Sachems take charge early in 67-62 win over Gilford

LACONIA — The Laconia High School boys' basketball team (4-1) Jumped out to an early lead and held on late to beat the Golden Eagles 67-62. The Sachems led by 15 early in the second quarter in large part by the play of junior Matt Swormstedt (15 points). "I have coached Matt from a freshman," Coach Stephen McDonough said. "You could see when he arrived in the locker room, he came ready to play. I don't know if there is a kid that bleeds Laconia red more than Matt."

"We were careless with the ball," Gilford coach Chip Veazey said. "We have been careless all year. We have to do a better job protecting the ball. We had too many turnovers that led to easy shots."

Gilford did not roll over easily, scoring 23 points in the final five minutes of the first half. The Golden Eagles charge was led by Cody Goodwin (15 points), who came off the bench and scored 11 consecutive points in under two minutes. Gilford held a two point lead going into the half 34-32.

Laconia responded in the second half by holding Josh Joyce (18 points), Gilford's leading scorer, to only three points in the final frame. The Sachems reclaimed the lead midway into the third when Gilford's Kaleb Orton (17 points) slammed the ball down in disgust from a foul call, an outburst that drew a technical foul. Laconia converted the free throw and scored eight consecutive points to go ahead and not look back. The second half scoring was led by senior captain Aidan Dean, who scored 12 of his 16 after halftime. Laconia's leading scorer was Jake Sullivan, who scored 18 off the bench.

The Sachems will host Division II foe Plymouth (5-0) tonight at 6:30. Gilford visits Winnisquam (2-2) tonight at 4:30.

Wolfpack's depleted defensive line can't hold on for win

LACONIA —  The Laconia Winnisquam Wolfpack held a two goal lead with under six minutes remaining, but could not hold on, losing to John Stark-Hopkinton 8-6. The Wolfpack, playing at the Laconia Ice Arena on Saturday, led 6-4 when the General's Jake Blanchette (3 goals, 2 assists) scored the first of four unanswered goals on a rebound that he flipped over the stick of Wolfpack goalie Brayden Harriman. "It's tough to be up by two and then lose at the end, but that happens," Wolfpack coach TJ Galligan said. "We need to get our injuries taken care of. If we had more guys on the bench it might have been a different outcome." Lac-Winn started the game with four defenseman and lost Junior Ryan Smith midway into the second, leaving the Wolfpack with three defenseman in the third period.

The Generals opened up the scoring just 28 seconds into the game on a two on one breakaway when Blanchette fed forward Tim Sawitsky who wristed a shot above the shoulder of Harriman (37 saves). The Wolfpacks' special teams responded when Josh Shevlin blasted a shot from the top of the circle. The Generals netminder deflected the shot into the air, but could not compose himself enough to reach back and grab the loose puck which bounced behind him and into the net. Laconia netted two more from Jack Decormier and Dakota Tyno (2 goals) before the end of the first.

The second period saw only four minutes of five on five hockey. The Wolfpack ended up on the short end of two five on three penalty kills. Each team would allow only one special teams goal. "We could not capitalize on the five minute major," said Galligan. "instead we put ourselves in a hole going down four on three twice during that time."

Tyno's second goal of the game gave the Wolfpack the 6-4 advantage with 5:52 remaining, which is when the short bench started to take its toll. The Generals spent the majority of the remaining five minutes swarming the Wolfpack net. The fatigued defense had trouble clearing the zone. JS-Hopkinton tied the game at the three minute mark and took the lead a minute later. The Generals added an empty net goal to close out the scoring.

Laconia will host NHIAA Division III foe Berlin (3-1) tomorrow night at 6:50.

New Year's tennis leagues starting up at Gilford Hills

On Monday, December 9 , Gilford Hills Tennis and Fitness Club held its catered seasonal sports banquet, recognizing the champions for the 2013 Fall/ Winter Tennis Leagues. Seven leagues were played in the indoor courts and the following champions were recognized; Monday Night's "A" Doubles was won by Marc Bourgeois and Sean Noe, the Monday Night Men's "B" Doubles was won by Paul Kiely and Larry Greeley, Women's "B" Singles Flex Time was won by Julie Irwin, Tuesday & Thursday "A1" Singles was won by Marc Bourgeois, the Tuesday & Thursday "A2" Singles was won by Aaron Diamond, the Tuesday and Thursday "B" Singles was won by Linda Nicolai and the Wednesday Night Women's Doubles champs are Betsy Chapin and Kim Davis.
The New Year's Tennis leagues start this week and there will be eight weeks of regular season play. There will be one week of play offs and one week for finals. Also, there is Friday Mixed Coed Doubles that is open to the public on the first and third Friday of every month. GHC is always welcoming anyone that would like to play tennis or take advantage of the fitness center and classes. For any information please call 603-293-7546.

Elks Hoop Shoot winners move on to statewide competition

On Sunday, January 5, the Plymouth Lodge #2312 hosted the NH Elks Association North District Hoop Shoot and the results are as follows:

Northeast Division (Franklin, Laconia, Plymouth):

8-9 Girls: 1st Place Rhiannon Harris
8-9 Boys: 1st Place Alex Nichols, 2nd Place Peter Marston, Jr.

10-11 Girls: 1st Place Leia Brunt, 2nd Place Isabella Daly
10-11 Boys: 1st Place Philip Nichols 2nd Place Brendon Olivier

12-13 Girls: 1st Place Delany Ross, 2nd Place Jenna Flaherty
12-13 Boys: 1st Place Ryan Paiva, 2nd Place Marcus Morel

Northwest Division (Claremont, Lebanon, Littleon):

8-9 Girls: 1st Place Hannah Vogel, 2nd Place Michelle Chambers
8-9 Boys: 1st Place Josh Robie, 2nd Place Zachary Thompson, 3rd Place Simon Demars

10-11 Girls: 1st Place Emily Prest, 2nd Place Julia Tursky
10-11 Boys: 1st Place Brendan Walker, 2nd Place Dylan Chambers, 3rd Place Neil Montibello

12-13 Girls: 1st Place Jenna Pond, 2nd Place Maddie Hastings, 3rd Place Lyndsi Stone
12-13 Boys: 1st Place Kyle Pelletier, 2nd Place Henri Bourque,3rd Place Josh Woods

All of the first place winners advance to the next level and will participate in the State Hoop Shoot hosted by Portsmouth Lodge #97 on Sunday, February 2. Winners from that round will move on to the New England Regional Contest in March.