Jim Fennell: Senior hoop stars shine in showcase
Meghan Green of Bishop Guertin (DI) goes for the basket by Emily Kehoe of Lebanon (DII) during the girls' basketball senior showcase held at NHTI in Concord on Saturday. (Thomas Roy/Union Leader)
Division II 72, Division I 63: After leading Lebanon to an unbeaten championship season, Moriah Morton and Emily Kehoe had one more winning game in them before their high school careers ended.
Morton scored 17 points and Kehoe added 14 as Division II pulled away in the second half. A 3-pointer by Meghan Green (game-high 23 points) to end the half put Division I up 33-32 at the break, but Keho had all of her points in the second half and Alicia Brown of Portsmouth had 10 of her 14.
DII Girls 72, DI Girls 63
Division II: Dina Pitsas 2-1-6; Emily Kehoe 6-2-14; Ellie Flaum 3-0-7; Rebecca DeBaldo 2-0-4; Meaghan Flynn 2-0-4; Kelsey Schiebel 0-2-2; Jordan Filion 0-2-2; Rebekka Donovan 1-0-2; Moriah Morton 7-3-17; Alicia Brown 5-4-14. Totals 28-14-72 Three-pointers Pitsas; Flaum
Division I: Allie Hartford 1-2-4; Meghan Green 9-3-23; Nikki Hayner 5-0-12; Sam Breslin 1-1-3; Ali Wilson 1-0-2; Madison Gibbs 1-1-4; Caitlyn Perry 5-1-11; Genevieve Gosselin 2-0-4. Totals 25-8-63 Three-pointers: Green 2; Hayner 2; Gibbs
Division II 32-40—72
Division I 33-30—63
Division III 68, Division IV 55: Rachel Hill of Somersworth scored 10 of her game-high 17 points in the second half to help Division III pull away.
Payton Curtis of White Mountains was 3-for-3 on 3-points attempts and finished with 12 points, while Suzie Barry of Bow chipped in with 10. Josee Brunault led Division IV with 15 points.
DIII Girls 68, DIV Girls 55
Division IV: Josee Brunault 4-5-15; Annaliese Schmidt 3-0-6; Makenna Burke 1-5-7; Dori Horne 2-1-5; Hannah Champagne 0-1-1; Bekah Adams 2-0-4; Holly Thompson 1-1-4; Tiarra Beatrice 3-0-7; Lauren McGlaughlin 2-0-6. Totals 18-13-55 Three-pointers: Brunault 2; McGlaughlin 2; Thompson; Beatrice
Division III: Erin Scollans 1-2-4; Molly Dietrich 2-0-4; Sami Hicks 1-0-2; Suzie Barry 4-2-10; Rachel Hill 4-8-17; Jill Roberts 2-3-7; Payton Curtis 4-1-12; Chelsea Paymer 1-1-3; Dina Tischofer 4-1-9. Totals 23-18-68 Three-pointers: Curtis 3; Hill
Division IV 24-31-55
Division III 29-39-68
Division I 100, Division II 87: Bishop Guertin of Nashua senior Jeff Lunn scored 20 points,for the winners. Lunn shot 10-of-15 from the floor and fueled a second-half comeback for Division I. Trinity of Manchester forward Mabor Gabriel helped control the paint for Division I and scored 17 points.
Pembroke guard Matt Persons had 17 points for the Division II all-stars, who took a 51-40 lead into halftime.
Division I 100, Division II 87
Division II: P.J. Flaum 4-1-13; Matt Persons 6-0-17; David Hampton 3-0-8; Nick Lloyd 4-1-13; Zach Grattan 2-1-5; Chris Laurion 3-0-6; Travis MacDonald 6-0-16; Ben Landry 2-4-9; Totals: 30-7-87 Three-pointers: Persons 5, Flaum 4, Lloyd 4, MacDonald 4, Hampton 2, Landry
Division I: Jeff Lunn 10-0-20; Tong Akot 2-0-4; Troy Pelletier 2-2-6; Tyler Russ 3-0-9; Jack Preston 6-0-13; Nick MacGregor 2-0-5; Kaleb Marquis 5-1-12; Andrew Ruffen 2-0-5; Mabor Gabriel 6-5-17; Zoubel Iradukunda 1-0-5; Taylor Saratte 2-0-4; Totals: 42-8-100 Three-pointers: Russ 3, Preston, MacGregor, Ruffen, Iradukunda
Division II 51 36 — 87
Division I 40 60 — 100
Division IV Boys 96, Division III Boys 80: Frank Stanley of Epping led the way with 16 points, and Division IV seniors defeated Division III seniors, 96-80, at New Hampshire Technical Institute on Saturday afternoon. Division IV erupted for 59 points in the second half to pull away. Christian Hawkins and Josh Eisfeller of Newmarket each scored 14 points for the winners.
