The Lin-Wood Lumberjacks (3-7) handed visiting Groveton just their second loss of the season (8-2) on Tuesday night, 66-57. Check out the full gallery of the action by Shirley Nickles…
By KJ Cardinal
We’re past the midway point of the 2022-23 season in all four divisions of NHIAA basketball and there are just four undefeated boys teams remaining around the state.
Let’s take a glimpse at this quartet of flawless teams…
PINKERTON BOYS (9-0)
It should come as no surprise that head coach Dave Chase’s Astros are sitting atop the Division I standings with a perfect 9-0 mark to start the season. Pinkerton made it to the state semifinals last year and with their big three of Jackson Marshall and the Chinn brothers (Anthony and Tyrone) clicking on all cylinders, the Astros are rolling through the division.
Pinkerton is holding teams to just over 44 points per game (PPG) and winning by an average of 20 PPG. The only single-digit victory that the Astros have earned was at Keene, 48-40, back on Jan. 13. Looking at Pinkerton’s remaining slate, it’s hard not to circle the Feb. 10 tilt at Bedford (8-1) as the biggest test that remains in the Astros quest for perfection.
GILFORD BOYS (9-0)
The three-time defending champion Golden Eagles are a perfect 9-0 and sit perched atop the D-III standings. Another pair of brothers, Jalen and Isaiah Reese, are both averaging nearly 20 PPG to lead the way for Gilford.
While head coach Rick Acquilano’s squad has yet to lose, they have been tested in three tough battles of late and came out on top in each one. The Golden Eagles started the new year with a four-point win at St. Thomas on Jan. 3. A week later, Gilford staved off a hungry Belmont squad, 61-58. And, just yesterday the Golden Eagles survived an overtime scare at Conant, 52-48.
LITTLETON BOYS (12-0)
Trevor Howard’s Littleton Crusaders are a state-best 12-0 and are coming off perhaps the game of the year in D-IV on Friday night, a thrilling 86-81 victory at Profile. Littleton’s front-man Kayden Hoskins is pumping in over 21 PPG, but the Crusaders boast a line-up loaded with potential double-digit scorers and their balanced attack is very potent.
The Crusaders have proven they can win on the road as they earned hard-fought victories at Portsmouth Christian, at Woodsville, at Lin-Wood, at Colebrook, at D-III White Mountains and most recently at Profile. With five of their remaining six games at home, if Littleton can take care of business on its turf, the Crusaders may be sitting atop the D-IV heap when the dust settles.
CONCORD CHRISTIAN BOYS (9-0)
The Concord Christian Kingsmen are rolling through their D-IV slate. With big road wins at Derryfield, at Portsmouth Christian and at Holy Family, the Kingsmen look poised to make another deep run in the playoffs.
Sophomore sensation Brode Frink is the straw that stirs the drink for head coach Eric Heizer’s squad. Frink is averaging over 25 PPG and can score in anyway imaginable. The Kingsmen have some obstacles on their schedule as they host Derryfield (7-2), Farmington (10-1) and head to D-III Conant.
By: KJ Cardinal
Day four of the 43rd Annual Mike Lee Holiday Basketball Bash is in the books and the finals match-ups are set. Coffee County (TN) and Kennett will meet for the girls crown on Friday at 5:30 pm, while Belmont and Profile will square off at 7:00 pm.
GIRLS SEMI #1: COFFEE COUNTY 97, BELMONT 26
• PHOTOS | VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS
The Lady Raiders from Tennessee continued to roll as they defeated Belmont, 97-26, in the first semifinal on Thursday. Coffee County’s balanced attack was on display as they placed five players in double-digits, led by 15 points from Emaleigh Tarpley. The Red Raiders were paced by 15 as well by Lena Rodrigues, who connected on five triples versus the Lady Raiders tough 2-3 zone.
