Newfound romps to 72-38 win over Belmont in season opener (with pic from Karen)

Monitor staff

BELMONT — There’s a lot of newness surrounding Karri Peterson and the Newfound Bears this winter.
They said goodbye to important pieces in Amanda Johnston and Molly Schiling, returned just two starters from last year’s 20-1 team and are handing their point guard responsibilities over to a freshman learning on the fly.
Through all the changes, though, two constants remain: upperclassmen Ashlee Dukette and Savanna Bony. While the Newfound girls’ basketball team may need some time to get all their new pieces in place, the duo of Bony and Dukette provided the Bears with the reliable scoring options they needed in the season opener on Friday, combining for 56 points in a 72-38 victory over Belmont.
As the reigning Player of the Year in Division III, Dukette picked up where she left off last season. The junior center poured in a game-high 34 points with 19 rebounds, four steals and four assists. Bony, who’s shifting out of the point guard role to open up her scoring, finished with 22 points with five three-pointers and nine rebounds.
“It was kind of what we needed to see and kind of what I expected and hoped for,” said Peterson, who has the Bears off on the right foot as they eye a return to the final four.
“Savanna for the past three years has been up and down where she could get two points, she could get 12 points or six points and we could always live with it,” Peterson said. “I told her the other day that we can’t live with that this year. At least until some of the younger kids start to understand their roles and the pace of the game.”
Bony seems to understand the importance of her role this season.
“Since I know I’m the captain, I know I have a big role and have to be a leader,” Bony said. “So the biggest challenge is just making sure everybody doesn’t freak out. There’s a lot of new players so we have to keep everything under control.”
Bony got the chance to show her leadership early against the Raiders. After Dukette scored the first nine points of the game for the Bears, the team began to lose steam, eventually falling behind, 10-9, late in the first quarter.
That’s when having experienced players pays off.
From down one point to up by 23 at the half, Bony and Dukette led the Bears on a massive 32-8 run over the final 10:25 of the first half. It was a spurt fueled by a pair of three-pointers for Bony, 11 points inside from Dukette and 14 Belmont turnovers.
“Ashlee did a good job. She’s tough down low,” Belmont Coach Mark Dawalga said. “Right now it’s a work in progress for us. I’m proud of the effort. I’m proud that we battled. We have some stuff to work on, and we will.”
The Raiders returned five starters from last year’s 9-10 team, but the rest of the roster comprises newcomers or inexperienced varsity players. Down 58-28 after the third quarter, Dawalga was less worried about the end result and more focused on trying to get the new group on the same page.
“It comes to a point in the game where, if anything else, you start playing possessions,” Dawalga said. “You start trying to teach and, to the kids’ credit, they were able to that. We changed up our defense a few times, played a ton of people tonight, and so again, it’s a learning curve.”
Julianna Estremera led the way for Belmont in the loss with 15 points, while guard Chloe Sottak provided some long-range scoring with 10 points and a pair of three-pointers.
In her varsity debut, Newfound’s Jasmine Peterson finished with six points, five rebounds and two assists. The freshman point guard settled in after a frantic start and will likely be counted on more and more as the season progresses.
“Jasmine is a typical point guard,” Peterson said of her daughter. “She’s unselfish, she wants to get the ball moving and she doesn’t care about the personal points. She’s very good about seeing inside and really seeing the floor so I think she’s going to get some open shots for people.”
Both teams return to action today. Newfound plays host to Gilford in an early-season clash between two programs expected to compete for the D-III crown, while Belmont welcomes in Somersworth.