Division IV Boys 96, Division III Boys 80
Division III: Nick Peters 5-0-11; Mike Heath 3-0-6; Frank Stanley 7-2-16; Christian Hawkins 4-6-14; Josh Eisfeller 7-0-14; Elias Doucette 3-0-7; Travis Chase 2-0-5; Dylan Leach 2-0-4; Hunter Lamberstson 4-0-8; Zach Burns 1-4-6; Josh Bogardus 2-0-5; Totals: 40-72-96 Three-pointers: Peters, Doucette, Chase, Bogardus
Division IV: Steve Auger 2-0-5; Logan Roberts 2-0-4; Max Goveia 4-0-9; Danny Kulbacki 2-0-4; Devin Springfield 7-5-20; Jordan Richard 4-1-9; Billy Brooks 3-0-6; Jacob Morgan 2-0-4; Dimitri Giannos 7-1-16; Drew Francoeur 1-0-2; Kaleb Brace 0-1-1; Totals: 34-69-80 Three-pointers: Auger, Goveia, Springfield, Giannos
Division III 37 59 — 96
Division IV 40 40 — 80
Each had a distinct final line to pen.
For some, it very well could have been the final competitive game of basketball they play. For others, like Meghan Green of Bishop Guertin, it was just a precursor of what lies ahead when they go on to play in college. Green, who was named Miss Basketball, is headed to Boston University next year.
Others will keep playing, just in a different sport. Rachel Hill of Somersworth is headed to UConn to play soccer; Lindsey Nerbonne is going to Syracuse to play field hockey.
Some were playing to catch the eyes of the handful of college scouts in the crowd. They were trying to show they capable of playing at a higher level.
And, then there were players like Colebrook's Josee Brunault, who just wanted to show they could play.
There were more than a few times Brunault, a three-sport athlete who scored more than 1,000 points in basketball, felt she was playing in anonymity in the North Country. Playing on a team with some of the other best seniors in Division IV against a team made up of players from Division III was Brunault's chance to shine.
The point guard took advantage and it had little to do with the florescent green sneakers she was wearing. Brunault scored a team-high 15 points and was the best player on the floor at times. She also won the 3-point shooting contest, beating Green in the final round.
Brunault said she is headed to Boston University or the University of New Hampshire next year to study business and eventually hopes to go to law school. She probably won't play a sport in college, not that she had many choices. Few recruiters make it to Colebrook.
"There was no recruiting process," Brunault said. "This was kind of to prove a point, to show the kind of player I've been in high school. I didn't have a bad game, so it ended on a good note."
While Brunault seemed comfortable with the thought of not playing again, others are still deciding on colleges.
Jack Preston of Nashua South, who won the dunk contest and played for the Division I seniors, said he's narrowed his choices to Plymouth State, Endicott and a prep school, Bridgton Academy. He knew at least one of those coaches were in the crowd looking at him in the game against the Division II seniors.
Many of the college coaches were there to make sure recruits saw them.
NHTI men's basketball coach Paul Hogan, who has run this event almost every year for the past 10 years, said 20-25 coaches show up during the day. Most are Division III coaches, but there have been Division II coaches and even an occasional Division I coach.
Hogan said someone who wasn't on a particular coach's radar will invariably do something to impress that coach and trigger the recruiting process.
"I think that happens every year," Hogan said. "They'll see someone they haven't seen. A lot of coaches are here looking for players who will fit into their system"
For Hogan and NHTI, the recruiting process works the other way, as well. He said players who have never been to NHTI before will see the campus and add the school to their list. He said the men's and women's usually get two to three players from this game every year.
"It ends up being a nice recruiting piece for NHTI," Hogan said.