GIRLS SEMI #2: KENNETT 75, FARMINGTON 30
• PHOTOS | VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS
In the second semifinal of the day, Division II Kennett defeated the D-IV host Farmington, 75-30, en route to their fifth-straight title game appearance at The Bash. The Tigers came out of the gates and challenged the Eagles for the first 10-minutes of play before Kennett pulled away and blew the game wide open. The Eagles were led by a trio of double-figure scorers: Kaley Goodhart (16 points), Sydnie Chin (15) and Catherine Chick (13). Farmington freshman Anna Cardinal paced the Tigers with 10.
BOYS SEMI #1: BELMONT 56, DERRYFIELD 45
• PHOTOS | VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS | ROMIKE REPORT
On the boys side, D-III Belmont looked a little tired from the onset, which could be attributed to the Red Raiders dramatic one-point win over Coe-Brown the night before, and found themselves tied with D-IV Derryfield at 22-22 at the half. The Red Raiders came out rejuvenated for the second half and pulled away for the 56-45 win. Belmont was led by Keegan Martinez (17 points), Sam Reposa (16) and Anakin Underhill (15), while the Cougars were paced by Jack Krasnof (18) and John McDevitt (11).
BOYS SEMI #2: PROFILE 70, FARMINGTON 41
• PHOTOS | VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS
It was a packed house for the second semifinal, which pitted host Farmington versus Profile. The two battled closely for the first quarter with the Patriots taking a two-point lead, 13-11. Profile then dominated the Tigers in the second stanza as they outscored Farmington 20-0 to blow the game wide open and cruised to a 70-41 victory. Junior Josh Robie connected on six threes en route to a game-high 26 points, while classmate Alex Leslie added 20 and sophomore Cayden Wakeham had 12. Farmington was led by 16 points from senior Jordan Berko.
If you missed any of day four action, you can re-watch all games here.
DAY 4 SCORES, LINKS & DOUBLE-DIGIT SCORERS
BOYS: RAYMOND 57, NUTE 40 – PHOTOS
Raymond Rams: Drezell Duffaut (19 points), Logen Brian (13)
Nute Rams: Gavin Forcier (14 points)
BOYS: PORTSMOUTH CHRISTIAN 51, FRANKLIN 35 – PHOTOS
Eagles: Connor Hickey (20 points)
Golden Tornadoes: Zeke McCoy (13 points)
BOYS: KENNETT 64, LIN-WOOD 41 – PHOTOS
Eagles: Bo Noury (14 points), Alex Clark (11) Ben Dougherty (11)
Lumberjacks: Jake Avery (21 points), Cam Clermont (14)
BOYS: COE-BROWN 75, SOMERSWORTH 34 – PHOTOS
Bears: Quinn Salter (19 points), Hugh Hamilton (12)
Hilltoppers: Dominic Starr (24 points)
GIRLS SEMI #1: COFFEE COUNTY (TN) 97, BELMONT 26 – PHOTOS | VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS
Lady Raiders: Emaleigh Tarpley (15), Julie Ruehling (14), Olivia Vinson (13), Channah Gannon (11), Chloe Gannon (10)
Red Raiders: Lena Rodrigues (15)
BOYS SEMI #1: BELMONT 56, DERRYFIELD 45 – PHOTOS | VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS | ROMIKE REPORT
Red Raiders: Keegan Martinez (17 points), Sam Reposa (16), Anakin Underhill (15)
Cougars: Jack Krasnof (18 points), John McDevitt (11)
Day three of the 43rd Annual Mike Lee Holiday Basketball Bash was one to remember, particularly on the boy’s side as all four match-ups saw the lower division team come away with the victory.
In the first boys game of the day, Division IV Derryfield started like they were shot out of a cannon versus D-II Kennett, the two-time defending Bash champions. The Cougars used impeccable ball movement and hot shooting to build a big first-half lead and had to fight for every inch in the second half to come away with a 16-point win, 62-46.
