Boys’ high schools: Pembroke turns up defensive pressure to beat Bow

  • Pembroke Academy forward Tyler Smith knocks the ball away from Bow forward Steven Guerrette during first half action on Friday, February 2, 2018. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Bow forward Steven Guerrette goes up for a rebound during first half action on Friday, February 2, 2018. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Bow center Ben Harris muscles up a shot against Pembroke defenders Jacob Sherman (4) and Jarod Dupuis (13) during first half action in Bow on Friday, February 2, 2018. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Pembroke’s Tyler Smith (12) battles for a rebound with Bow’s Shaun Lover (33) on Friday night. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff

Monitor staff
Published: 2/3/2018 12:29:05 AM

BOW – The packed house was on its feet as the home team was clawing back in the final minutes. That’s when Pembroke Academy’s Jack Lehoullier found Jake Sherman open behind the 3-point arc.

“I definitely look forward to that shot and I think my teammates believe I can make that shot, too,” Sherman said. “I love taking that, it always gets me hyped up and it gets the team going.”

The Spartans got going as Sherman released it, and they bounced off their bench as the 3-ball splashed in. The make quieted the crowd, stopped Bow’s roll and led to a 61-51 win for Pembroke (8-3) on Friday night.

“That was the dagger,” PA coach Rich Otis said.

Sherman (game-high 22 points) may have sunk the dagger, but Pembroke’s defense was the difference. The Spartans used a 2-2-1 half-court trap to take Bow (4-6) out of its rhythm and force 24 turnovers.

“We preach defense in practice every day, and tonight we got a lot of stops with that 2-2-1, and they really struggled with it,” Otis said.

The Falcons couldn’t disagree.

“It’s experience,” Bow coach Frank Moreno said. “The game is still fast for us and you can see the game slows down for some of the guys on the other team. They’re used to handling pressure and our guys aren’t quite there yet. I think as the game slows down they’re going to feel more comfortable in these kinds of environments.”

The environment was a win for the Falcons. The bleachers on both sides of the Bow High gym were pulled out (which hasn’t happened for a regular-season game in probably 10 years) and bubbling with fans for both schools.

“It was a goal we had all season to get to the point where we were having people fill the gym,” Moreno said. “They haven’t opened up that other side of the gym for a while, so it was cool. I think we’re slowly turning things around.”

After opening the season 1-4, the young Falcons (two sophomores and a freshman in the starting lineup) had won three of four heading into Friday night’s game. Bow carried that momentum in the first quarter against PA, staying tight with the Spartans for most of the frame by crashing the glass and getting six points each from their two starting sophomores – Ben Harris (10 points, 10 rebounds, five blocks) and Steven Guerrette (12 points, six rebuonds).

“(Harris) has been a huge surprise. He’s a great baseball player and I think he’s growing into a great basketball player,” Moreno said. “He and Steven Guerrette are probably the two hardest working kids in the program.”

A layup from Guerrette with 1:52 left in the first quarter pulled Bow to within one, 14-13, but the Spartans scored the last four points of the frame to take an 18-13 lead after one.

Sherman kept that run going to start the second as he drained a pull-up jumper and a 3 in the first minute of the quarter, pushing Pembroke’s lead to 10. The Falcons cut it to five, 25-20, on a Harris layup with 3:30 left in the second, but again PA owned the final minutes of the quarter and brought a 30-22 lead into halftime.

After scoring 15 in the first half, Sherman was quiet in the third, but Noah Cummings took over the scoring duties in spectacular fashion. The junior point guard showed off his handles and finishing touch on a pair of highlight drives and converted a conventional fast-break layup to score six of his 15 points in the third and help the Spartans carry a 42-34 lead into the fourth.

Sean Menard (nine points) stepped into the scoring role to start the final quarter and upped Pembroke’s lead to 46-34 before Bow made its late push. The Falcons went on a 10-4 run highlighted by five points from senior Ryan Andrews (17 points) and the full house was roaring when a driving layup from Ben Guertin pulled Bow to within 50-44 with 2:54 left.

The Falcons had a chance to get even closer, but a deep 3 from Andrews rimmed out and Cummings converted a tough layup on the other end for a little more breathing room. And then Sherman delivered the 3-point dagger to seal the deal.

It was the fourth straight win for the Spartans, who have carved out a place for themselves at the top of the Division II standings.

“I think the guys are buying in,” Otis said. “It isn’t always about scoring, we preach every day about doing all the little things it takes to win games, and they’re doing it. But we’ve also got some guys who can play a little bit, and that always helps.”

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


Portsmouth 59, Concord 39

Key players: Concord – Tyler Blodgett (12 points), Tyler Bruns (8 points), Jacob Knowles (8 points)

Highlights/key moments: Concord led 13-11 after the first quarter but managed just two points in the second while the Clippers built their lead. Portsmouth extended its lead further in fourth, outscoring the Tide, 21-10.

Coach’s quote: “We just really couldn’t get anything going. I think (Portsmouth) was just a little more physical than we were.” – Concord’s Dave Chase

Records: Portsmouth 9-2; Concord 4-6

John Stark 60, Goffstown 42

Key players: John Stark – Parker McQuarrie (15 points, 6 rebounds), Christian Barr (14 points, 7 rebounds), Payton Marden (13 points, 6 assists, 3 steals)

Highlights/key moments: The Generals took control early and held a 13-point lead at halftime. Strong play in the defensive end helped Stark preserve its lead while forcing Goffstown to commit a total of 20 turnovers.

