action:article | category:SPORTS21 | adString:SPORTS21 | zoneID:40

Home » Sports » High School Sports

January 23. 2014 10:16PM

Roger Brown's High School Hoopla: Crane can relate

Marshall Crane was part of the best recruiting class the Bishop Brady High School boys’ basketball program ever put together. At least that’s what he heard throughout his high school career.

Crane, who grew up in Concord, said he chose to attend Bishop Brady (located in Concord) for a mix of athletic and academic reasons. His thoughts about not attending Concord High School grew stronger when he was told he would not be allowed to try out for Concord’s varsity team until his sophomore year. Back then, freshmen attended Rundlett Middle School.

Bishop Brady reached the Class I championship game three times during Crane’s time there. At one point In 1998, Crane’s senior year, NESN ranked the Green Giants as the No. 1 team in New England.

“There was a time when Bishop Brady was a pretty average Class M program,” Crane said. “Then they moved to Class I. Then they became a good Class I team. Then they became a contender in Class I. Then we were the No. 1 team in New England. People were asking, ’How did that happen?’”

There were recruiting accusations, but Crane insists there were no envelopes filled with cash or coaches whispering in his ear, telling him or anybody else where they should be playing high school basketball.

“There were rumblings around the city of Concord,” Crane recalled. “Every player on our roster, one through 12, was pointed at. On the road my junior and senior year we were constantly harassed. Other schools felt that Bishop Brady was recruiting when that wasn’t the case.”

Crane also played for the Granite State Raiders, a Concord-based AAU program that was in the news last week when Pembroke Academy made it clear that it was appealing the New Hampshire Interscholastic Athletic Association’s ruling that made two of its students ineligible to play basketball this season. Neither side was specific about why the players were ruled ineligible, but the NHIAA does not allow students to transfer for primarily athletic reasons.

Both ineligible players transferred to Pembroke from other NHIAA schools before the start of the current school year. Like Crane, both players also played for the Granite State Raiders, a program run and coached by Frank Alosa. Frank’s son, Matt, is Pembroke Academy’s head coach, and led the Spartans to a 22-0 record and the Division II championship last season.

Because he also played for Frank Alosa and was labeled “a recruit” while in high school, Crane can offer a unique perspective on the Pembroke situation. He isn’t taking a side in the issue — at least not publicly — but said he sympathizes with the players who, as it currently stands, have lost out on a year of high school basketball.

“That’s a year they won’t get back,” Crane said. “You only go to the prom once. You only play high school basketball once. There are no redos.

“It’s not hurting Pembroke Academy, It’s not hurting the NHIAA. It’s not hurting the players’ parents. It’s hurting the boys.

“The whole thing hit home with me when I was reading about it because I was one of those kids who was accused of being recruited (Crane was never ruled ineligible), and I remember how tough that was. It has to be a lot worse today with social media. At the end of the day these are just kids.”

Crane, who played college basketball at Boston University, said he took two things from recent articles on the Pembroke situation:

1) Frank and Matt Alosa have each become an easy target for those who are jealous of Pembroke’s recent success.

2) The players who have been ruled ineligible are paying for someone else’s mistake. Either the transfers were improper, or the NHIAA made an incorrect ruling.

“I don’t know all the facts, but I think accusing Matt Alosa and Frank Alosa is unfair,” Crane said. “I think what they do is nothing but positive.

“There was a mistake made by someone, and it may have even been an honest mistake. How many parents know the ins and outs of the NHIAA transfer rules?

“I can’t blame someone who transfers within the rules because they want to better themselves, and I understand the NHIAA rules and I respect that. If there were no NHIAA, it would be madness.

“There’s something that happened, and the ones paying the price are those kids. It’s heartbreaking to see that.”

- - - - - - - -

TWO of the three unbeaten girls’ teams in Division IV will meet tonight when Nute of Milton travels to Hinsdale. Both teams are 7-0 and trail only Groveton (9-0) in the Division IV standings.

Hinsdale hasn’t allowed more than 36 points in a game this season.

The only unbeaten girls’ teams in Division III will clash on Feb. 3, when Bishop Brady will face Campbell of Litchfield. Bishop Brady is currently 9-0, and Campbell is 7-0.

Bedford (6-0), Londonderry (6-0), Pinkerton Academy of Derry (6-0) and Hanover (6-0) are the only other unbeaten girls’ teams in the state.

- - - - - - - -

STINGY defense is one of the reasons the Merrimack boys are off to a 6-0 start. Entering tonight’s game against Concord, the Tomahawks are allowing an average of 43 points per contest.

“Defense is a big part of our game,” Merrimack guard Eric Gendron said. “Ever since Day 1 we knew we were a blue-collar team and in order to win a lot of games like we’re doing right now we were going to have to play team defense. Everybody has to play defense together. It’s not about one person.”

Merrimack held Dover to 17 points in a 40-point victory earlier this month. The only time the Tomahawks have surrendered 60 or more points this season came in a 63-60 triumph over Alvirne of Hudson, and that game went to overtime.

“After (the Queen City Invitational) we had a streak where we really worked on (defense),” Merrimack coach Tim Goodridge said. “Our goal is to keep improving and see where we are in another six or eight weeks.”

Roger Brown covers high school basketball for the New Hampshire Union Leader and Sunday News. He can be reached at Follow him on Twitter: @603SportsMedia.

 NH Sports Angle ╗ more
Links to news and happenings around the world of sports with a Granite State connection, updated daily.

Former All-Star Red Sox shortstop Rico Petrocelli: ôblessedö to have grown up in Brooklyn, now lives in Nashua

Toronto Maple Leafs left wing James van Riemsdyk, right, tangles with Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask in the first period of Game 1 of their NHL Eastern Conference quarterfinals hockey playoff series in this 2013 file photo.

NH-based insurer sues NHL to limit its defense in players concussion lawsuits

A's claim former Fisher Cat Marcus Walden

Mariano Rivera's son to pitch for NH squad

Kevin Davis, CEO and president of Bauer Performance Sports, displays Bauer Hockey's latest innovation in hockey skates — the Vapor APX 2 with easily changeable skate blades in this 2013 file photo.

Exeter-based Bauer continues to expand beyond hockey with $330M purchase of baseball firm Easton-Bell

Hollis-Brookline head football coach resigns unexpectedly

New owners for Waukewan Golf Club

Matches announced for USA v. Cuba clash at Rockingham Park this weekend

Boston Marathon victim Jeff Baumann throws out the first pitch prior to the start of a game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Fenway Park last year.

Service's creed on display in support of airman affected by Boston bombing

40-year-old Manchester mechanical engineer wins MMA decision

New Hampshire Motor Speedway touts viability of casino site in Loudon

USA Knockouts Tamed in Cuba

U.S., Cuba boxers clash in Havana, U.S. bouts set for Rockingham Park in Salem

Lee USA Speedway opens season April 13

Newmarket woman plans world-record cross-country run for charity


Is Chip Kelly racist?

World Series of Boxing event moved to Rockingham Park - USA vs. Cuba

Manchester man in top 30 candidates for Padres public address announcer

NH man helps MLB players deal with stresses on, off the field

Review of the 2014 Toronto Blue Jays Minor League Handbook

New Hampshire Motor Speedway may run Sprint Cup race in 2015 under the lights

How Boston lost the Patriots and 'New England' grabbed the NFL's 'Gold Standard'

Twin State Speedway gets new manager

Yale promotes former UNH coach to offensive coordinator

Bulldogs sign UNH's Nick Sorkin


 New Hampshire Events Calendar


Upcoming Events

 New Hampshire Business Directory