Senior Jake Avery attacked the paint all game long on his way to a career-high 42 points as D-IV Lin-Wood knocked off D-II Raymond, 75-71. Ram sophomore Drezell Duffaut also dazzled as he poured in 33 points of his own and nearly led Jim Gallagher’s young Raymond squad to a come-from-behind victory.
Alex Leslie (30) and Josh Robie (28) combined for 58 points to lead D-IV Profile past D-III Somersworth, 84-60. The high-octane Patriot offense has scored 187 points in their first two games of the tourney.
The night cap, however, was the one that we’ll never forget. The Dean vs. The Rookie. Dave Smith, the dean of New Hampshire basketball coaches and his Coe-Brown Bears took on first-year NHIAA head coach Tony Martinez and his Belmont Red Raiders. Belmont’s 2-3 zone stifled the Bears from the onset as Coe-Brown was held without a field goal for the first 6:48. There was no chance Coach Smith’s squad was going to go away quietly, however, as the Bears battled all the way back and had the ball on the final possession of the game with a chance to win. The Red Raiders survived, 52-51, to advance to the semifinals.
If you missed any of day three action, you can watch back archives of all games.
GIRLS: FRANKLIN 40, NOBLE 20 – PHOTOS
Golden Tornadoes: Lily Cornell (10 points)
Knights: Grace Roberts (7 points)
GIRLS: PROFILE 36, SOMERSWORTH 24 – PHOTOS
Patriots: Mya Brown (13 points), Maddie Koehler (12)
Hilltoppers: Ella Parr (8 points)
BOYS: DERRYFIELD 62, KENNETT 46 – PHOTOS
Cougars: Alex Comire (22 points), Ethan Flanagan (11), John McDevitt (10)
Eagles: Ben Dougherty (16 points), Daven Bailey (13)
GIRLS: KENNETT 70, SANBORN 15 – PHOTOS
Eagles: Kaley Goodhart (17 points), Kaylee McLellan (14)
Indians: Emma Gillis (11 points)
GIRLS: COFFEE COUNTY (TN) 110, COE-BROWN 33 – PHOTOS
Lady Raiders: Chloe Gannon (18 points), Emaleigh Tarpley (16), Channah Gannon (15), Olivia Vinson (14), Natalie Barnes (14)
Bears: Hannah Meehan (11 points)
Competition heated up during day 2 of The 43rd Annual Mike Lee Holiday Basketball Bash at Farmington High School. Three of the eight total semifinal spots across both divisions were determined and four tournament records were broken on the eight-game day.
If you missed any of the day 2 action, you can watch back archives of all games. We also have a notebook below, followed by a list of the day’s results that features double-digit scorers and links to photo galleries and video highlights for select games.
• Profile’s dynamic duo of juniors Josh Robie & Alex Leslie led the Patriots to a record-setting performance in their first game of the tournament. Robie connected on 10 three-pointers en route to a tourney record 52 points, while the Patriots also set the high-water mark for points in a single game with a 103-44 win over Nute. The game also featured the most three-point field goals combined for both teams (21) as Profile buried 13 and Nute dropped eight of their own.
• The host Farmington boys and girls both advanced to the semifinals in their respective brackets, while the Belmont girls also punched their ticket to the final four.
• One of the unique, and frankly our favorite, parts of The Bash took place on Tuesday with a Skills Challenge and 3-Point Contest. Sanborn’s Allie Bezanson and Nute’s Anthony Tracia took home the hardware in the Skills Challenge, while Farmington’s Anna Cardinal and Profile’s Josh Robie were victorious in the 3-Point Contest.
• The highlight of the tournament so far came in the day two night cap as Farmington’s Jordan Berko threw down a dunk as the host Tigers defeated Lin-wood, 75-57. Watch Berko’s dunk over on our Instagram.
• Coffee County (TN) set the single-game scoring record on the girls side with 101 points.
GIRLS: BELMONT 58, FRANKLIN 28 – PHOTOS
• Belmont advances to the semifinals on Thursday at 3:00 pm.
