High schools: Nordic depth charge from defending champs in Hopkinton

  • Hopkinton’s Francie Trafton skies at Proctor Academy in Andover on Wednesday afternoon. Trafton finished third overall and helped the Hawks to a team win on the girls’ side against Concord and Bow. JEFF SULLIVAN / sullivaneventphotography.com

  • Hopkinton’s Ava Rothe skies at Proctor Academy in Andover on Wednesday afternoon. Rothe finished second overall and helped the Hawks to a team win on the girls’ side against Concord and Bow. JEFF SULLIVAN / sullivaneventphotography.com

  • Concord’s Katie Watt skies at Proctor Academy in Andover on Wednesday afternoon. Watt finished first overall in 13:35.4. Concord finished second as a team with 380 points. Hopkinton (388) finished first and Bow (366) was third. JEFF SULLIVAN / sullivaneventphotography.com

  • Concord’s Tyler Watt skies at Proctor Academy in Andover on Wednesday afternoon. Watt finished first overall in 12:26.1 in the three-team meet where Bow (379 points), Hopkinton (378) and Concord (377) finished within two points of each other in the team results. JEFF SULLIVAN / sullivaneventphotography.com

  • Hopkinton’s Matt Clarner skies at Proctor Academy in Andover on Wednesday afternoon. Clarner finished fourth overall in the three-team meet where Bow (379 points), Hopkinton (378) and Concord (377) finished within two points of each other in the team results. JEFF SULLIVAN / sullivaneventphotography.com

  • Bow’s Michael Pelletier skies at Proctor Academy in Andover on Wednesday afternoon. Pelletier finished second overall in the three-team meet where Bow (379 points), Hopkinton (378) and Concord (377) finished within two points of each other in the team results. JEFF SULLIVAN / sullivaneventphotography.com

  • Bow’s Rachel Pelletier skies at Proctor Academy in Andover on Wednesday afternoon. Pelletier finished fifth overall in the three-team meet between Concord, Hopkinton and Bow. JEFF SULLIVAN / sullivaneventphotography.com

Monitor staff
Published: 1/21/2021 2:58:42 PM

Hopkinton didn’t have the fastest skier in Nordic girls’ race at Proctor Academy on Wednesday. The Hawks just had most of them.

Concord’s Katie Watt finished first by nearly a minute, but Hopkinton, the two time defending Division IV champ, went 2-3-4 behind Watt, and took nine of the top 12 spots overall, to finish first as a team with 388 points and beat out Concord (380) and Bow (366).

“This was their first skate race of the season, so the girls were really excited to get out there and show what they could do,” Hopkinton coach Rob Rothe said.

The three schools were separated by one point apiece on the boys’ side. Bow finished first with 379, Hopkinton had 378 and Concord had 377. What’s more, all three schools had two skiers finish in the top six, led by the Concord’s Tyler Watt (first, 12:26.1) and Bow’s Michael Pelletier (second, 12:44.6).

“Kind of crazy how close it was,” Concord coach Sam Evans-Brown said. “And it is thrilling to see the Bow boys’ team that competitive. It’s really great to see how good that squad is doing.”

Evans-Brown was happy with the performance from his own teams, which have both won 12 straight D-I titles, especially in the current climate. The Crimson Tide had a shortened preseason after a pause in Concord High’s athletic programs from Dec. 15-Jan. 4 due to health concerns in the district. That break, plus the recent lack of snow, has left the Tide behind schedule.

“This was just our sixth time on snow this year, and I feel like every time the kids get on skis they’re getting better,” Evans-Brown said. “But usually by this time of year we’ve had some technique instruction, everybody knows what they’re doing and we’re pretty dialed in. But now it’s like I’ll see a kid in a race and I’ll realize I’ve had no interaction with them, so I’ll try to grab them after and be like, ‘Listen, here’s how you go up a hill,’ because it was clear from the race that they didn’t know how to do it.”

Hopkinton and Bow haven’t had any COVID-related setbacks. They’re just dealing with the normal Nordic quandary of finding enough snow in the right places.

“We really lost all the snow over winter break. Since then we’ve been skiing on the lakes a little bit, and we had a 300-meter loop at the Hopkinton Fairgrounds that we were using, but that all stopped with the last rain,” Rothe said. “So, we’re back to dry land training this week and we’re just trying to make do with what we’ve got, which is the theme of the year, for sure.”

Wednesday’s meet was originally scheduled for the Hopkinton Fairgrounds, so these teams were certainly grateful they got to “make do” with the man-made snow and diverse terrain at Proctor as an alternate.

“It’s good practice getting on those hills with some quick descents and quick turns, so it worked out well we were able to ski at Proctor,” Rothe said. “Right now these are the places that are able to host races down by us, Proctor and Dublin, because they make the snow. Everywhere else around here is pretty bare now, you have to go up north for more snow.”

The rain that melted the last bits of natural snow actually made the man-made snow at Proctor even faster. Those kind of quick and slippery conditions are good for technical skiers like the Watt siblings who can take advantage of every push on the frozen, icy pellets.

“We skied the exact same course last week and the times were about a minute faster this week,” Evans-Brown said.

Katie Watt finished in 13:35.4 to take first on Wednesday, but after that it was almost all Hawks. Hopkinton’s Ava Rothe was second in 14:31.2 with teammate Francie Trafton (14:36) right behind her in third and another Hawk, Hannah Bennett, taking fourth in 15:26. Bennett finished just ahead of Bow’s Rachel Pelletier, who was fifth in 15:31.3, and Concord’s Mathea Graham (sixth, 15:35.8).

