Newfound coach looking to see improvement, possibly playoffs

BRISTOL — Tom  Bourdeau, second-year coach of the Newfound Regional High School boys basketball team, says he’s looking for an improvement over last year’s 1-17 record.

“This has been a struggling program with just two victories total in the last  three seasons. We had a great turnout for our summer program. Numbers are up as 33 kids showed up for tryouts. We have had mixed results in our first two weeks of practices/scrimmages. Look real good at times but also are making the little mistakes that could cost us in games. With a little luck and an injury-free season, I am hoping for these kids to get to the six or seven win total and get into the playoffs,” says Bourdeau.

Newfound opens its season today with a 7 p.m. game at Winnisquam, a team that posted an 8-10 record last year.

Bordeau says he has four seniors on the team: Cam Anderson, 5’10”, and AJ Muse, 6’4”, both guards, 5”11” center Mike Doan and 6’2” forward James Shokal, all of whom were on the team last year and will be getting significant playing time.

He has six juniors on the team, led by returning varsity players from last year: 6’2” forward Colby Miles and 6’1” forward Mason Dalphonse. Ryan Lyford, a  5’11” forward, and Spencer Lacasse, a  5’11” center, have moved up from the JV team. Stine Williams, a  5’10” guard, and Justin Shokal, a 5’7” guard, are new to the program.

Two freshman will round out the roster: Tyler Boulanger, a  6’2” center, and Matt Plummer, a  6’1” forward, who are counted on as swing players and will be splitting their time with both the varsity and JV.

Bourdeau says it seems the teams to beat this year are Berlin and Somersworth.

  • Written by Roger Amsden
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New Lakers coach looking forward to good season

MEREDITH — The new coach for the Inter-Lakes High School girls basketball team, Elizabeth Pion-Burlison, says that, when she found out that the school district was looking for a  new coach, she jumped at the opportunity.

Pion-Burlison, who now works at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon,  grew up in Enfield, Connecticut, where she played high school basketball for four years. After graduating in 2005, she attended Becker College, where she played college basketball for four years and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in sports management.

She was assistant varsity coach at Tolland High School in her home state for two years before moving to Orlando, Florida, where she lived for two years. She moved back to New England in 2016 and started working at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

“I missed being around basketball and took the jump and landed a job  as varsity coach at Inter-Lakes High School, where I’m looking forward to having a great season,” says Pion-Burlison.

The Lakers were 8-11 last year and lost in the first round of the Division III playoffs.

Pion-Burlison says she has a strong core of seven returning players from last year, only one of whom, Jordan Durand, is a senior.

Other returning starters are Julia Gintof and Jessalyn Brown,  both juniors, and sophomores Emma Wheeler and Mollie Durand.

Top newcomers are freshmen Caitlin Harris and Lilly Simpson.

Pion-Burlison says she’s pleased with what she’s seen so far.

“We had a jamboree this past Saturday at Kennett High School and did very well. We played four games and went 3-1,” she says.

The Lakers open their season Monday night at Berlin and then play at Franklin on Wednesday and at Newfound Friday before playing their home opener next Tuesday against Berlin.

  • Written by Tom Caldwell
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Newfound Rallies to Beat Gilford, 57-54

BRISTOL — Newfound survived a big scare in a game with Gilford on its home court, in which the Newfound Bears, one of the early-season favorites to capture a Division III playoff spot, trailed Gilford by six points with only three minutes left in the game.

Newfound rallied to pull out a 57-54 win and improve its record to 2-0 on the season.

The Bears were led by freshman Jasmine Petersen, who scored 18 points. Gilford was led by Shelby Cole and Brooke Beaudet, both of whom had 13 points, while Abby O'Connor had 11 for the Golden Eagles.

Newfound started off quickly, utilizing its pressure defense, but it got into early foul trouble which led to the Bears having to back down the defense.

“Foul trouble throughout the game played a big part, but it showed, after being down by six with three minutes left to play, that the young, inexperienced team could fight back and turn a six-point deficit into a three-point win,” said coach Kerri Peterson.

Newfound plays at Winnisquam (0-2) next Tuesday, while Gilford, which is 0-2,will play at Belmont (1-1) Friday at 6 p.m.

Franklin improved to 2-0 Tuesday night with a 40-26 win at Winnisquam.

The Golden Tornadoes scored just 17 points in those opening 24 minutes, and trailed the gritty Winnisquam Bears by three heading into the fourth. Franklin’s experience rose to the occasion in the final frame as the Tornadoes erupted for 23 points in the fourth to claim a 40-26 road win.

“Our seniors really bailed us out in the fourth,” Franklin coach J.J. Winters said.

Seniors Lauren Marsh, Lexy Lynch and Megan Johnston combined to score 18 in the final quarter for the Tornadoes. Franklin’s size (both Marsh and Lynch are 5-foot-10) and defensive pressure also paid dividends at the end of the game.

Marsh finished with 16 points; Lynch added eight and Johnston had six.

Winnisquam will try for its first win of the season when the team travels to Laconia for a 6 p.m. game on Friday. Franklin will try for its third straight when it travels to Claremont for a  7 p.m. game with Stevens.

GIRLS’ BASKETBALL

Belmont 66, Somersworth 22

Key players: Julianna Estremera (21 points), Elaina Hoey (14 points), Morgan Hall (9 points), Chloe Sottak (defense), Makenzie Donovan (defense)

Highlights/key moments: The Raiders wasted no time getting ahead of Somersworth with a 30-3 lead in the first quarter. Each player on the Belmont roster put points on the board by the final horn.

Coach’s quote: “Everyone scored and I’m happy about that, especially for our four freshmen.” – Belmont’s Mark Dawalga

Records: Belmont 1-1; Somersworth 0-2

  • Written by Roger Amsden
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Newfound romps to 72-38 win over Belmont in season opener (with pic from Karen)

By JAY McAREE
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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