High schools: Defense, Spenard lead Coe-Brown boys’ hoop to win at John Stark

Monitor staff reports
Wednesday, February 14, 2018

With less than three weeks to go in the regular season, the Coe-Brown and John Stark boys’ basketball teams are preparing for the postseason tournament and the Generals learned a valuable lesson: Don’t let Scott Spenard get hot in the fourth quarter.

Spenard, a senior guard, scored nine of his game-high 11 points in the fourth, including a bucket to give Coe-Brown its first lead of the game with 1:40 remaining, to lead the Bears to a 39-37 victory over John Stark in Weare.

“Spenard stepped up and played like the best player on the floor,” Generals head coach Mike Smith said. “You can’t let him score nine points in the fourth quarter ... give them credit, we couldn’t make the plays to put them away.”

Despite being the in bottom half of the Division II standings, it was John Stark (6-7) that took an early lead over the fourth-place Bears (9-3), thanks to a balanced offense led by Aaron Bergeron (eight points), Chase Patterson (eight points, five assists) and Payton Marden (seven points) and strong play on the boards from Parker McQuarrie (13 rebounds).

More importantly, it was a strong team defense that held the Coe-Brown offense to just seven points in each of the first two quarters, but the Bears answered with strong defense of their own, resulting in a 12-7 lead for the Generals after the first quarter and a 17-14 lead at halftime.

“It was quite a defensive battle tonight,” said Coe-Brown coach David Smith, the father of Stark coach Mike Smith.

The two teams played each other even in the third, scoring eight points each, giving John Stark a 25-22 lead heading into the final frame.

The Generals led by as many as five points, but couldn’t put Coe-Brown away.

The Bears’ offense was most productive in the fourth quarter, with Spenard scoring nine of his team’s 17 points, and teammates Luke McCusker (seven points), Al Lapiejko (six points, six rebounds) and Brendan Eaton (five points, six rebounds) also helping Coe-Brown claw its way back into the game.

“We were able to finally get a couple looks in the fourth quarter,” David Smith said.

Spenard (nine deflections) also was strong on the defensive end, with Ben Watson (five points) and Jacob Rich (three points) also playing well defensively.

After Spenard’s go-ahead basket, McCusker took advantage of a one-and-one and sunk both free throws, securing the victory for the Bears.

John Stark hit a 3-pointer on the last possession to account for the final score.

“Coe-Brown is a good team, so to hold them under 40 points is an accomplishment,” coach Mike Smith said. “We kept them off balance. We got inside, but missed some layups. We’re not a great offensive team, so when we get those looks we need to make them and we didn’t do that tonight.”


Oyster River 73, Bishop Brady 68

Key players: Brady – Bryce Johnson (28 points, 10 rebounds, 6 steals, block), Ismael Rivera (13 points, 3 steals), Billy Fraser (10 points, 2 steals, 2 blocks), Tommy Fraser (15 points, 3 steals, 2 blocks), Ryan Johnson (4 blocks)

Highlights/key moments: The Giants’ smothering defense didn’t let the Bobcats get off any uncontested perimeter shoots and played a near perfect game, but second-place Oyster River found a few easy layups, which made the difference.

Coach’s quote: “I give Oyster River credit for knocking down big shoots with hands in their face ... this was a giant step forward for Brady.” – Brady’s Tim Lee

Records: Oyster River 11-3; Brady 2-11

Bow 65, Manchester West 59

Key players: Bow – Ryan Andrews hit (17 points, 5 3-pointers), Shaun Lover (11 points), Ben Guertin (10 points)

Highlights/key moments: The Falcons jumped out to a 19-6 first quarter lead, enough of a cushion to withstand six West 3s in the second quarter and 12 total in the game.

Coach’s quote: “We missed a lot of free throws in the fourth quarter. I’m happy for the win, but we need to close out games better.” – Bow’s Frank Moreno

Records: Bow 5-9; West 3-11

Pembroke 80, Kennett 67, OT

Key players: Pembroke – Jake Sherman (35 points, 5 steals), Noah Cummings (16 points, 10 assists), Brandon Linscott (6 points, 6 rebounds, 5 steals), Jack Lehoullier (9 points, 5 rebounds)

Highlights/key moments: Sherman hit a 3 with five seconds left in regulation to tie the game, 65-65, and force overtime. Sean Menard hit a pair of 3s to break the game open in OT. Linscott and Tyler Smith played strong defense all night.