Hopkinton girls filled up the next six spots, led by Cate Westbrook in seventh, the Hawks final scorer. And teammates Giselle Spalding, Elizabeth Clarner and Elizabeth Trafton all finished within 19 seconds of Westbrook.

After Watt and Graham, the Concord girls got points from Gracie McHugh (13th overall) and Maggie Cooper (16th). Bow’s points came from Pelletier in fifth, Sophia Valpey (19th), Catherine Maurer (21st) and Ava Kehas (24th).

On the boys’ side, Bow’s big points from Michael Pelletier’s second-place result and from Oliver Dolcino, who took sixth by crossing the line in 13:51, which put him just 0.2 seconds ahead of Hopkinton’s Michael Eggers-Emerson. Bow’s Ben Neff (eighth, 13:51.7) and Calen Smith (ninth, 13:54.1) were also in the tightly bunched group that finished 4-9 and accounted for the Falcons final points. Konrad Kremzner didn’t score for Bow, but he did finish 10th.

Concord’s Eben Bragg was third overall in 12:57.7. The Crimson Tide also got points from Liam Gleason (17th) and Jacob Gurtner (18th). Concord is missing two skiers, Kurt Van Fleet and Brady Rice, who were among the team’s top six last year and could slot in somewhere between Bragg and Gleason when they return to the lineup.

Matt Clarner (fourth, 13:43) and Will Chapin (fifth, 13:46.9) paced the Hopkinton boys’ team. This was the first Nordic race of the season for Chapin, who is also competing on Hopkinton’s Alpine team. Eggers-Emerson and Parker Wuellenweber (11th) accounted for the Hawks other points.

These meets aren’t just about the top scores and winning teams. Evans-Brown wanted to give recognition to two Concord student-athletes who are skiing for the first time in their lives this season – Amalia Tomas (33rd on the girls’ side) and Ian Gomez (36th on the boys’ side).

“Those are some pretty heroic performances,” Evans-Brown said, “so a shoutout to them.”

Girls' Hockey

Concord 5, Berlin-Gorham 4 OT

Key players: Concord — Leah Beauregard (3 goals), Joanna Dustin (goal, assist), Kaitlyn McKinnon (2 assists), Sophia Branch (2 assists), Elizabeth Brown (assist), Jaelyn Kelleher (game-winning goal in overtime; Berlin-Gorham — Becca Pouilet (2 goals), Milkayley Walsh (goal, 2 assists), Sydney Chapman (goal, assist), Abby Blais (assist), Maya Wedge (assist), Grace Bradley (assist)

Highlights: Beauregard scored back-to-back goals less than 30 seconds apart in the third period to help shift momentum in Concord’s favor. Crimson Tide goalie Taylor Lamb controlled the rebounds and was solid in net down the stretch.

Coach's quote: “This was a team win. Every girl contributed and gave it their all. It is through their hard work and commitment to supporting one another that this win was possible.” — Concord’s Tim Herbert

Records: Concord 1-1-0 ; Berlin-Gorham 0-2-0

Boys' Hockey

Concord 9, Bow 0

Key players: Concord — Ryan Philbrick (2 goals, 4 assists), Joey Ala (2 goals, 2 assists), Brooks Craigue (2 goals, assist), Cam McGonigle (goal), Tyler Coskren (goal), Joey Tarbell (goal), Kevin Jones (10 saves)

Highlights: The Crimson Tide didn’t waste any time taking control of this one and raced out to a 6-0 lead after the first period. The lead went to 9-0 after two periods.

Coach's quote: “We really came out flying tonight. Really moved the puck well.” — Concord’s Dunc Walsh

Records: Concord 3-0; Bow 0-1

Pembroke Academy-Campbell 2, Belmont-Gilford 1

Key players: Pembroke Academy-Campbell — Zach Sonia (goal, assist), Joey Sullivan (2 assists), Max Lemaire (game-winning goal), Gavin Currier (assist)

Highlights: Sonia gave PAC a 1-0 lead with 4:01 left in the first, but Belmont-Gilford answered off the ensuing faceoff to tie things up at 1-1. It stayed that way until Lemaire scored with 1:28 left in the first overtime session.

Records: Pembroke Academy-Campbell 2-0-0; Belmont-Gilford 0-1-0

Girls' Basketball

Coe-Brown 55, Sanborn 54

Key players: Coe-Brown — Jenny Bettencourt (19 points), Valentina White (13 points), Ellie Wolthuis (9 points)

Highlights: The Bears hung on for this win during a wild finish in Northwood. Coe-Brown led by double digits for most of the night, and even held a 13-point advantage with three minutes left. But Sanborn hit some late 3s and quick layups, forced a critical turnover and sent a player to the free throw line in the final seconds with a chance to tie the game. She made the first free throw but missed the second, and the Bears grabbed the rebound and the win as the clock expired.

Coach's quote: “It was senior night. Happy for our seniors who all played well in the win. Sanborn is a seasoned team and made some big shots to keep them in it. We played well and deserved to win this game.” — Coe-Brown’s Joe Vachon

Records: Coe-Brown 2-2; Sanborn 1-1

Boys' Basketball

Sanborn 72, Coe-Brown 69 2OT

Key players: Coe-Brown — Keegan Paradis (20 points, 6 rebounds), Cole Smith (18 points, 7 assists), Tommy Flanagan (13 points, 6 rebounds), Shane Cary (9 points)

Coach's quote: “Intense game for 40 minutes ” — Coe-Brown’s David Smith

Records: Sanborn 3-0; Coe-Brown 3-2

 




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