Red Raiders: Darci Stone (15 points), Alyssa Edgren (10)
Golden Tornadoes: Kourtney Kaplan (10 points)
GIRLS: SANBORN 41, SOMERSWORTH 40 – PHOTOS
• Sanborn advances to the quarterfinals on Wednesday at 1:30 pm.
Indians: Emma Gillis (18 points)
Hilltoppers: Aby Lambert (20 points)
GIRLS: COFFEE COUNTY (TN) 101, NOBLE (ME) 12 – PHOTOS
• Coffee County advances to the semifinals versus Coe-Brown on Wednesday at 6:00 pm.
• CC sets the single-game scoring record with 101 points.
Raiders: Channah Gannon (22 points), Audri Patton (13), Chloe Gannon (12)
Knights: Ashley Merchant (3 points)
BOYS: PROFILE 103, NUTE 44 – PHOTOS | VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS
• Josh Robie sets the individual single-game scoring record
• Profile sets the team single-games scoring record
• The game set the most 3-point field goals made record (21 total, 13 for Profile, 8 for Nute)
Patriots: Josh Robie (52 points), Alex Leslie (32 points)
Rams: Gavin Forcier (12 points), Chase Picard (12)
NEW ENGLAND FURNITURE SKILLS COMPETITION
Girls Champion: Allie Bezanson, Sanborn
Boys Champion: Anthony Tracia, Nute
NORTHEAST ARBOR TEC 3-POINT CONTEST
Girls Champion: Anna Cardinal, Farmington
Boys Champion: Josh Robie, Profile
GIRLS: FARMINGTON 37, PROFILE 34 – PHOTOS
Farmington advances to the semifinals on Thursday at 6:00 pm.
Tigers: Madi Ricker (13 points), Makayla Lapanne (10)
Patriots: Mya Brown (14 points)
BOYS: FARMINGTON 75, LIN-WOOD 57 – PHOTOS
• Farmington advances to the semifinals on Thursday at 7:30 pm.
Lumberjacks: Jake Avery (26 points), Cam Clermont (19)
Tigers: Jordan Berko (22 points), Brian Boisvert (22), Aiden Place (12), Matthew Savoy (12)
By: KJ Cardinal
FARMINGTON – The 43rd Annual Mike Lee Holiday Basketball Bash tips off on Monday and we’ll be there for all 35 games to bring you wire-to-wire coverage of New Hampshire’s largest holiday basketball tournament. This year’s event boasts 22 teams for the boys and girls divisions combined, including girls teams from Maine (Noble) and Tennessee (Coffee County). The five-day event never disappoints and the game presentation in Farmington is second-to-none. We suggest putting down the egg nog and making your way to The Jungle in Farmington to catch some great hoops.
Let us take a look at the top 10 storylines that we’re excited for at The Bash…
• Two words: Josh Robie. Profile’s junior guard is an absolute sniper. At last year’s Bash he knocked down a tourney record 11-threes vs. Holy Family and he has started the 2022-23 season on fire. He scored 40 and 43 points in back-to-back games already this year, netting nine threes in each of those games. He most recently had an “off night” and still pumped in 33 points. Paired with junior do-it-all forward Alex Leslie, head Coach Mitchell Roy has a fun and young squad that features only one senior.
• Coe-Brown’s Dave Smith, the dean of New Hampshire basketball coaches, is back again at The Bash with his Bears. Coach Smith is no stranger to this tournament nor to its namesake. While head coach at Alton High School, Smith actually coached Mike Lee. In Smith’s first three years as head coach at CBNA, he led his then-Comanches to The Bash title game, capturing Coe-Brown’s lone title during the 1992 event with a 52-36 win over Lee’s Tiger squad. The history and connections with Coach Smith and this tourney has all the feels for us.
• The Kennett girls are just one Bash title away from tying the record for most in tournament history. The Eagles have taken home the hardware in two of the last three tourneys, including a convincing 60-23 win over Coe-Brown in last year’s final. Larry Meader’s squad can defend like no other and is off to a quick start to the 2022-23 season.
