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Franklin boys explode in 4th for win over Newfound

BRISTOL — With a 67-55 win on Tuesday night at Newfound High School, Franklin Boys Basketball (7-8) will have a chance to even its record when they visit White Mountains on Friday night.

Franklin's win was sealed by a monumental fourth quarter, when Jayden Torres scored 17 of his 33 points, and when Matt Hennessy and TJ Laramie's rebounding prevented Newfound from taking second shots.

Franklin Coach Michael Donnell said, "This was a huge game for us and our fourth win in a row. We're peaking at the right time with the tournament right around the corner. We started sluggish and Newfound was taking advantage of the situation. But the second half we put it together and finished strong getting the win."

Hennessy and Corey Nelson each scored 11 points for Franklin. Newfound (1-14) was lead by Jarrod Fairbank, who scored 19, and P.J. Muse, 18.

18-0, on to the tournament they go

Newfound v Somersworth 1

Newfound's Amanda Johnston gets pressured by Jordan Wall and Madison Dow of Somersworth during NHIAA Division III basketball on Thursday evening. (Karen Bobotas/for The Laconia Daily Sun)


BRISTOL — The Newfound Girls Basketball team acheived regular-season perfection on Thursday night, beating Somersworth 30-26 at home for the team's 18th win in an 18-game season.

Coach Karri Peterson said she wanted her players to remember that they haven't yet accomplished what they set out to do at the beginning of their season.

"I am proud of the girls for achieving at this point, two of three of their season goals. It is great and exciting to go undefeated but now the second season starts and I hope we can continue for another two weeks." The Division III tournament is scheduled to begin on Feb. 23, with the final game on March 4. 

Peterson said Thursday's game turned for Newfound in the third quarter, when all five players on the floor became involved in the offense. Ashlee Dukette lead Newfound with 26 points, 11 rebounds and 5 steals. Savanna Bony scored 18, Amanda Johnston had 3 points, 12 rebounds and 5 assists. Alexis Vantil had 5 points, 6 rebounds and 4 steals, and Molly Schilling added 4 points.



Newfound v Somersworth 2

The Newfound Regional girls varsity basketball team celebrates a perfect season following their commanding win of 56 to 30 over Somersworth onThursday evening. (Karen Bobotas/for the Laconia Daily Sun)

Rogacki honored by Positive Coaching Alliance

GILFORD — After winning his first state championship with the Gilford High School Field Hockey team, Coach Dave Rogacki received another recently honor from the Positive Coaching Alliance.

The Positive Coaching Alliance selected Rogacki as a PCA-New England Honorable Mention Double-Goal Coach. Of the 2,000 nominations made nationwide, PCA-New England had 16 coaches honored – three of the 50 National Double-Goal Coach Award Winners, eight of the 150 Regional Award winners, and five Honorable Mentions. This is a significant honor awarded to coaches that embody PCA's ideals, striving to win while also pursuing the even more important goal of teaching life lessons through sports. Rogacki was nominated by a player, parent or fellow coach, and supported by multiple testimonials. His nomination and testimonials impressed the awards committee with his commitment to helping develop better athletes and better people.

Rick Acquilano, athletic director at Gilford High School, said that Rogacki was well-deserving of the honor.

"I think everybody in the field hockey community at Gilford understands that he's the biggest reason for the success that this program has. I think that the spirit of why he's receiving the award is the reason why he's having success. His approach to coaching is always positive in nature, personalized and encouraging to the student-athletes that he's in contact with. His players, because of the way they're treated, would run through a wall for him. What's important as well is that the parents and the community as well sees the connections to those kids." Yes, the team was able to raise a championship banner this year, but Acquilano said Rogacki's measure goes beyond a win-loss record.

"To truly have success, it's deeper than banners, it's about changing lives and influencing people in ways that benefit them for a lifetime... He's an old-school coach that has a relevant approach to kids, using humor and using positive comments has equaled great results and we're really proud to have him part of our community."


Rogacki Championship photo

Gilford High School Field Hockey Coach Dave Rogacki, shown here with his team after winning the state championship, was recently recognized by the Positive Coaching Alliance. (Courtesy photo)

Bears boys knock off top teams in 8-6 run


TILTON — The Winnisquam Regional High School boys' basketball team has waded into league opponents without a single returning starter, mounting an 8-6 record as of Thursday morning.
The end of this week, however, could make a huge difference for the Bears and their playoff prospects. On Thursday night, they took on Gilford (results were not available at press time). And on Friday, the Bears travel to Meredith to face the Lakers.
"We have pretty good balance. We've had four different leading scorers in any given night," said Coach Kevin Dame. "On any night, any of the four could be a top scorer."
Three starting seniors, Thomas Marchese, Logan Morrison and Isaiah Singleton, anchor the team.
"It's been back and forth all season," Dame said, noting the squad started 4-0 but then hit a stretch of tough games.
"We've been battle-tested," he said.
Winnisquam Regional beat Mascoma, a team which went on to beat Belmont and Inter-Lakes.
"We had the ball, down two, at Stevens (in Claremont), we didn't win that one but they're 12-2," Dame said.
The team lost four seniors, so started fresh this season with little depth but ample talent, he said.
Looking at Friday's game in Meredith, Dame said Inter-Lakes senior captain Zach Swanson and his younger brother, freshman Eli, could give the Bears fits.
"The Swanson brothers, particularly the senior, he's just a tough overall player in the middle. He's the straw that stirs the drink," Dame said.
On Tuesday, Winnisquam Regional will host Franklin, and then the team goes on the road next Friday to Berlin.