woodman had a team-high 11 and the Pride led for most of the game, but the Giants pulled out 50-48 win. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff

  • Bishop Brady’s Isabella Rivera still controls the ball even after being tripped up against two Merrimack Valley defenders during the second half on Saturday. Brady pulled out a late 50-48 victory, retaking the lead with 53 seconds left. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff

  • Bishop Brady’s Riley Marsh (center) is sandwiched between Merrimack Valley defenders during the second half on Saturday. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff

  • Bishop Brady guard Ami Rivera (right) goes up against Merrimack Valley guard Alyssa Woodman for a rebound in the second half. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff

  • Bishop Brady forward  Marissa Payne’s puts back a rebound with 53 seconds left to give Brady the lead late in the fourth quarter as Merrimack Valley’s Alyssa Woodman defends. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff

  • ABOVE: Merrimack Valley’s Caleb Heath works around Bishop Brady guard Gabe Amnott (left) and forward Connor Raposo (30) during the first half of Saturday’s Division II boys’ basketball game at Bishop Brady. MV won 52-39 to improve to 2-2.BELOW: Bishop Brady’s Riley Marsh (center) is sandwiched between Merrimack Valley’s Aislinn McDonald (left) and Mackenzie McDonald (right). GEOFF FORESTER photos / Monitor staff

  • Merrimack Valley forward Caleb Heath splits Bishop Brady defenders Ismael Rivera (left) and Connor Raposo during the first half at Brady on Saturday. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff

Monitor staff
Published: 1/11/2020 10:35:28 PM

The Giants took a lead in the second minute of the game, and then didn’t lead again until the last minute. But in between, the Bishop Brady girls’ basketball team looked confident on Saturday against Merrimack Valley.

“We felt like we had it the whole game,” Brady junior Ami Rivera said, “we just needed to play our game, play as a team.”

Turns out the Giants (4-2) were right to be confident. Marissa Payne’s offensive rebound put-back with 53 seconds left gave Brady the late lead and then two free throws from Halle Laramie (game-high 18 points) helped ice a 50-48 win.

“Our kids have grit and competitiveness, and they like to win, and I think those three intangibles pulled it out for them today,” Brady coach Annie Mattarazzo said. “They believe in themselves as a team. I think some individual confidence was a little off today after some missed free throws and missed layups, but they have confidence in our system and in our team, and that really helped.”

It was a tough loss for the Pride (3-4), which was playing its fourth game in five days but looked ready to pull off an unexpected win.

“We threw out a stinker (Friday) night at Stevens, so I thought when we came here we were going to be in big trouble based on our legs and our mental fatigue,” MV coach Bob McNutt said, “but I thought our girls played an outstanding game. They shocked me, to be honest with you. They really battled and I’m just very proud of them.”

The themes of playing together, grit, battling and pride were fitting for this game, which was part of a day-long event to help fight cancer.

Three years ago, the Merrimack Valley basketball programs and community were felt cancer’s impact when coach and former player Dave Huckins and father of a player Rod Osborne both lost their fight with cancer within months of each other. Those events inspired the Bishop Brady community to support MV with a fundraiser that has now become a tradition.

This is the first year the event was held at Brady and it featured four basketball games (JV and varsity for both girls and boys) and raffles and silent auctions with the prizes donated by local businesses and organizations ... or knitted by Suzy Seagroves, the Brady teacher and cancer survivor who is famous for her hand-made hats. All of the proceeds from the games, raffles and auctions will go to the Payson Center for Cancer Care in Concord.

“It’s been an awesome day, and having it at our facility gets you a little deeper,” said Mattarazzo, who is also the Brady athletic director, as she put a hand over her heart. “The donations and the community support has been overwhelming. Applause to my mom, Kelly, who has really helped spearhead this, and to our booster programs and everyone else who helped bring all this together.”

“The crowd was great, it’s a rivalry game with MV and Brady, and four games in a row, it’s just great,” Rivera said.

Both teams started off cold with Brady shooting just 3-for-16 in the first quarter and MV going 5-for-19 to take a 12-7 lead after one.