Franklin 59, Hillsboro-Deering 40
Key players: Franklin – Lauren Marsh (28 points), Ashleigh Magoon (9 points), Ryley Haskins (7 points); Hillsboro-Deering – Fayth Grimes (16 points, 5 rebounds), Morgan Racine (7 points), Halie Hurd (6 points, 4 rebounds), Alex Perez (6 points)
Highlights/key moments: Grimes hit four three-pointers in the first half and the Hillcats trailed by just seven at the break. Marsh took control in the second half, and Franklin’s defensive pressure wore down H-D, which scored only four in the fourth.
Coach’s quote: “Lauren Marsh really stepped up in the second half for us and that was a big difference. Her leadership helped turn the tide.” – Franklin’s J.J. Winters
“We fought for the entire game. We have a lot of young girls who will continue to grow and improve throughout the season. This is the best offensive game we have had in two years, so that is something for us to be proud of tonight.” – H-D’s Tiffany Lewis
Records: Franklin 1-0; H-D 0-1

White Mountains 36, Gilford 29
Key players: Gilford – Shelby Cole (12 points), Hannah Perkins (7 rebounds, 2 steals), Olivia Harris (4 assists, 2 steals), Abby O’Connor (8 points, 6 rebounds, block)
Highlights/key moments: The Golden Eagles opened the season with a long road trip to Whitefield and came home with a loss. Gilford has two more road games (at Newfound Tuesday and at Belmont Thursday), before its home opener against Laconia on Dec. 12.
Records: Gilford 0-1; White Mountains 1-0

Berlin 56, Winnisquam 16
Key players: Berlin – Emily Picard (21 points), Joslyn Lanteigne (21 points); Winnisquam – Megan Goodridge (6 points, great overall effort), Makenzie Snow and Ashley Chamberlain (worked hard, great defense)
Coach’s quote: “We will continue to work on being able to create opportunities on the offensive end of the floor. The team played hard all night, we just need to execute more on offense and defense.” – Winnisquam’s Jordan Richardson
Records: Winnisquam 0-1; Berlin 1-0

  • Written by Roger Amsden
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LeTourneau Named D-III Field Hockey Player of Year



BRISTOL — Hayleigh LeTourneau, a senior at Newfound Regional High School, has been named the Division III field hockey player of the year.

LeTourneau, a defensive stalwart,  led the Bears to a 17-0 season and their first state championship since 2009.

Newfound allowed just six goals all season and earned two shutout playoff wins.

After the season, LeTourneau was named to the Division III All-State First Team in addition to earning the player of the year award. She will represent New Hampshire against Vermont in the Twin State Field Hockey Game this coming summer.

LeTourneau is also a member of Newfound’s softball and cheer teams and plans on running track this year.

Also named to the Division III All-State team was  her teammate, Jasmine Peterson,  a freshman at Newfound.

Other players from the Lakes Region named to the first team were Riley Haskins of Franklin, Kellie Ryan and Nicole Berube  of Gilford, Devon Mello of Laconia, and Makenzie Snow and Cailey Clogston of Winnisquam.

Named to the second team from the Lakes Region were Julianne Marchand of Newfound, Riley Toupin of Winnisquam, Emma LaPierre of Franklin, Jillian Lachapeele of Gilford and Sierra Keene of Laconia.

Tess Whitney of Stevens was named goalie of the year and Dennis Pelletier of John Sark was named coach of the year.

  • Written by Roger Amsden
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Lakes Region United sends both girls and boys teams to finals