Records: Pembroke 10-4; Kennett 6-7

Franklin 87, Newfound 78

Key players:Franklin – Jayden Torres (52 points), Oliver Lemay (12 points), Harrison Clark (10 points); Newfound – Mason Dalphonse (47 points)

Highlights/key moments: Torres broke the school record for points in a game of 47 that he set just last week, despite being the focal points of Newfound’s defense. Torres, a senior, needs 29 points to reach 1,000 for his career.

Coach’s quote: “Nothing surprises me anymore with Torres. He is the biggest 5-foot-5 young man I have ever had the chance to work with.” Franklin’s Mike Donnell

Records: Franklin 3-12; Newfound 0-15

Belmont 60, Winnisquam 53

Key players:Belmont – Dylan Gansert (14 points), Aidan Rupp (18 rebounds, 13 points), Matt Pluskis (11 points), Mikey Sprague (7 points), Nate Sottak (5 points, 4 steals); Winnisquam – Kyle Mann (23 points), Phil Nichols (11 points), Avery Hutchinson (8 points)

Highlights/key moments: Belmont withstood great pressure and intensity from the visiting Bears to take a 14-10 lead after the first quarter, 28-19 at halftime and 47-37 after the third.

Coaches’ quotes: “I give credit to Kevin as he had his kids ready to play and attacked us for 32 minutes. If not for Aidan Rupp on the glass we may not win that one.” – Belmont’s Jim Cilley

“I felt like our offense got some good looks in transition, but they killed us on the offensive glass.” – Winnisquam’s Kevin Dame

Records: Belmont 10-5; Winnisquam 5-11

Mascoma 38, Hillsboro-Deering 30

Key players: H-D – Zach Rowell (13 points), Elijah Winters (7 points)

Highlights/key moments: The Hillcats dropped one of their closest contests of the season on the road against the Royals.

Records: Mascoma 6-10; H-D 0-15


Concord 58, Dover 44

Key players: Concord – Quinn Daniels (11 points), Kasie Maloney (10 points), Brighid Weeden (8 points), Caitlyn Kelley (6 points, defense)

Highlights/key moments: The Crimson Tide opened the game with a 9-0 run and responded to Dover’s 10-0 run later in the half with an 8-0 run to take a 30-24 lead at halftime. Weeden and Ashley Kelley hit big 3s and Daniels and Jordyn Lengle played well inside en route to a 20-point third quarter for Concord.

Coach’s quote: “We made things happen and didn’t just hope for them to. We took care of the ball, made the extra pass, played aggressive on the offensive end and got big stops on defense when we needed ... For our program it is huge to be able to break down the wall of being stuck at four wins in a season. Five wins is the most in the last eight years or so for the program, so we will enjoy this one.” – Concord’s Tim LaTorra

Records: Concord 5-9; Dover 3-12

Bow 56, Manchester West 15

Key players: Bow – Erin Boldwin (13 points), Lea Crompton (8 points), Sarah Martin (8 points), Patty Nordin (rebounding)

Highlights/key moments: Seniors Boldwin, Crompton, Martin and Nordin led the Falcons on senior night.

Records: Bow 8-7; West 0-15

John Stark 44, Coe-Brown 36

Key players:John Stark – Chelsea Woodsum (14 points, 13 rebounds), Laura Martin (11 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists); Coe-Brown – Ahna McCusker (14 points), 12 rebounds), Valentina White (10 points, 5 rebounds)

Highlights/key moments: The Bears trailed, 14-4, early on, but went up, 20-19, by halftime. The Generals took a two-point lead after the third and took advantage of foul shots down the stretch to secure the win.