The Pride pushed that lead to 22-13 late in the second with a balanced scoring attack and stingy defense. Six different MV players scored in the second, including three off the bench, and the Pride’s 3-2 zone defense was forcing misses from Brady’s outside shooters. But Laramie finally got going at the end of the second, hitting a corner 3 and then converting an and-1 as the Giants cut MV’s lead to 26-22 by halftime.

The Pride maintained its edge for the entire third quarter and deep into the fourth. But with 1:31 left, Brady sophomore Isabella Rivera (seven points) grabbed an offensive rebound and drained a short jumper to cut her team’s deficit to one at 47-46. Then Payne (nine points) converted her offensive rebound into points to give the Giants a 48-47 lead with less than a minute to go.

Merrimack Valley had two possessions to tie or take the lead after that, and even had a trip to the free throw line for a 1-and-1 opportunity, but nothing would fall. Laramie hit a pair of free throws with :07.3 on the clock to make it 50-47.

MV’s last-gasp 3 wouldn’t fall, although Pride senior Lauren Pettingill grabbed the offensive rebound and was fouled. She hit the first and intentionally missed the second to give MV a chance at a tip-in to tie, but it was too much to ask.

“It was a great game and Brady is a great team, and this is a great rivalry and a great day for our schools,” McNutt said. “It would have been a huge confidence booster for us to win this, but I think we still come out of this game with some things to feel good about.”

Alyssa Woodman finished with 12 points for MV, Mackenzie McDonald had 10 and Macy Gordon and Jadyn Holmes had six each. Ami Rivera finished with 12 points for Brady.

Merrimack Valley ended the day with a win when the Pride boys claimed 52-39 win against Brady. MV junior Matt Grandmaison hit four 3-pointers and finished with 16 points, and sophomore Eli Gove had 11 points for the Pride (2-2).

The Giants (0-4) will look for their first win on Tuesday night when Kennett (2-1) comes to Concord. MV has another local rivalry game on Tuesday when Bow (3-1) pays a visit to Penacook.

Girls’ Basketball

Hollis Brookline 49, Bow 42

Key players: Bow – Taylor Burnham (21 points, 3 steals), Ellie Pingee (9 points, 8 rebounds), Jessica Chamberlin (6 rebounds)

Highlights: Burnham scored 13 of her 21 points in the second half to help get the Falcons’ offense rolling on Friday night.

Coach’s quote: “Bow was struggling on offense in the first half. In the first quarter Bow only scored two points. In the second half Bow got the offense rolling and at one time was down by two and had to start fouling.” – Bow assistant Al Douglas

Records: Hollis Brookline5-0; Bow 2-3

Fall Mountain 59, Hopkinton 31

Key players: Hopkinton – Katie Meserve (13 points, 15 rebounds), Fiona Beane (6 points, 4 assists)

Highlights: The Wildcats broke open a close game in the third quarter with a barrage of 3-pointers en route to a win on Friday night.

Coach’s quote: “We ran into a very good team who shot the ball very well. We had lots of opportunities ourselves but it wasn’t our night.” – Hopkinton’s Pat Roye

Records: Fall Mtn. 7-1; Hopkinton 6-2

Boys’ Basketball

Bow 66, Hollis Brookline 52

Key players: Bow – Matt Lamy (20 points), Steve Guerrette (12 points), Nick Kiah (11 points)

Highlights: After trailing by one point at halftime, the Falcons outscored the Cavaliers 16-9 in the third quarter, with Lamy scoring seven of his game-high 20 in the frame. Bow poured in 23 more in the fourth to take the win on Friday night.

Coach’s quote: “We struggled on both ends in the first half with careless turnovers and uninspired effort, but were only down one at half. In the second half we really turned up the defense and rebounded much better which led to some transition points. It was a great win against another strong team.” – Bow’s Frank Moreno

Records: Bow 3-1; Hollis Brookline 2-2

Souhegan 60, John Stark 49

Key players: John Stark – Christian Barr (20 points), Jayden Sheppard (9 points), Kayden Easter (8 points), Ben McKean (8 points)

Highlights: Souhegan got ahead early, but Barr scored 12 of his 20 points in the third quarter and Stark cut the deficit to four points going into the fourth. The Generals stayed in the game in the final quarter, but they squandered some late possessions and the Sabres took advantage.

