Tag: Profile

Strong second half leads Profile to D-IV title, perfect season

By: KJ Cardinal

NEW LONDON, NH – Top-seeded Profile outscored No. 2 Littleton by 14 in the second half to come away with the 2024 NHIAA Division IV Boys Basketball State Championship, 53-48, on Saturday afternoon at Colby Sawyer College.

The win puts a bow on Profile’s perfect 22-0 season, giving the Patriots their second state title in the program history (2004).

The Crusaders came ready to play as they led 12-11 after one and 24-19 at the half. Littleton managed to hold Profile’s Josh Robie, the division’s leading scorer, to just five first-half points.

Profile started the second half looking to push the tempo and back-to-back threes by Cayden Wakeham gave the Patriots the boost they needed. Robie pumped in 9 points in the 3rd and just like that, Littleton’s lead evaporated. Profile tied the game at 40-40 heading to the 4th.

The Patriots managed just two 4th-quarter field goals, both three pointers Josh & Karsen Robie, and then sealed the deal at the line.

Josh Robie finished with a game-high 22 points for Profile, while Alex Leslie and Wakeham chipped in with 16 and 8, respectively. Littleton was led by Kayden Hoskins’ 19 points, including five threes, and 11 from Mikey Rodriguez.

Check out the full photo gallery of the action by Jeff Criss of Perfect Photos…

Check out the full photo gallery of the action by Jill Stevens…

Profile wins defensive battle, advances to title game

By: KJ Cardinal

Top-seeded Profile defeated #4 Farmington, 49-34, in a defensive battle in the semifinals of the NHIAA Division IV State Tournament on Monday night at Bedford High School.

Both teams held each other to their second-lowest scoring output of the season as Profile advances to the title game and will take on #2 Littleton on Saturday at Colby Sawyer College in New London at 3:00 PM.

Farmington jumped out to a 7-4 lead and looked poised in the opening quarter. A Danny Burnell three-point as time expired in the 1st gave Profile a 10-9 lead after one. The Tigers were held to just five 2nd-quarter points and the Patriots took a 22-14 lead to the break.

Profile kept at least an 8-point cushion for nearly the entire second half and pulled away to the 15-point win.

The Tigers held Josh Robie, the division’s leading scorer (26 PPG), to just 13 points, while Alex Leslie paced the Patriots with a game-high 17 points. Farmington was led by 15 points from Demery Hadges and 9 from Shawn Murphy.

Check out the full photo gallery by Jill Stevens…

Check out the full photo gallery by Jeff Criss of Perfect Photos…

Check out the full photo gallery by Betsy Hansen…

Check out another gallery by Chris Laclair of Chris Clicks Photography…

WELCOME TO THE CLUB: Profile’s Robie hits 2K mark in playoffs

By Mike Whaley

Honestly, the first thing that Josh Robie felt when he reached the 2,000-point milestone on Thursday night in a 58-33 win over Portsmouth Christian Academy in the Division IV boys basketball quarterfinals was, well, happy to get it out of the way.

The Profile senior guard moved past the 2K plateau with a left-handed layup in the fourth quarter of the playoff win, scoring 21 points. That, along with 22 points from junior Cayden Wakeham, helped the unbeaten No. 1 Patriots (20-0) reach the D-IV semis set for Monday night at Bedford HS (7:30 p.m.) against No. 4 Farmington (17-3). No. 2 Littleton and No. 6 Woodsville, the defending champion, play in the earlier semi at 5:30 p.m.

“It’s honestly a relief to get it over with,” Robie said. “Going into the final four it’s going to be a huge game, so it’s nice to get it over with. I can just focus on winning games.”

Robie is the first NH player to reach that milestone since Mascoma Valley’s current girls’ coach, Tonya Young, capped her career with the Royals in 2007, ending with 2,112 points. He is the first boy to hit the mark going back 25 years when former Concord HS and NBA star Matt Bonner and Kearsarge’s Steve Lavolpicelo did so in 1999.  Robie is the 12th NH boy to hit the milestone and the 17th player overall to join the elite club. He is also the first player from the state’s North Country to reach 2,000.

