After finishing the regular season ranked number three in NHIAA Class M and with the first two playoff games at home, it would seem that a trip to the semifinal at Southern NH University should happen. Well, that did not quite happen to the Campbell Cougars on Saturday.
On Wednesday, March 11, the Cougars had relatively smooth sailing with a convincing 69-57 win over number 14 Sanborn Regional High School in the first round. The Cougars out scored Sanborn for the first three quarters and only trailed by one point for the final quarter. Lead by Josh Morgan with 16 points, John Coughlin came off the bench scoring 15 points, while Shawn Henriquez had 12 points and Kiel Canada tossed in 10 points.
Litchfield fans saw a game that was a match-up of speed and passing, run and gun on Saturday. With eight-tenths of a second on the clock Mascoma made the last shot to pull ahead by two points. Tied at 72-72 with 26 ticks on the clock, the Royals had the ball that Keil Canada picked off on the inbound pass but as he crossed the mid-court he was mugged, giving up the ball and scrambling to get off the floor. Sanborn’s Pete Maxfield threw up a shot that missed, however, the rebound was grabbed by Royals’ guard Josh Poland who put up a sky hook which fell through without even hitting the rim, sealing the win for Mascoma.
This event could have been won by either team, Campbell had taken and early lead and up by five points as the first period ended, and as the Cougars headed to the locker room for the half the score was 39-31. With Cougar Josh Morgan having 19 points of the 39 score, Mascoma changed their game plan and came out guarding Morgan a lot closer, but Morgan counted by another 11 ended the game with 28. Both teams proved they were shooters pushing 62 balls thought the hoop with 14 of them from outside the line for 3-pointers.
As this season comes to a close for the Cougars, this group of young men won more games than an other basketball team at Campbell and have a strong future graduating only six from this year teams and have several starters returning – bus trips to Southern NH University seem to be a goal for next year.
It wasn’t supposed to happen. Alvirne was supposed to lose Wednesday, March 11 in the first round and go home. Well, they did go home … home to host the quarterfinal round of the NHIAA Class L tournament. The Broncos went into the Astros’ home court and absolutely crushed number four seeded Pinkerton, 72-46, after having lost to them 69-54 in the regular season. Coach Kevin Bonney felt that this was one of the biggest wins for the basketball program and he was “proud to be a part of it.”
“The boys were not going to have a repeat of the last game,” explained Bonney. The difference in this game as compared to the regular season game was that “the boys felt that they belonged; they executed every facet of the game very well,” said Bonney.
Pinkerton went down 12-0 as the Broncos clicked right from the start, and never let up. Big men Brennan Donnelly (16 points) and Ryan Sweeney (14 points) stepped up their games leading the Broncos onto victory. Sophomore Caleb Donnelly had a game high 23 points while junior Joe O’Hearn added 13 points including eight clutch free throws down the stretch.
It was a thrilling victory for Alvirne and what made it even sweeter was the fact that the 13th seed Londonderry team pulled off an upset against Manchester Central which put the Broncos in an improbable position of hosting a quarterfinal round game.
The Steckevicz gymnasium was filled to capacity on Saturday, March 14, for the quarterfinal match-up as the Broncos took on the Lancers of Londonderry (a team that they defeated 48-44 during the regular season giving them the 12th seed overall). “You can feel the electricity in the air,” said more than one fan in the house. With the band playing in the stands, the “big dog” being released from the dog cage, and principal Bryan Lane leading the Bronco battle cry, the Broncos took the floor and steadfastly defended their home turf. They soundly defeated Londonderry 54-42 as the big men for the Broncos, Brennan Donnelly and Ryan Sweeney, once again led the charge.
With the score tied at 10-10 at the end of the first quarter, it looked like it was going to be a back and forth affair all night. The halftime score of 22-20 in favor of the Broncos had everyone applauding a great game. Alvirne stretched the lead a bit in the third quarter taking a five-point advantage as Donnelly and Sweeney combined for 11 points and pulled down five rebounds between them.
The Broncos continued to add to their lead while holding Londonderry to only seven points in the final stanza. “The play of Sweeney and Donnelly has been key in the past two victories,” credited Bonney. “We are a different team then when we played Trinity the last time,” he continued. “I think all the guys know their roles and I anticipate another big game from our two big guys,” Bonney explained.
