CONCORD — Coming off a 25-0 Division I state championship season, it's obvious for Manchester Central head basketball coach Dave "Doc" Wheeler to say he wouldn't trade anyone on his roster for anything in the world.
Adding players? Well that's another story.
"I would have loved to have coached Eric Gendron and Carmen Giampetruzzi for four years," said Wheeler. "They're great players, but more importantly, great kids. In the classroom, on the court, they're great role models for any underclassman to look up to and follow."
For one day, Wheeler got his wish.
Gendron of Merrimack, the Division I Player of the Year, tallied 25 points to lead Division I past Division II 114-74 in the NHBCO Granite State High School Senior Games at New Hampshire Technical Institute on Sunday. Gendron became the first player named Mr. New Hampshire Basketball for two straight seasons by the NHBCO.
Cam Meservey of Bedford scored 16 points and Shayne Bourque of Merrimack added 14 in the win. Giampetruzzi, who has already won a state basketball and football state title at Trinity of Manchester, hauled in 10 rebounds. Kafani Williams of Pembroke led Division II with 17 points and Donavon Phanor of Portsmouth netted 14 points.
Shot clock talk
Pembroke Academy coach Matt Alosa, Wheeler and John Fagula of Londonderry, who closed out his 32-year career with a Division I title, were all in agreement it's time to institute a shot clock for high school basketball.
"We're still living in the stone age," said Alosa. "To prepare our kids for college, we should have one. Even though I prefer a 35-second clock, I'd take a 45-second clock to begin the process."
Wheeler said "the shot clock makes the game better. I've heard all the excuses of why we can't have it, but we do need it. It's time."
Fagula chimed i,n saying "I've been saying this for the last 25 years, especially when I was at Nashua. It's time to bring in a shot clock. It's good for the players, the right thing to do."
Top players, coaches
Nate Stanton of Londonderry (Division I), Jim Mulvey of Portsmouth (II), David Chase of Hopkinton (III) and Trevor Howard (IV) of Littleton were honored by the NHBCO as 2014 Boys' Coaches of the Year. On the girls' side, the awards went to Fagula, Steve Signor of Milford, J.J. Winters of Franklin and Jane Weymouth of Nute of Milton.
Robert O'Brien of Conant of Jaffrey (III) and Max Anderson (IV) of Derryfield School of Manchester were named players of the year by the NHBCO. On the girls' side, player of the year awards went to Aliza Simpson of Londonderry, Heather King of Lebanon (II), Hannah Neild of Campbell of Litchfield (III) and Skylar Bonnette of Hinsdale for Division IV.
Jack Ford award
The NHBCO announced its Jack Ford award winners: Division I , Giampetruzzi of Trinity and Amanda Bickford, Salem; Division II, Andrew Lowman of Windham, Kaylin Samia, Kennett of Conway; Division III, Jackson Morton, Sanborn, Rachel Wilcutt, Winnisquam of Tilton; Division IV: Nick Bouchard, Colebrook, Erin Marchesseault, Pittsburg/Canaan. The award is given to that athlete who performs on the court, in the classroom and service to his or her community. Ford was a longtime boys' head coach at Winnacunnet High of Hampton. The NHBCO also honored Dave Smith of Coe-Brown of Northwood with his 500th career coaching win and Nate Mazerolle of Nashua South with his 200th career victory this season. Smith is believed to be the only head coach who also serves as principal at his school.
We finally got the answer as to who holds the record for most wins by a coach in New Hampshire. "It's John Fagula by five,' said White Mountains of Whitefield girls' head coach Gary Jenness. "I have 619 wins and John has 624," said Jenness, who hasn't decided yet if he'll return for another season.
Fagula on whether Simpson could have cracked the starting five on the 1986-87 Nashua team, selected as the No.1 team in the nation by USA Today. That season the Nashua starters were Joy Barry (Assumption), Stephanie Byrd (Boston College), Celeste Lavoie (Stanford), Becky Shrigley (Iowa) and Missy Ayotte (Duke). "Every other game with Ayotte," said Fagula. "Aliza is the better athlete and Missy is the better shooter." Simpson will be playing for UNH this fall.
Carter Noordsij of Kearsarge Regional of North Sutton scored 20 points to lead Division III past Division IV, 97-65. Jackson Morton of Sanborn of Kingston added 15 points for the winners. In the loss, Jim Stanley of Epping netted 19 points.
On the girls' side, Riselly Deoleo of Bishop Brady of Concord tallied 11 points and Bethany Aumand of Fall Mountain of Langdon added 10 to lead Division III past Division IV, 71-58. Allison Scott of Hinsdale connected for 13 points in the loss.
In the final game, Melissa McLeod of Winnacunnet scored 19 points and Allison Yeaw of Keene had 14 to lead Division I past Division II, 98-83. McKenzie Brown of Bedford had a dozen points in the win. Samantha McDonald of Lebanon led Division II with 16 points and teammate Claire Putnam of Windham contributed 13 points.