Courtesy: Chris Laclair, Chris Clicks Photography

“It’s great to have that done before we get to the final four,” said coach Mitchell Roy. “PCA is a great defensive team. They probably guarded as well if not better than anybody else. I’m like ‘he’s 16 away, that’s going to get it.’ But 16 is not 4 or 2.” That said, there was some drama as Robie didn’t reach the mark until the fourth quarter.

It was a different situation for Robie scoring 2,000 than 1,000. When he hit the 1K mark at the Farmingron holiday tournament in 2022, he didn’t know how close he was, so he felt there was no pressure on him. That was not the case Thursday. He knew he was 16 points away from 2,000 coming into the game. “You can say ‘don’t think about it.’” he said. “But it’s hard not to think about it.”

As Robie recalled, a lot of his points came from the free throw line. “It was a weird night,” he said. The milestone hoop came with 5:52 to play in the fourth quarter. Jackson Clough rebounded a missed PCA shot and pitched it quickly out to Robie at halfcourt on the left. He drove in for the lefty layup for his 16th and 17th point of the night and the 2,000th and 2,001st of his career. “It was a sigh of relief,” the 6-foot senior said. He has 2,005 points going into Monday, tied with Fall Mountain’s Jayson Waysville (1994).

Courtesy: Chris Laclair, Chris Clicks Photography

Some NH 2,000-pointers offered their congratulations through video messaging to Ball 603, including unofficial club chairman, Keith Friel, who played at Oyster River HS and later at Notre Dame and Virginia. “Congratulations on all the years of sacrifice by you, your family, coaches, teammates, and lastly your community. Good luck in the playoffs and keep it going.”

“It hasn’t been accomplished (by a boy) since the profile of the Old Man of the Mountain was still standing 25 years ago,” said Bonner, who scored 2,459 points at Concord HS, played in college at the University of Florida, and in the NBA with the Toronto Raptors and San Antonio Spurs. “I know first hand how hard it is to do that with eight minute quarters and no shot clock. So congratulations Josh and best of luck for whatever life has in store for you, and live free or die.”

“Congratulations on this great accomplishment and great feat that not a lot of people have done,” said Young, the last NH hoopster to hit 2K 17 years ago. She later played at the University of Vermont. “Enjoy it. It’s so good in the moment and good luck in the future.”

David Burrows is the all-time state scoring leader with 2,845 points. “I too played for a D-IV school and I’m pretty confident that your fans and teammates are really enjoying this. You should enjoy it as well,” said Burrows, who graduated from Nute High School in 1990, leading the Rams to the Class S/D-IV title that year. He also scored in excess of 1,000 points at Bryant University. “Congratulations again. Good luck in the tournament and welcome to the club. Shooters shoot.”

Courtesy: Chris Laclair, Chris Clicks Photography

Robie has played for the Patriots since he was in eighth grade, something that only D-IV players are allowed to do. He scored right around 120 points that year, but played just 10 games his freshman year. The lion’s share of his points have come over the last three seasons. “When he got a thousand, you kind of knew he could get it,” said Roy. “But we’ve been very fortunate to be healthy. … It’s crazy to think that he has 2,000 and Alex Leslie is going to finish right around 1,500. That’s a lot when you see that in one class of kids. While we have almost 3,500 points in scoring between those two guys, neither of them led us in scoring last night in our quarterfinal win.”

While Profile counts on Robie to score, that has shifted as he’s gotten older and more of his teammates have grown into scoring roles. “I’ve been trying to find the right balance in winning games, which is our No. 1 priority, and trying to play at the right pace for myself,” Robie said. “I’m just trying to do what’s best for the team. My 2,000 points, that comes after winning games.”

“If you look at games when I was younger, I was probably forcing it more than I should have,” Robie said. “This year, I’m letting it come to me a lot more. My team finds me when I’m open. They give me confidence. Coaches give me confidence. The work that I put in, my teammates just believe in me out there.”

Courtesy: Chris Laclair, Chris Clicks Photography

Robie led D-IV in scoring, averaging right around 26 points per game, but it could have been a lot more. “I’ve held him back significantly,” coach Roy said. “We used to just say go, go, go. We weren’t as good, so I was kind of letting him do whatever he wanted because we were a young team and I was trying to help him gain his confidence. It’s tough, but he could score way more than I’m letting him. … He knows for him to get more open, and shots that we need now that are good shots for us, he needs his teammates to show up.”

