High schools: Hawks swat their way into D-III boys’ hoop quarters

  • Hopkinton's Brendan Elrick blocks a shot against Conant during a Division III boys' basketball tournament game in Hopkinton on March 3, 2021. Elrick's defensive presence shifted the game in the second half and the Hawks won, 46-31, to advance to the quarterfinals. JEFF SULLIVAN—sullivaneventphotography.com

  • Hopkinton's Brendan Elrick blocks a shot against Conant during a Division III boys' basketball tournament game in Hopkinton on March 3, 2021. Elrick's defensive presence shifted the game in the second half and the Hawks won, 46-31, to advance to the quarterfinals. JEFF SULLIVAN—sullivaneventphotography.com

  • Hopkinton's John Jacobsen defends against Conant during a Division III boys' basketball tournament game in Hopkinton on March 3, 2021. Elrick's defensive presence shifted the game in the second half and the Hawks won, 46-31, to advance to the quarterfinals. JEFF SULLIVAN—sullivaneventphotography.com

  • Hopkinton’s Owen Milchick (right) blocks a shot from Conant’s Colson Seppala during Wednesday’s game. BEN CONANT / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

  • The Hopkinton defense collapses on Conant’s Colson Seppala during Wednesday night’s Division III boys’ basketball game in Hopkinton. The Hawks earned a 46-31 win and a spot in the quarterfinals. BEN CONANT / Monadnock-Ledger Transcript

  • Hillsboro-Deering's Zach Coombs evades Mascenic's Dylan Barthel during a Division III boys' basketball game on March 3, 2021, in Hillsborough. Mascenic won, 56-28. BEN CONANT—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

  • Hillsboro-Deering's Thomas Doyle dribbles around Mascenic's Dylan Barthel during a Division III boys' basketball game on March 3, 2021, in Hillsborough. Mascenic won, 56-28. BEN CONANT—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

Monitor staff
Published: 3/4/2021 12:10:47 PM

It may not have been the same kind of Conant team that won Division III titles in 2019, 2014 and 2013, but it was still a dangerous group that arrived in Hopkinton for Wednesday night’s playoff game.

“(Conant) Coach (Eric) Saucier had his team ready and energized, as I expected he would,” Hopkinton coach Stephen Signor said. “Any time you play Sauce you know his teams can flat out play defense, and defend they did, but our size just wore them down.”

The Hakws’ 6-foot-8 center Brendan Elrick impacted the game on both ends of the floor, Quinn Whitehead carried the offensive load in the first half and Owen Milchick delivered buckets in the second half as Hopkinton pulled away for a 46-31 win. The Hawks (10-5) will now host Mascenic (6-2) in the quarterfinals on Saturday.

“I’m proud of our guys for handling the pressure defense, and that will help us in our next matchup,” Signor said. “We had moments of excellent basketball on both ends of the court, and we’ll be tough if we can play at that level for 32 minutes.”

Whitehead scored 10 of his 14 points in the first half as Hopkinton edged out to a 23-18 lead. Signor went to a zone defense in the second half and planted the shot-altering Elrick in the middle of it. The change stymied the Orioles (8-4), Milchick started hitting from the outside and the Hawks had a 34-25 lead heading into the fourth.

Milchick finished with 14 points and Elrick had 12, and defense from John Jacobsen and Mike Oberheim helped hold Conant to just 13 points in the second half. Colson Seppala had a team-high 13 points for the Orioles, eight coming in the first half.

Boys’ Basketball

Mascenic 56, Hillsboro-Deering 28

Key players: Mascenic — Joe Cocozella (15 points); Hillsboro-Deering — Zack Coombs (10 points), Thomas Doyle (10 points), Tucker Card (3 points, 4 rebounds, defense

Highlights: Mascenic held the Hillcats to just two points in each of the first two quarters and took a 27-4 lead into halftime in this Division III playoff game. Although the Vikings only outscored HD by five points in the second half (29-24), the Hillcats had already dug themselves too much of a hole in the first half. Mascenic will face Hopkinton in Saturday’s quarterfinal round.

