NH's young high school basketball talent on display Friday in Concord
Bedford's Haley Driscoll drives by Winnacunnet's Molly Britton during NHIAA Division I Girls Basketball Semifinals held at Southern New Hampshire University March 7 in Manchester. (Thomas Roy/Union Leader)
First up: The NH Chips All-Star Underclassmen Showcase games Friday. The games feature 48 of some of the best underclassmen among the girls and boys. The girls play and 5:45 p.m., with the boys playing at 7:30.
While the top graduating seniors will get their time in the spotlight Saturday, Friday is about the players expected to return to their teams next year.
Leading the way among the boys is Merrimack junior Eric Gendron, who was recently named Mr. Basketball by the New Hampshire Basketball Coaches Organization. He is one of the state's elite players and he won't be alone Friday.
Junior forward Carmen Giampetruzzi led Trinity of Manchester to the Division I title, while junior guard Patrick Welch was the driving force to Pembroke Academy completing an unbeaten season with a Division II title. Junior guard Rob O'Brien was a big reason Conant of Jaffrey won the Division III championship, while junior guard Chad Knighton was the catalyst for Lisbon winning the Division IV tournament.
Keep on eye on Nashua South point guard Tim Preston, while Rich Ruffin of Winnacunnet of Hampton is a junior guard capable of scoring in bunches. Manchester schools will be well represented by Giampetruzzi, junior guard Dawson Dickson of Central, sophomore center Roger Larrivee of Derryfield Academy and Memorial sophomore swingman Kabongo Ngalukulondi.
Headlining the girls are a pair of frontcourt players from Division I champion Bedford, juniors Haley Driscoll and McKenzie Brown. Junior point guards Aliza Simpson of Londonderry and Jamie Sherburne of Bishop Guertin of Nashua will likely be playing Division I basketball in college in two years, while the backcourt of juniors Skylar Bonnette and Ali Scott led Hinsdale to an undefeated regular season and the championship game of the Division IV tournament.
Girls: Taylor Ong, Bishop Brady; Heather King, Lebanon; Clairee Putnam, Windham; Jen Schlim, Coe-Brown; Rene Roggenbuck, Goffstown; Sara Messler, Oyster River; Lexie Hamilton, Hanover; Skylar Bonnette, Hinsdale; Allison Scott, Hinsdale; Bianca Verrett, Littleton; Erika Waterman, Sunapee; Amber Plummer, Newfound; Hannah Neild, Campbell; Morgan Ferland, Fall Mt.; Aliza Simpson, Londonderry; Jamie Sherburne, Bishop Guertin; Sandi Purcell, Alvirne; Haley Driscoll, Bedford; Taylor Choate, Nashua North; McKenzie Brown, Bedford; Emily Hickey, Salem; Brenna Blakslee, Salem; McKenzie Lloyd, Farmington; Casey Evans, Londonderry
Boys: Eric Gendron, Merrimack; Carmen Giampetruzzi, Trinity; Tim Preston, Nashua South; Cam Meservey, Bedford; Jordan Lates, Nashua North; Dawson Dickson, Central; Kabongo Ngalukulondi, Memorial; Rich Ruffin, Winnacunnet; Roger Larrivee, Derryfield; James Fitzgerald, Sunapee; Jim Stanley, Epping; Chad Knighton, Lisbon; Robert O'Brien, Conant; Josh Joyce, Gilford; Jared Stauffeneker, Mascenic; Isaiah Prince, Monadnock; Eli Hodgson, Conant; Aiden Dean, Laconia; Pat Welch, Pembroke; Jordain Bell, Bishop Brady; Nick Lazar, Oyster River; Jake Vaiknoras, Pelham; Dominick Morrill, Lebanon; Keith Brown, Pelham