That scoring balance is readily apparent. Leslie is averaging 20 points as the team’s No. 2 scorer, but it doesn’t stop there. Wakeham is right around 14 ppg and Robie’s brother, Karsen, is averaging a shade under 9 ppg. It also helps that the key players are now juniors and seniors. “We have a lot of weapons,” Roy said. “It forces them to get out of their box-and-one, get out of their zone or their triangle-and-two. It’s great because we can then play against man to man and Josh can really show off what he does as a player. It allows him to be more free because those other guys are huge pieces. It’s a lot more fun than having Josh score 30 instead of 40 now. I think they would all agree.”

Robie concurs. “I think as a team it’s gotten a lot better,” he said. “Last I remember in the playoffs in our loss to Woodsville we were basically going through me and Alex. We had a lot of other players who really weren’t doing a whole lot. Then you look at this year, when we played Woodsville, you get the ball to Karsen, it’s almost an automatic 3 every time. You have Cayden who can get by his defender and you have Riley (Plante) and Jackson (Clough) who are out there and clean up on the boards. It’s a big step forward. Those guys add a lot out there.”

Courtesy: Chris Laclair, Chris Clicks Photography

Roy, like Robie, is glad the milestone is out of the way. “It has been a distraction in a way,” Roy said. “It’s probably distracted me more than it distracted Josh. I have to make the decision when we’re up a good amount in a game, should I play him and risk his health out there or should I hold him back and avoid him from getting this milestone. I’ve got a lot of negativity from people; even this year. Our first-round game, there were comments online that we were still shooting, up 40 points (they beat Epping, 79-21, and Robie scored 34). They don’t understand, it’s the tournament. Some people think we take it too seriously. I think you’ve got to be really focused to be competitive. We’re going to keep that focus as we play a great Farmington team.”

“Aside from the shooting prowess, which is obviously pretty special, I’m really impressed with his focus,” said Farmington coach Adam Thurston. “I don’t think I’ve seen the kid smile in three years; just the way he carries himself on the court and developed his overall game. The fact that you have to account for him every single second of every single possession. I don’t think we’ve really had a player in the division since we’ve been in D-IV that’s garnered that much attention.”

Josh Robie will have Farmington’s full attention Monday night as Profile looks to advance to the championship for the first time in 20 years when the Patriots won the program’s only title in 2004.

2K TIDBITS: Three schools have two 2K scorers – Epping’s Kerry Bascom and Ryan Gatchell; Nute’s Julie Donlon and David Burrows, and Kearsarge’s Tom Brayshaw and Steve Lavolpicelo.

Two players scored their 2,000th point in a state championship game. Fall Mountain’s Jayson Waysville did it in his final high school game in the 1994 Class M final, a 67-55 win over Inter-Lakes. Burrows actually hit 2,000 in the last game of his junior year, a 58-39 loss to Epping in the Class S championship. Burrows scored 30 of his team’s 39 points. He did come back as a senior to lead the Rams to the state title, beating Wilton-Lyndeborough for the crown, 56-45. He scored 149 points in four playoff games, a state record across all divisions that still stands.

Here is a list of 2K players to play on a state championship team or teams and the year(s) they did it: Burrows, Nute (1990), Karen Wood, Henniker (1981, 1982, 1983, 1984); Gatchell, Epping (1989, 1991, 1992); Matt Alosa, Pembroke (1991); Bonner, Concord (1997, 1998, 1999); Kerry Bascom, Epping (1985); Scott Drapeau, Merrimack Valley (1989, 1990); Friel, Oyster River (1995, 1996); Young, Mascoma (2004), and Waysville, Fall Mountain (1994).

Many of the Division IV/Class S players like Robie played as eighth graders, the only division where it is possible to play on the varsity before high school.

Watch as Granite State legends welcome Josh Robie to the 2,000-point club…

Robie nets 2,000th point, leads Profile to semis

Josh Robie became just the 12th player in New Hampshire boys basketball history to reach the 2,000-point plateau, and the first boy to do so in 25 years, as he poured in 21 points in Profile’s 58-33 win over Portsmouth Christian in quarterfinal action on Thursday night.