Coach’s quote: “I liked our intensity in the second half especially. This team plays with a lot of passion, but we still need to focus on our overall execution.” – John Stark’s Mike Smith

Records: Souhegan 2-1; John Stark 1-3

Milford 55, Bishop Brady 46

Key players: Bishop Brady – Tommy Fraser (14 points), Ismael Rivera (12 points), Billy Fraser (10 points); Milford – Gavid Urdu (17 points), Jake Greska (16 points)

Highlights: The Giants fell short to the Spartans on Friday night.

Records: Milford 2-2; Brady 0-3

Boys’ Hockey

Concord 9, Manchester Memorial 0

Key players: Concord – Cam McGonigle (4 goals), Ryan Philbrick (goal, 3 assists), Joey Ala (2 goals), Ryan Doherty (2 assists), Joey Tarbell (2 assists), Noah Drew (goal), Matt Hauschild (goal), Will Pegnam (9 saves)

Highlights: The Tide sent a barrage of shots towards the Memorial net in the second period resulting in six goals – including three from McGonigle – in a decisive win for Concord. The Tide led 2-0 after the first period and McGonigle tallied his fourth goal in the third.

Records: Concord 6-0; Memorial 1-5

Pinkerton 8, Bow 2

Key players: Bow – Ben Tobeler (2 goals), Jake Mielcarz (2 assists), Cole Billow (assist), CJ Smethurst (assist)

Highlights: The Falcons trailed 4-0 after the first period and 6-1 after the second in a loss to the Astros.

Records: Pinkerton 3-2; Bow 2-4

Girls’ Alpine Skiing

Concord 2nd

Key players: Concord – Savanah Shannon (1st), Hannah Golden (4th), Emma Burbank (8th), Sarah Jenness (20th)

Highlights: Shannon breezed her way to a victory at Crotched Mountain on Friday, posting slalom runs of 40.48 and 43.81 seconds for a combined time of 1:24.29, almost 10 seconds faster than the runner-up. Exeter won with 374 points, narrowly topping the Tide (371). Bishop Guertin (365), Goffstown (354), Winnacunnet (333), Dover (318), Timberlane (323) and Merrimack (147) rounded out the team scores.

Boys’ Alpine Skiing

Concord 6th

Key players: Concord – Read Merrill (16th), Davis Foley (26th), Neil Shea (33rd), Michael Case (34th)

Highlights: The Tide took some falls on the second of two slalom runs at Crotched Mountain on Friday and wound up finishing sixth out of eight teams. Bishop Guertin (383), Goffstown (371), Exeter (358), Winnacunnet (350) and Timberlane (331) were the top five teams, while Concord finished with 321 points. Dover (300) and Merrimack (290) rounded out the team scores. Concord’s Kevin McDonough had the fastest time in the first run.


Hopkinton 1st, Concord 3rd

Key players: Concord – Rayya Burns (2nd 50 free, 3rd 100 fly), Lexi Quinn (2nd 100 free, 3rd 200 IM); Hopkinton – Sydney Stockwell, Emma Hall, Sophia Staples-Roy, Cailey Stockwell

Highlights: Hopkinton finished with 56 points to go 8-0 on Friday night. Gilford was second with 34 points, followed by Concord (32), Bow (25), Goffstown (10), Belmont (six), Pembroke (four), Bishop Brady (one) and John Stark (zero). Lily Fifield, Catie Gaudette (200 Free) and Grace Qiu (100 breaststroke) also contributed points for Concord, which got a win in the 400 free relay from the team of Burns, Quinn, Gaudette and Lauren Dusavitch. The Crimson Tide team of Fifield, Qiu, Mary Moran and Molly Moran finished second in the 400 Free Relay, while Burns, Qiu, Quinn and Dusavitch combined for third in the Medley Relay. On the boys’ side, Concord’s James LeMahieu continued his quest to qualify for the state meet in every individual event by winning the 100 free and taking second in the 100 backstroke. He was joined by Carson LeBlanc, who contributed points in the 100 freestyle.

Coach’s quote: “Another good team effort. We are making good progress as we approach the end of our regular season. We had a lot of season-best times tonight.” – Concord’s Bill Quinn

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