Records: John Stark 5-5; Goffstown 1-9

Coe-Brown 62, Timberlane 58

Key players: C-B – Scott Spenard (23 points, 6 deflections), Jacob Lorden (12 points), Luke McCusker (9 points, 12 rebounds), Brendan Eaton (8 points, 8 rebounds), Mitchell Wade (6 points), Al Lapiejko (4 points)

Highlights/key moments: The Bears jumped out to a 23-12 advantage in the first quarter, but the Owls worked their way back to take the lead early in the fourth. Coe-Brown regrouped to reclaim the edge and held on for the win.

Coach’s quote: “We had balanced offense and our rebounding is improving.” – Coe-Brown’s David Smith

Records: Coe-Brown 7-3; Timberlane 6-4

Merrimack Valley 56, Plymouth 47

Key players: MV – Kyle Dube (17 points), Caleb LaClair (13 points), Ryan Defina (10 points)

Highlights/key moments: It was a grind during the first half, but the Pride found a rhythm in the second half and pulled away to snap a two-game skid.

Coach’s quote: “We’ve taken two on the chin the last two out, so it was nice to get back to our winning ways.” – MV’s Tim Mucher

Records: Merrimack Valley 9-3; Plymouth 5-6

Kearsarge 57, Hanover 27

Key players: Kearsarge – Tayler Mattos (23 points, 8 rebounds, 3 blocks), Kyle Hernon (4 points, 6 rebounds, 3 blocks), Tom Johnson (16 points, 3 assists, 5 steals), Joe Storozuk (4 points, 3 assists, 3 rebounds, 3 steals), Jordan Bryk (4 points, 6 rebounds)

Highlights/key moments: Led by Mattos, Hernon and Bryk, the Cougars dominated defensively, taking a 25-11 lead into halftime. Everyone on the Kearsarge bench played and eight of the 11 Cougars scored.

Records: Kearsarge 8-4; Hanover 4-6

Lebanon 57, Bishop Brady 54

Key players: Brady – Bryce Johnson (19 points), Ismael Rivera (11 points), Tommy Fraser (9 points), Ethan Hutchinson (9 points), Billy Fraser (6 points)

Highlights/key moments: Brady played well throughout and, after a pair of clutch steals from Rivera and Fraser, made it a one-possession game in the final minute before falling to a well-coached and well-balanced team from Lebanon.

Coach’s quote: “I am very impressed with the kids’ perseverance. Tonight they did not quit. We played through our mistakes which ultimately allows the kids to grow.” – Brady’s Tim Lee

Records: Bishop Brady 8-3; Lebanon 2-7

Franklin 66, Newport 58

Key players: Franklin – Harrison Clark (25 points), Jayden Torres (15 points), Zach Girtman (8 points, 7 rebounds), Zach Dunham (21 rebounds)

Highlights/key moments: Clark scored 16 points in the first half and Torres scored 11 in the second to lift the Golden Tornadoes into the win column.

Coach’s quote: “It was nice to see the boys get their first win. Everybody showed up to work and simply did their job. These boys have come to practice every day working hard despite their record and I see a few more wins before this year is over.” – Franklin’s Michael Donnell

Records: Franklin 1-10; Newport 3-8

Winnisquam 51, Fall Mountain 45

Key players: Winnisquam – Kyle Mann (23 points), Avery Hutchinson (6 points, 7 rebounds), Phil Nichols (9 points), Gunner Horman (6 points, 8 rebounds)

Highlights/key moments: Hutchinson pulled down a few key rebounds late in the game to help the Bears snap a three-game slide. Winnisquam trailed by four points to begin the fourth quarter but pulled away on a 17-7 run.

Coach’s quote: “A lot of guys stepped up tonight, so this was definitely a team win. With a young team you’ve got to learn how to win games, and hopefully this is a step in the right direction.” – Winnisquam’s Kevin Dame

Records: Winnisquam 3-9; Fall Mountain 7-6

Pittsfield 91, Farmington 37

Key players: Pittsfield – Cam Darrah (28 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists), Josh Whittier (15 points, 8 rebounds), Casey Clark (15 points), Matt St. George (10 points)

Highlights/key moments: In front of a capacity crowd, the Panthers went on an 18-1 run to close the first quarter and never looked back.

Coach’s quote: “The boys played up to the hype tonight. Packed house and played hard for one of their alumni, Nate Vincent, who was in attendance and was the honorary captain tonight. Nate is a 2010 graduate of PMHS and former player who has ALS. The seniors wanted this one for Nate. They set the tone early and made sure he would see his Panthers come away with a win.” – Pittsfield’s Jay Darrah

Records: Pittsfield 13-1; Farmington 4-7


Pembroke fifth

Key players: Pembroke – Jackson Frazier (6th slalom, 13th giant slalom), Logan Raymond (18th slalom, 18th GS), Ryan Burns (25th slalom, 31st GS), Ben Sporcic (28th slalom, 32nd GS), Owen Thomas (30th slalom, 42nd GS), Harrison Army (45th slalom, 45th GS), Calvin Michael (47th slalom, 36th GS)

Highlights/key moments: Behind Frazier (37.71 seconds slalom, 54.9 seconds GS) and Raymond (48.07 seconds slalom, 57.87 seconds GS), the Spartans scored 689 points in the six-team meet at Waterville Valley.

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