High schools: Pembroke senior joins teammate with 1,000 career points

  • Pembroke Academy senior Sean Menard (left) shares a moment with PA coach Rich Otis (left) after Menard scored his 1,000 career point on Tuesday night in Pembroke. Menard finished with 19 points and the Spartans (16-1) rolled to a 72-47 win against Coe-Brown (9-8).  KERRY MCGILLICUDDY/ Courtesy

  • Reagan Lorio, the cousin of Pembroke Academy senior Noah Cummings, sings the national anthem before Tuesday night’s against game at Pembroke Academy between PA and Coe-Brown.  KERRY MCGILLICUDDY/ Courtesy

  • Pembroke Academy senior Sean Menard (11) puts up the shot that would push him past 1,000 points for his career on Tuesday night at Pembroke Academy against Coe-Brown. Menard finished with 19 points as the Spartans (16-1) cruised to a 72-47 win against Coe-Brown (9-8). KERRY MCGILLICUDDY/ Courtesy

  • Sean Menard waves to the crowd at Pembroke Academy on Tuesday night after scoring his 1,000 points. KERRY MCGILLICUDDY/ Courtesy

Monitor staff
Published: 2/27/2019 12:22:42 AM

PEMBROKE – Sean Menard began dreaming about scoring 1,000 points for Pembroke Academy as a little kid cheering on the Spartans. When he started as a freshman on the varsity PA boys’ basketball team, Menard began believing that dream could come true.

When Noah Cummings, the PA senior who scored his 1,000th point last week, told Menard to get on the block and get ready for the ball midway through the second quarter on Tuesday night, Menard realized his dream was about to come true any moment. And then it did.

Cummings found Menard in the post, and the Pembroke senior rose up through a foul and converted a layup to push him past the 1,000-point milestone. After the game was paused for a celebratory announcement and a moment on court with his family, parents Brian and Diana and brother Kyle, Menard made the free throw to make his 1,000th-point bucket an and-one. And the Spartans (16-1) rolled to a 72-47 win against Coe-Brown to make his 1,000-point night a win.

“It was pretty surreal,” Menard said. “Before the play Noah came up to me and said, ‘Get under the basket and I’ll get you the ball.’ And he did it. He found me and I got it.”

Jack Lehoullier assisted on Menard’s first two buckets, a pair of 3-pointers in first quarter as the Spartans built a 14-8 lead against the Bears (9-8). And Cummings assisted on Menard’s next two buckets, including the one that pushed him past 1,000.

“We wanted to get him the ball,” Cummings said, “we wanted him to score.”

When he was told those two assisted on his first four buckets, a huge smile spread across Menard’s face.

“Those guys, they’re good guys,” Menard said of Lehoullier and Cummings, who also happen to be two of his closest friends.

Cummings finished with 25 points, 10 rebounds and three assists, and after going scoreless in the first half, Lehoullier finished with 13 points to go along with eight rebounds and three assists. But Tuesday night belonged to Menard.

“Sean is a great kid, couldn’t ask for any better,” Pembroke coach Rich Otis said. “After his injury (tearing his ACL at the end of his sophomore season) he worked extremely hard to get back to being one of the better players in Division II.”

Menard said he had a few butterflies before the game, and that he couldn’t help but thinking about the milestone. But he didn’t play nervous and he didn’t force anything. After hitting from beyond the arc to score his first six points, Menard went inside for the next six, converting two old-fashioned three-point plays that showed off his inside-out offensive versatility.

“He’s good going to the basket, he can post, he can stretch the defense with the 3,” Otis said of Menard. “So he can really score in multiple ways.”

Menard scored nine of his 19 in the second as the Spartans upped their lead to 32-17 by halftime. Coe-Brown cut that lead to 11 to start the third behind an aggressive pace set by point guard Cayden Donoghue (team-high 13 points), but the Spartans answered with a 12-2 run that pushed the lead to 48-27 with 1:36 left against a Bears team that wasn’t close to its best.

“Pembroke is a very good team and they played very well tonight, but I was very disappointed with our guys,” Coe-Brown coach David Smith said. “All year we’ve competed well in every game. We did not compete well tonight. That’s not to take anything away from them or their coach, it’s a very solid team, a great team. But I’m disappointed in us, we were on vacation tonight. This is vacation week and we were on vacation.”

Playing against Pembroke probably had something to do with it. Not only are the Spartans tough to guard, they’re tough on the other end, too. Pembroke’s defensive pressure forced turnovers and bad shots, and Cummings, a guard, held Coe-Brown’s top offensive threat, forward Luke McCusker, to just eight points, and three of those came when Cummings was off the floor.

“Noah asked if he could take McCusker,” Otis said. “We went and watched them play on Friday and Noah said, ‘Coach, I want to play McCusker.’ So that was our game plan, deny him the ball everywhere he went and Noah did a great job with that. He likes the challenge.”

“I thought Noah did a great job on him,” Smith concurred.

Pembroke is one of three one-loss teams in D-II, and with just one game left in the regular season, the Spartans are assured a top-three seed and two home playoff games. The loss probably knocked Coe-Brown out of contention for a home playoff game, but the Bears should be motivated for their last regular-season game Friday against rival Oyster River, last year’s D-II runner-up. If the Bears weren’t motivated for that one after Tuesday’s loss, they will be after Wednesday’s practice.

“They better not be on vacation anymore tomorrow morning,” Smith said.

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

Boys’ Basketball

Concord 66, Trinity 48

Key players: Concord – Scott Lampron (23 points), Tyler Bruns (16 points, 10 rebounds), Rylan Canabano (8 points, 7 assists, 5 steals), Max Van Fleet (8 points), Jon Shamash (4 points, 9 rebounds)

Highlights: The Tide is rounding into shape as the postseason approaches and that theme continued Tuesday night. Concord was lights-out through three quarters and led by 32 points with 5:51 remaining in the fourth. Looking to host a first-round playoff game, Concord will need to grab another win in the season finale against Goffstown on Friday.

Coach’s quote: “It was a well-rounded game, everyone contributed and I thought we played some of the best man-to-man defense we have all season.” – Concord’s Dave Chase

Records: Concord 10-7; Trinity 5-12

Bow 58, Plymouth 37

Key players: Bow – Nick Kiah (18 points), Matt Lamy (16 points) Plymouth – Owen Brickley (13 points)

Highlights: Bow came out with strong defense, holding Plymouth to single-digit points (six) in the first quarter and led the entire game. Kiah scored 11 of his 18 in the second quarter.

Coach’s quote: “It was a great team effort on both ends of the floor. Very happy for our seniors to get a win in their last home game.” – Bow’s Frank Moreno

Records: Bow 4-13; Plymouth 6-11

Bishop Brady 76, Laconia 46

Key players: Brady – Ryan Johnson (11 points, 8 rebounds, 5 blocks), Will Spencer (19 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists, 8 steals), Tommy Frazier (12 points, 7 rebounds), Ismael Rivera (14 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 steals), Charlie Coffin (8 points off bench)

Highlights: Johnson and fellow senior Angelo Besho helped the Green Giants put on a show on senior night for the regular-season finale. Brady led by seven at halftime but used some pressure defense to run away from the Sachems late in the third quarter.

Records: Bishop Brady 10-8; Laconia 4-13

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