• The Coffee County Central girls are making their way to the Granite State all the way from Manchester… Tennessee that is. Head coach Joe Pat Cope’s squad comes into the 2022-23 season with an impressive 136-20 (.872) record over the past five seasons. At first glance of at the tourney bracket, it looks as if the Lady Raiders are on a collision course with the Kennett Eagles.
• The Belmont boys are 5-0 under first-year head coach Tony Martinez. While size and length are the first things you notice when you see the Red Raiders take the court, don’t sleep on point guard Treshawn Ray. The freshman is explosive, relentless, unselfish and one of our favorites that we’ve seen in action this year. The Red Raiders are a must-watch team for us.
• If you follow our coverage, then you’ve already seen and heard a lot about the Lin-Wood Lumberjacks. Cam Clermont recently eclipsed the 1,000-point plateau just three games into his senior season and classmate Jake Avery nearly broke the internet with his monstrous tomahawk jam versus Woodsville. Don’t let their 1-2 record fool you, the Lumberjacks lost their season opener at Littleton, who looks to be arguably the best team in D-IV, and then lost a double overtime battle to Woodsville.
• While Derryfield’s Thomas Ferdinando is no longer with the Cougars, having transferred to Governor’s Academy, Ed Meade’s squad still returns a lot of talent and none more impressive than junior forward Jack Krasnof. One of the top scorers in D-IV, Krasnof is averaging over 20 points per game and opened the season with a 39-point performance against Epping.
• The Kennett boys look to become just the second team in Bash history to three-peat at this event. Jack Loynd’s Eagle squad has won the previous two events after capturing the 2021 title with 55-46 victory over Concord Christian Academy.
• Portsmouth Christian Academy seems to have a flair for the dramatic in The Bash and at Farmington High School, in general. The Eagles earned a double-digit come-from-behind win over the Tigers earlier this year in D-IV regular-season action and they’ve had overtime games, buzzer beaters and big comebacks in Bash tourney play ever since capturing the 2014 title over host Farmington.
• The Coe-Brown girls lost in The Bash title game a season ago, but are back along with returning all-tournament selection Kalina Kasprzak. Joe Vachon’s squad has started the 2022-23 with two losses, but the Bear defeats came at the hands of two teams that are expected to be near the top of the heap in D-II when the dust settles.
It’s also worth noting, the host Farmington Tiger girls and boys will be the night caps on the first two days of the event. On opening night, the FHS girls play host to Tennessee’s Coffee County Central, while the boys welcome old Southeastern League foe Raymond. The FHS girls last won the event back in 2009, while the boys earned their last title in 2013.
Be sure to follow our coverage all tourney long. From live video streams to photo galleries and video highlights, we’ll be bringing you top shelf coverage of New Hampshire’s largest holiday basketball tournament. Enjoy the show!
Lin-Wood’s Cam Clermont entered the night needing 27 points to eclipse the 1,000-point plateau and the senior netted 28 in the first half to reach the prestigious milestone. The Lumberjacks rolled past Lisbon, 65-19, on Wednesday evening.
With the win, the Lumberjacks get their first win of the season, while the Panthers drop to 0-4 on the season.
Check out photos of Clermont’s big night by our John-Scott Sherburne…
It was a thriller in the north country on Monday as Woodsville and Lin-Wood battled through two overtimes with the Engineers coming out on top, 81-75, in Lincoln. Woodsville overcame 43 points from Cam Clermont and a monstrous dunk by Jake Avery to come way with a big road victory. Check out the highlights by our Ethan Kimball…
Cam Clermont (40 points) and Jake Avery (36) combined for 76 points to lead #10 Lin-Wood to an 82-69 upset with at #7 Derryfield on Monday night in the preliminary round of the NHIAA Division IV Boys Basketball State Tournament.