LACONIA — Lakes Region United sent two teams to the New Hampshire Soccer League playoffs in Pembroke on the weekend of Nov. 11-12.
On Saturday, Nov. 11, LRU’s U15 girls beat the FC Stars 2-1 in the division 2/3 semifinals. They jumped to a 1-0 lead in the first half, with Abby Jarvi playing a through ball for Venessa Genakos, who slotted the ball into the bottom right corner. The FC Stars equalized, but Jarvi struck again in the second half after collecting her own rebound during a breakaway. In Sunday’s final, the team fell 1-0 to Shaker Roads School in a very close game. Assistant Coach Steven Hepburn said, “The girls played well defensively in the final. We had control in the second half but just couldn’t find goal-scoring opportunities.”
Meanwhile, LRU’s U14 boys beat Hampshire United 2-0 in Saturday’s division 1/2 semifinals, with Gilford’s Tanner Keenan setting up Canterbury’s William Riley for both goals. Keenan and Riley combined for another goal in Sunday’s final, but the team fell 4-1 to Kearsarge United.
Coach Chris McDonough said that the Kearsarge team was “really strong, very fast, and they should be commended for a well-played game.”
The tournament in Pembroke marked the end of LRU’s fall season. The club had over 100 athletes playing in New Hampshire Soccer League this fall. LRU’s athletes are currently playing in the first winter session at Fieldhouse Sports in Bow, with weekly practices held at Tilton Sports Center.
LRU is a non-profit organization that keeps costs reasonable by relying on experienced parents and volunteers to coach teams.
The club also benefits from the generosity of sponsor Cantin Chevrolet and local towns, which provide field time for practices and games. Club President John Stow of Gilford said “We’re very fortunate to have so many volunteer coaches and parents who contribute their time to keep youth soccer competitive, fun, and affordable in the Lakes Region.” Players interested in learning more about LRU should visit




  • Written by Adam Drapcho
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Sachems won 1956 title in thrilling fashion

LACONIA — The 1956 Laconia High School baseball team, which won the title with a walk-off win, will be inducted into the Laconia High School Athletic Hall of Fame in a ceremony which gets underway Friday at 5 p.m. with a social hour at the Huot Center Culinary Arts Center followed by the formal induction starting at 6 p.m. in the school library.
The 1956 team, coached by legendary LHS baseball coach and athletic director Soc Bobotas, defeated Keene 5-4 in the Class A championship game, giving the Sachems their first state title in the New Hampshire Athletic Association era, which started in 1947.
Roger Landry, who played second base on the team and later was a well-known basketball official and baseball umpire for 35 years, said that he has some really good memories of that team.
“We were a bunch of average players who were led by two super players, Dean Leighton the third baseman and pitcher Jack Bishop. Leighton was the fastest base runner I’d ever seen. I would put him up against major leaguers like Ricky Henderson and Lou Brock. He was that good. And Bishop could really throw the ball. He was one of the best in the state.”
He said that the Sachems had other steady ballplayers like first baseman Jim Dansereau and outfielder Ron Laramie along with catcher Butch White.
The Sachems were confident and had a good chemistry which allowed them to get back into games after they fell behind, Landry recalled.
And that was the case in the title game when Keene jumped out to 4-0 lead. The Sachems battled back to even the score and Landry recalled how Leighton scored the winning run on the bottom of the ninth inning.
“He singled up the middle and the Keene coach came out and talked to his pitcher, warning him that Leighton was a threat to run. Leighton took off for second and when he saw the catcher’s throw go into the outfield kept on running to third. The center fielder overran the ball, so Leighton kept on going and crossed the plate with the winning run,” said Landry.
He still has special praise for Bobotas, who he said never raised his voice when his players made a mistake and was always supportive and encouraging to all of the players.
Ronnie Laramie, who was the centerfielder, agreed with Landry that Leighton was the fastest person he’d ever seen.
He also praised Bobotas, saying that he was like a father to the players and always told them “You have talent and if you play with heart and use your head you can compete with any team in the state.”
The Sachems had lost in the championship game in 1955 to Portsmouth 9-0, lost to Nashua 11-5 in 1960 and Manchester Central 2-1 in 1967. They beat Keene 5-4 in 1972 to capture their last Class L title. The Sachems won back-to-back Class I championships, in 1990 beating Plymouth 3-0, and beating Lebanon 3-2 in 1991. Their last appearance in a title game was in 1999, when they lost 14-4 to Plymouth.
Other Hall of Fame inductees include 1992 graduate Aaron Jones, a three-sport star in football, basketball and baseball; Mike Grover, class of 1984, Jim Dunlap from the class of 1969, another three-sport star; Class of 1976 football, basketball, winter track, and baseball standout Gary Harbour and the Class of 1996 track star Molly DeMark.


11 21 LHS baseball scan 1

  • Written by Roger Amsden
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