Coaches’ quotes: “We continue to play with some very high, thrilling basketball, then we bottom out with some very inconsistent basketball. Tonight we were able to hang on for a victory.” – John Stark’s Bruce Johnson

“It was senior night, there was a lot of emotion and our girls played hard. We just need to keep working for the wins.” – Coe-Brown’s Joe Vachon

Records: John Stark 7-7; Coe-Brown 6-9

Bishop Brady 69, Oyster River 25

Key players: Brady – Lauren Roy (18 points), Sam Will (18 points), Ami Rivera (15 points), Kaylee Smith (10 points), Sarah Doherty six points, eight assists

Highlights/key moments: The Green Giants locked down on defense in the first half as they rolled to the win at home against the winless Bobcats.

Coach’s quote: “A great team effort full of energy and defensive intensity. Got well-rounded scoring and transition opportunities which resulted in good ball movement.” – Bishop Brady’s Annie Alosa

Records: Bishop Brady 10-5; Oyster River 0-15

Pembroke 61, Kennett 57

Key players: Pembroke – Morgan Allen (11 points, great defense), Ciera Clark (10 rebounds), Olivia Langevin, (15 points), Savannah Youngman (11 points), Brooklyn Zanis (13 points)

Highlights/key moments: The Spartans traveled to North Conway, took the lead on the first possession and never looked back as they snapped Kennett’s seven-game winning streak.

Coach’s quote: “I’m so proud of how we rose to the occasion against a top Kennett team. Our captains led by example with high energy tonight.” – Pembroke’s Michaela Champlin

Records: Pembroke 8-7; Kennett 12-3

Newfound 66, Franklin 12

Key players: Newfound – Ashlee Dukette (26 points, 15 rebounds, 5 blocks, 3 steals, 3 assists), Jasmine Peterson (13 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists), Leah Bunnell (9 points), Savanna Bony (7 points, 7 rebounds), Madi Dalphonse (7 points), Bailey Fairbank (4 points)

Highlights/key moments: Peterson scored 11 of her team’s 21 points in the first quarter, and Dukette scored 17 of Newfound’s 27 in the second as the Bears cruised to the win in Bristol.

Coach’s quote: “We started off slow but when the girls got moving everything seemed to flow from there. They played a good first half of basketball.” – Newfound’s Karri Peterson

Records: Newfound 15-2; Franklin 7-11

Hopkinton 34, Newport 25

Key players: Hopkinton – Taylor Signor (17 points, 5 steals), Abby Houston (5 points, 12 rebounds)

Highlights/key moments: The Hawks trailed by four after three quarters, but they shut out Newport in the fourth and Signor hit a pair of 3-pointers in the final frame as Hopkinton claimed the road win.

Coach’s quote: “I’m so proud of how this team plays hard the whole game and never quits. We got a big lift off the bench tonight.” – Hopkinton’s Pat Roye

Records: Hopkinton 13-4; Newport 10-7

Belmont 66, Winnisquam 36

Key players: Belmont – Julianna Estremera (22 points), Elaina Hoey (14 points), Makenzie Donovan (11 points), Morgan Hall (8 points), Lizzie Fleming (good defense), Jordan Sargent (good defense)

Highlights/key moments: The Raiders took a 33-18 halftime lead to win for the fourth time in their last six games.

Coach’s quote: “It was a good team win. Tonight we were able to finish strong, which is something we have been working on.” – Belmont’s Mark Dawalga

Records: Belmont 7-9; Winnisquam 1-17

Mascoma 41, Hillsboro-Deering 26

Key players: H-D – Morgan Racine (14 points), Halie Hurd (10 points, 10 rebounds, 6 blocks), Erin Dean (12 rebounds)

Highlights/key moments: The Hillcats played their best half of the season in the first half, but still trailed 13-11 at halftime. H-D took the lead in the third quarter, but the Royals came back in the fourth.

Coach’s quote: “I am very proud of how we played tonight. The girls came out and fought for the entire game and we were able to put some of our best product out on the floor tonight. I was really proud to see things starting to come together for the girls tonight.” – H-D’s Tiffany Lewis

Records: Mascoma 6-12; H-D 0-17

St. Thomas 51, Inter-Lakes 42

Key players: I-L – Emma Wheeler (14 points), Taylor Ambrose (7 points), Jordan Durand (5 points)

Highlights/key moments: The Lakers closed out the regular season with a loss to the Saints.

Records: St. Thomas 12-5; I-L 11-7