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Nashua's Tavarez making a strong impression for NHTI

YORDY TAVAREZ wants to help the NHTI men's basketball team win as many games as it can this season. The freshman guard from Nashua has done his part so far, averaging a team-high 21.6 points and 2.2 steals per game.

"When we win, everything get better and it elevates everything else," said Tavarez.

The Lynx (15-4) have won six of their last seven games, with Tavarez playing a key role in the last two. Tavarez scored 22 points, and had nine rebounds and seven assists in NHTI's 92-80 home victory over Vermont Tech on Wednesday. Four days before, he posted 34 points, six rebounds, seven assists and two steals in a 88-86 Lynx home win over Navy Prep.

"His 34 points against Navy (Prep) is certainly a high point but he's played well all year and definitely can score," said NHTI head coach Paul Hogan. "He's a high-energy basketball player. He has a motor and a half."

The victory over Vermont Tech was Hogan's 500th in his coaching career. He is in his 15th year at NHTI and previously coached eight seasons at Plymouth State University.

Tavarez's scoring output this past week earned him both the United States Collegiate Athletic Association Division II Men's Basketball and the Yankee Small College Conference player of the week honors.

"I just come out and play," Tavarez said. "In this league, it hasn't been really difficult for me to score. Sometimes things are going very well and my shot goes down easier. When my teammates are playing well, it helps me breathe and makes scoring a lot easier."

Tavarez ranked fourth in the YSCC in scoring after NHTI's 96-92 loss at the College of St. Joseph in Rutland, Vt., on Friday.

Even though his college career is just beginning, Tavarez said he has already seen his individual game improve since his days at Nashua South High School.

"I'm improved all around this year," Tavarez said. "My shot has gotten better, my ballhandling has gotten better...I worked hard all summer to prepare for the winter season."

Hogan said his leading scorer has quickly developed chemistry with a few players on the team, including guard Curtis Williams of Newmarket. Williams is averaging 12.9 points per game this season.

"They have formed a very consistent backcourt," Hogan said of Tavarez and Williams. "They complement each other well because neither one of them is a true point guard but they both handle the ball real well."

Tavarez said it benefits both him and Williams when either one of them is putting up points in a game.

"When he's having a good game, it helps me and when I'm having a good game it helps him out too...we have very good chemistry and we work out together all the time," Tavarez said.

While Hogan has been impressed by his guard's individual success this season, the coach said Tavarez always has a team-first attitude.

"He's all about the team, he really wants to win, at end of day that's the most important thing (to him)," Hogan said. "He wants to help us win and he has grown as a player tremendously."

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Men's golf

Bryant University head men's golf coach Charlie Blanchard announced Wednesday that Cameron Giles and Bedford's Ryan Brown have signed National Letters of Intent to play golf at Bryant next season.

Brown won a Division I state championship with Bedford in both 2014 and 2012. Bryant won the Northeast Conference title last season.

"We expect Ryan and Cameron to be the cornerstone of Bryant golf over the next four years," said Blanchard in a statement.

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Softball

Carrah Fisk Hennessey has been named the permanent head coach of the Keene State softball team. Fisk Hennessey served as the interim softball coach for the Owls last season, leading the team to a 19-19 record and a Little East Conference tournament title. The 1999 Keene State graduate served as the head coach at New England College from 2001-09 and joined the Owls as an assistant coach in 2013. As a student-athlete at Keene State, Fisk Hennessey played both softball and women's soccer.

"Keene State is a softball powerhouse, and we thrive on living up to the high expectations that we not only have for ourselves, but that our program history provides for us," Fisk Hennessey said in a statement.

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Alex Hall compiles the college notebook for the New Hampshire Sunday News. He can be reached at ahall@unionleader.com or on Twitter @AlexKHall.


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