Roger Brown's High School Basketball: Perfection became goal for Central
Londonderry coach John Fagula and player Casey Evans (33) react after defeating Bedford in the Div. I NHIAA Girls Basketball Championship game vs. Bedford at Southern New Hampshire University Sunday. Londonderry won 57-56. (Mark Bolton/Union Leader)
Then there's the 2013-14 Manchester Central boys' basketball team, a greedy and talented bunch that not only aimed to win this year's Division I title, but wanted to go undefeated in the process.
"We worked so hard in the offseason," said Central guard Jon Martin, who scored 18 points Saturday. "To win 25 — that's quite a win streak. This team is incredibly poised. You have to give us credit for preparation. We were ready for this one."
"Two-thirds of the way through the season I started to get nervous before every game," Wheeler said following Saturday's contest. "I just didn't want the guys to be disappointed.
JOHN FAGULA'S illustrious coaching career ended on a high note when he guided the second-seeded Londonderry girls to a 57-56 upset over previously unbeaten Bedford in Sunday's Division I championship game.
FOLLOWING Pembroke Academy's 49-40 triumph over Portsmouth in Saturday's Division II boys' championship game, Pembroke coach Matt Alosa and Portsmouth coach Jim Mulvey both said either Pembroke guard Pat Welch or Pembroke forward Kafini Williams deserved to be the Division II Player of the Year.
Williams led all scorers (22 points) and rebounders (11) in Saturday's victory. Welch finished with 15 points.
Sunday's Division II girls' championship game featured teams that could contend for next year's title as well. Merrimack Valley of Penacook, which won the championship by beating Coe-Brown of Northwood 55-49, will return two starters, including sophomore forward Mayson Kimball. Kimball had 18 points, 13 rebounds, two blocked shots and one steal in Sunday's victory.
"They're all coming back," Coe-Brown coach David Hartnett said. "We'll see what happens."
DEFENSE played a big role in the Conant of Jaffrey boys' basketball team's success this season. Conant won this year's Division III championship by beating Campbell of Litchfield 40-36 Sunday.
"It's defense first here," said Conant's Robert O'Brien. "The goal is always to keep our opponent under 40."
AFTER picking up three fouls in the first quarter and sitting out the rest of the first half, Epping guard Jimmy Stanley scored 20 second-half points to help the Blue Devils erase a 17-point deficit and win the Division IV title with a 74-70 triumph over Sunapee on Saturday.
Roger Brown covers high school basketball for the New Hampshire Union Leader and Sunday News. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @603SportsMedia.