The Patriots advance to the NHIAA Division IV semifinals where they will take on #4 Farmington on Monday at Bedford High School at 7:30 pm.

Robie entered the game needing 16 points to reach 2,000 and he finally did in the fourth quarter on a lay up that helped salt away the victory for Profile.

The Patriots were led by 22 points from Cayden Wakeham and Alex Leslie added 10. The Eagles were paced by 14 points from Cai Summers.

Check out the full photo gallery by Jill Stevens…

Profile upsets Hinsdale, advances to quarterfinals

No. 10 Profile went on the road and upset No. 7 Hinsdale, 50-42, on Tuesday night in first round action of the 2024 NHIAA Division IV Girls Basketball State Tournament.

The Patriots advance to the quarterfinals where they will take on to seed Groveton on Friday.

Check out the full photo gallery of the action by our newest contributor Jess Bonnette of Jess Marie Photography…

Profile eases past Epping to quarterfinals

Top-seeded Profile put together a dominant performance in the first round of the NHIAA Division IV Boys Basketball State Tournament as the Patriots eased to a 79-21 victory over No. 16 Epping on Monday night.

With the win, Profile advances to the quarterfinals where the Patriots will play host to #8 Portsmouth Christian on Thursday.

Senior Josh Robie poured in a game-high 34 points, including 14 in the 3rd quarter alone to pace the Patriots. Alex Leslie (20) and Cayden Wakeham (14) also netted double-digits for Profile.

Blake Snyder scored 15 of the Blue Devils 21 points.

Check out the full photo gallery of the action by Jill Stevens…

6 Unbeatens Remain

By: KJ Cardinal & Jayda Davis

It’s crunch time in NHIAA basketball with state tournament play looming right around the corner. While some teams are vying to just make the playoffs or perhaps secure a coveted home game, there are six well-oiled machines around the Granite State that are still in search of perfection.

Let’s take a look at the six remaining unbeatens…

Division I Boys: Bedford

Bedford’s Luke Soden leads the Bulldogs with 26.5 PPG. [📸 Todd Grzywacz]

Frank Moreno’s Bulldogs have their sights set on back-to-back state titles and with a perfect 14-0 mark, it’s hard not to think they’ll get there. Bedford’s high-octane offense is averaging a scorching 81.1 points per game and winning by nearly 24 points per contest.

Luke Soden has been nothing short of amazing this season, pouring in 26.5 PPG, while Brady O’Connell (15.5 PPG) and Austin Kasyjanski (13.7 PPG) are the mainstays for the Bulldog fire power.

Bedford has only played in three games this season that were decided by single digits, with a three-point win over Manchester Memorial being the biggest test thus far for the Bulldogs. However, that may all change tonight as Bedford heads to Derry to take on 13-1 Pinkerton in a rematch of last year’s championship game. You can watch that game live here (PPV).

Division I Girls: Bedford & Pinkerton

Pinkerton’s Elizabeth Lavoie leads the Astros with 20.0 PPG. [📸 Jill Stevens]

In what could be a preview of the 2024 title game, it’s a battle of the unbeatens tonight in Bedford when the Bulldogs (14-0) host Pinkerton (14-0). You can watch that game live here (FREE).

These two squads have been absolutely steam-rolling the rest of the division. Bedford is winning by an average margin of 42.9 PPG. The Bulldogs six-point victory, 56-50, at Portsmouth back on Jan. 23 is their only win this season coming by less than 30 points. Let that sink in for a second.

Pinkerton is also winning by a 31.6-point clip with their closest game being a 17-point victory at Dover on Jan. 26. Lani Buskey’s Astros are led by the top scorer in the division Elizabeth Lavoie (20.0 PPG) and two other double-digit scorers: Sydney Gerossie (15.5) and Brooke Benz (10.2).

Bedford’s Lana McCarthy leads the Bulldogs with 13.9 PPG. [📸 Cindy Lavigne]

Kevin Gibbs’ Bulldogs boast the most dominant player in the state with Lana McCarthy. The McDonald’s All-American Game nominee is averaging 13.9 PPG in often limited minutes due to Bedford’s 40+ point victories. The Purdue commit is paired with Kate Allard (13.4 PPG) to form an extremely tough duo.