Ryan Sweeney led all scorers with 17 points, four rebounds and two assists followed by Caleb Donnelly with 13 points, three rebounds and three steals. Big brother Brennan had another double double as he scored 12 points, pulled down 10 rebounds, handed out three assists, and had three blocked shots. Joe O’Hearn and Chris Goldsack also chipped in with five points apiece.
The Broncos traveled to the University of New Hampshire on Wednesday, March 18, to take on (17-1) number one seed Trinity in the semifinal round of the Class L semifinal matchup. Results of this game were not available at press time.
Congratulations to the JV Winter Spirit Team who competed in the JV Winter Spirit Championships at Nashua South High School.
Boys Varsity Basketball ended with a heartbreaking 74-72 loss to Mascoma Valley to end the team’s march to the final four of Class M. The team would like to thank the faculty, staff and students for the incredible support this season. We appreciate everyone filling the Cougar Den and cheering us on! Campbell proved once again that we have the best fans in the state.
The Varsity Winter Spirit Team ended their season as they competed in the Class M/S Winter Spirit Championships finishing in third place. Congratulations to the team!
The Boys’ Varsity Basketball Team defeated Sanborn Regional in the opening round of the Class “M” Boys’ Basketball Tournament 69-57.
Congratulations to the Boys JV Basketball team as they captured first place in the Epping JV Basketball Classic.
Nashua School of Gymnastics gymnasts had a very busy weekend March 13-15. The level 4-6 gymnasts who scored 33.00 or higher at a Sectional this season finished their season by competing at NH States. States was held at Granite State Gymnastics in Bow. The level 4 team took home a ninth place trophy and the level 5 team a sixth place trophy. The level 7-9 gymnasts competed at the Starlight Invitational hosted by Masstars Gymnastics, at MIT in Cambridge, MA. The level 9 gymnasts were looking for a score of 32.00 to qualify them for NH States to be held at Atlantic Gymnastics in Portsmouth on March 29. The scores for the Hudson and Litchfield gymnasts from NSG are as follows:
Level 4, 6-8 year olds: Devon Rosier had an all around score of 34.725. She scored 8.85 (14th tie) on vault, 7.65 on bars, 8.875 (sixth tie) on beam and 9.35 (third) on floor.
Level 5, 9 year olds: Blake Boulia had an all around score of 33.225. She scored 7.65 on vault, 7.90 on bars, 8.75 (sixth) on beam, 8.925 (sixth) on floor.
10 year olds: Ariel Flaisher had an all around score of 36.15 (third). She scored 8.70 (seventh) on vault, 9.30 (seventh) on bars, 9.20 (fourth) on beam and 8.95 (eighth tie) on floor. Sarah Flynn had an all around score of 34.60. She scored 8.20 on vault, 8.80 (15th) on bars, 8.95 (ninth tie) on beam and 8.65 (14th tie) on floor.
Level 7, 13-plus years: Hailey Boulia competed in three events. She scored 8.15 on vault, 7.75 on bars and 8.025 on floor.
Level 8, 11-12 year olds: Megan Middlemiss scored 34.325 all around. She scored 8.575 on vault, 7.85 on bars, 9.00 on beam and 8.90 on floor.
Level 9, 14-15 year olds: Taylor Boulia had an all around score of 33.075. She scored 8.45 on vault, 8.225 on bars, 8.20 on beam and 8.20 on floor.
The New England Stars Jr. A team capped off an unbelievable comeback in game three, to beat the Maine Moose and win their first International Junior Hockey League (IJHL) Super Elite Championship on Sunday, March 15 at the Ice Hut in Dracut, MA. The New England Stars are part of the Hockey Academy of Hudson.
Down 4-0 halfway through the game, Greg Girtatos tallied his first goal of the playoffs on assists from Logan Brown and Matt Kerwin. Just over a minute later, Zach Lubinski of Hudson beat Moose goaltender Zack Parent on the power play from Brad Irving to cut the deficit to two. Kyle Busby made it a one-goal game at the end of the second to keep the momentum going into the intermission.
The third period went scoreless until Brad Irving got the equalizer, with eight minutes remaining, from Busby and Milisci to make it 4-4. Less than two minutes later, Adam Chevarie put the Stars up for good as he tallied the game winner from Brown at 13:32. Aaron Van Dyck got his first start of the playoffs and made a great save late to preserve the one goal lead and backbone the Stars to the championship.
Congratulations to head coach Dan Fontas and assistant coach Derek Gulizia for a great season. They will conclude next weekend with Nationals in Stoneham, MA.