Coach’s quote: “I’m proud of my guys. It has been a tough season, with a tough schedule and limited practice time and we did what we could with what we had. Mascenic had a great game plan tonight and played great defense. We were outplayed and they deserve to move on with how they played defense tonight. They are very well coached and they executed.” — H-D’s Joe Lincoln HD

Records: Mascenic 6-2; Hillsboro-Deering 1-9

Portsmouth Christian Academy 53, Pittsfield 52 OT

Key players: Portsmouth Christian Academy — Jason Stockbower (15 points), Caleb Runey (10 points); Pittsfield — Jordan Roode (25 points), Jah Gordon (10 points, 6 assists), Jesse MacGlashing (7 points, 8 rebounds), Abe Marcotte (2 points, 12 rebounds)

Highlights: Portsmouth Christian hit a desperation, buzzer-beating 3-pointer 27 feet from the basket to send this game into overtime, and then connected on another buzzer-beater in overtime to snatch this Division IV playoff game away from Pittsfield. The game was tight throughout as the Panthers led 15-13 at halftime and things were all tied up, 25-25, after three quarters. Pittsfied’s Roode scored 16 of his game-high 25 points in the fourth quarter, hitting four 3-pointers in the process, but PCA simply refused to lose.

Coach’s quote: “I am very proud of the boys effort tonight. Seniors Jesse (MacGlashing), Jah (Gordon) and Ben (Marcotte) left it all out on the floor, the outcome may not have been how they envisioned, but they can walk out of the gym knowing they gave it their all. The performances from underclassmen Abe Marcotte and Jordan Roode were immeasurable tonight. The tenacity that Abe played with rebounding the ball allowed us to stick with our game plan and not bend. And when we got behind in the fourth quarter, to see Jordan take over the game was one of the more memorable moments we have had in this gym. This season will be one to remember. All the challenges these boys were asked to endure and still managed to compete at the level they did is a testament to their character, their teachers and the families they have supporting them.” — Pittsfield’s Jay Darrah

Records: Portsmouth Christian Academy 11-6; Pittsfield 10-5

Boys’ Hockey

Bow 4, Bishop Brady 3 OT

Key players: Bow — Mason Marquis (40 saves), Dominic Jurcins (goal, assist), Josh Billow (game-winning goal, assist), Aidan Labrecque (goal)

Highlights: Down 3-0 in the second period in this first round Division I playoff game, Bow changed the complexion of the contest on a very physical shift by Mike Anderson, Dan Baillargeon, Matt Wheeler and Brodie O’Neil. With Brady still on top 3-2 late in the third, Anderson and Finn Benoit outworked the Giants defense behind the net late and Benoit was able to set up Labrecque for the tying goal. The Falcons found the game-winner 2:32 into overtime when Jurcins worked the puck from the sideboards to the front of the net and Billow finished to send Bow onto a quarterfinal matchup Saturday against Concord.

Coach’s quote: “I couldn’t be more proud of this group of kids for not giving in when down 3-0. This was our first comeback win and biggest win in four years. This group has been determined to get this program back where it used to be and a win like tonight does a lot in terms of heading in the right direction. Playing Concord will be a great challenge for us and the kids are up for it.” — Bow’s Tim Walsh

Records: Bow 4-7; Bishop Brady 8-7

Concord 5, Hanover 1

Key players: Concord — Ryan Philbrick (3 goals), Alex Forward (goal), Tyler Coskren (goal), Brooks Craigue (2 assists), Colin Nelson (2 assists), Cam McGonigle (assist), Joey Ala (assist), Parker Frederickson (assist), Noah Drew (assist), Kevin Jones (13 saves)

Highlights: A power play goal from Forward gave Concord a 1-0 lead in the first period of this D-I first round playoff game. Another Tide defenseman, Philbrick, scored all three of his goals in the second period to open things up for Concord, which will meet Bow on Saturday in the quarterfinals.

Coach’s quote: “I thought we played well. Dominated early but took awhile to finish. It was a good win. We look forward to Saturday.” — Concord’s Dunc Walsh

Records: Concord 13-2; Hanover 3-10




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