The Laconia Middle School boys' A basketball team won the championship at the recent Middle School Christmas Tournament. The team played four games and didn't suffer a defeat as the players captured their first ever Christmas title. The young Sachems opened the tournament with a game against Epsom. Center Logan Bell set the tone early as he led his team with 10 pts and 8 boards. Ryan McCrea chipped in 7 points, point guard Christian (C.G.) Gaspa added 6 points and 4 assists, while Jack Maher came off the bench to drop 6 points and grab 7 boards. Bell also played well on the defensive end with 6 steals as his team handed Epsom a 44-15 loss. Next up was a speedy Merrimack Valley team that had a bye in the first round. Not knowing what to expect from their opponents, Laconia fullcourt pressed M.V. into an early hole. The Sachem's big men controlled this one, as Bell had 11 points and 11 rebounds. Drew Muzzey added 9 points and 6 boards while small forward Noah Cruz dropped 6 points. Defensively Riley Roy led the way with 4 steals, Cruz had 3 of his own, and Muzzey chipped in with a couple of crowd-pleasing blocks. When the dust had settled, the Sachems had their second win, 42-21. The rugged and always dangerous squad from Belmont was up next, and through 3 quarters they gave the Sachems all they could handle. With Bell in early foul trouble, Muzzey took over. He went for 10 points, 9 boards and 3 assists. Cruz and McCrea were both big off the bench with 9 and 6 points respectively. Defensively it was Gaspa from the point guard position that kept Belmont from getting the ball to their bigs, as he had 5 steals. Muzzey had 4 key steals of his own. When it was over, the Sachems had hung on for a hard-fought 39-23 victory and a date in the championship game against Kingswood. It seemed like the Knights had a never ending line of big men as they looked to control the boards early. But once they got into the rhythm of the game, the Sachem's bigs were not to be denied. Bell had 13 points and 6 boards, Muzzey added 10 and 5, and Maher had a season high 8 points of his own. Defensively Laconia was all over the place. Cruz, Gaspa, and McCrea each had 4 steals and Dan Engelson had 3 thefts that led to points. It was quite a defensive effort by the Sachems. When the curtain closed on the tourney, Laconia had captured the title in their own tourney for the first time with a big 50-23 win. Coach Rod Roy said of his first title "It's good to get the monkey off our backs. Each one of these kids contributed to these four wins and it was a great way to move forward with our season."
The young Sachems would like to thank all of the administration and the many fans that came out to support their efforts over the 3-day tourney.
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