Division IV Boys: Profile
The 16-0 little town of Bethlehem Profile Patriots could be the most fun team to watch in the state. This group of perennial north-country underdogs is not only the divisions top dog this season, but one of the top teams in the state, regardless of division. Period.

Profile’s Josh Robie leads the Patriots with 26.4 PPG. [📸 KJ Cardinal]

We’ve witnessed first-hand the Patriots defeat opponents from all four Divisions and Mitchell Roy’s squad would most definitely compete with any foe put in front of them. The biggest reasons for this: seniors Josh Robie and Alex Leslie.

While his shot may look unorthodox, Robie (26.4 PPG) is an absolute sniper from deep and his improved mid-range game and playmaking abilities are the driving force behind Profile’s perfect start. Leslie (19.8 PPG) is one of the most athletic bigs in the division and his ability to get downhill and finish on opponents can be deadly at times.

Seemingly always in the way for Profile has been Woodsville and Littleton. The Patriots have knocked off Woodsville once this season and twice defeated the Crusaders, including a five-point win, 62-57, on Jan. 31. Profile heads to Woodsville tonight in the final big regular-season test remaining for the Patriots.

Division II Girls: Concord Christian

CCA’s Emma Smith leads the Kingsmen with 19.2 PPG. [📸 KJ Cardinal]

When we said “well-oiled machines”, the first team that comes to mind is Concord Christian. After winning the Division IV crown two years ago and the D-III title last season, the 12-0 Kingsmen seem poised to earn the D-II championship this March.

Rebecca Carlile’s squad simply wears teams down. There isn’t a more conditioned team in the state and CCA’s uptempo style, defensive prowess and the ability to take care of the rock is a brand of basketball that is impressive to watch.

Leading the way for the Kingsmen is Emma Smith (19.2 PPG) and Lilli Carlile (18.6). CCA has already taken care of business twice this season versus the 2nd and 3rd ranked teams with wins over Laconia and Pembroke. The Kingsmen head to Laconia on Feb. 15 for the biggest remaining challenge on the regular-season slate.

Division IV Girls: Littleton

Littleton’s Addison Hadlock is averaging 10.1 PPG for the Crusaders.[📸 KJ Cardinal]

If defense wins championships, then we could certainly see Littleton cutting down the nets at Colby-Sawyer College on March 2nd.

The Crusaders are holding teams to a minuscule 30.7 PPG and winning by an average margin of 27.3 PPG. Only three teams have been able to reach the 40-point plateau versus Littleton all season long.

Dale Prior’s balanced offense is led by a trio of double-digit scorers: Lauryn Corrigan (10.8 PPG), Addison Pilgrim (10.2) and Addison Hadlock (10.1).

The last tough test for the Crusaders this regular season will come tonight as Littleton hosts 15-1 Groveton. The Crusaders escaped Groveton with a narrow five-point win, 39-34, in a defensive battle back on Jan. 5.

Leslie leads Profile past Groveton

Senior Alex Leslie poured in 25 points, including 10 in the 4th quarter, to lead Profile to a 65-39 win at Groveton on Tuesday night.

Karsen Robie (12) and Cayden Wakeham (11) also added double digits for the Patriots, while the Division IV leading scorer Josh Robie was held to just 10 points.

The Eagles were led by 24 points from Hunter Parks.

With the win, Profile pushes its perfect record to 16-0, while Groveton falls to 9-8 on the season.

Check out the full gallery of the action by Shirley Nickles…

Robie drops 40, propels perfect Profile past Newport

The hits just keep on coming for undefeated Profile and prolific scorer Josh Robie. The senior sharpshooter poured in 40 points, including seven three-pointers, as the Division IV Patriots went on the road and defeated D-III Newport, 99-62, on Thursday night.

Robie netted 11 in the 1st quarter, 12 in the 2nd, 12 in the 3rd and seven in the 4th to come away with his 40-point performance. Profile also got an impressive 26 points from Alex Leslie and 17 from Cayden Wakeham.

The Tigers were led by 17 points from Aaron Fellow and 16 from Christian Forsythe.

With the win, the Patriots improve to a perfect 13-0 on the season, while Newport falls to 5-8.

Check out the full photo gallery by Chris Laclair of Chris Clicks Photography…