The Rams found themselves trailing at halftime for the second consecutive game. Behind 22-19, Tilton was led by postgraduate and co-captain Abby Iannotti (North Bennington, Vt.) with seven points and five rebounds. Ianotti finished the game with 15 points and 12 rebounds for her eleventh double-double of the season.
Tilton came out of the locker room storming, led by senior co-captain Alex Cohen (Nashua, N.H.) and the tournament MVP, junior Maureen Taggart (Mill River, Vt.) Cohen finished with 11 points, including two key threes to start a 9-0 run and give the Rams the momentum they needed to finish. Taggart, who hit three, three-point shots in the second, finished with 12 points and 7 rebounds.
"At this point I've had no better moment in my coaching career," said fourth-year head coach Tara Brisson. "I'm unbelievably proud of the toughness and determination that this squad showed on a daily basis. After graduating last year's starting lineup, I was unsure of who would step-up this season. And while this group may have been doubted early on, they consistently rose to every challenge this year. Besides being NEPSAC champions and talented basketball players, they are just outstanding kids. We accomplished what we wanted to accomplish."
Tilton, who had been led throughout its 24-3 season by a balanced scoring attack, also received contributions from sophomore Giulia Orlando (Georgetown, Mass.) (10 points, six rebounds, 5 assists), and junior Jillian Fama (Lynnfield, Mass.) (5 points, 5 rebounds). Juniors Kelsey Brown (Barrington, N.H.) and Cori Marshall (Toronto, Canada) added valuable minutes off the bench for Tilton.
The Rams finish the season at 24-3, as Lakes Region Champions for the fourth consecutive season and as NEPSAC Class B Champions. They will lose six seniors to graduation: Ianotti, Cochen, four-year team member Mackenzie Gaudet (Concord, N.H.), four-year team member Taylor Cavanaugh (Tilton, N.H.), Olivia Abry (Boston, Mass.) and Sarah Morrissette (Laconia, N.H.)
Tilton will return three starters from this year's championship team, who will be eying a fifth consecutive trip to the championship game next year.
Last Updated on Monday, 04 March 2013 23:07
The week started with a game against Hudson. It was all offense in this one, as the young Sachems posted a 72-68 victory. Jake Filgate dropped a season high 30 points while the team's big men, Carter Doherty (14 points) and Drew Muzzey (season high 17 points) came up big in their supporting roles.
Next game on the schedule was against Oyster River. It was another big offensive output by the Sachems, as they scored a 60-48 win. This time it was Doherty who went for his season high of 31 points to go with 10 rebounds. Nick Drouin added 9 points and Filgate had 8 points and 8 boards.
A sharp shooting Jaffrey/Rindge team was next. Unfortunately the Sachems could not stop the Jaffrey snipers as they lost 43-38. Drew Muzzey led his team with 12 points and Ryan McCrea came off the bench to chip in his season high 10 points.
The loss put the Sachems in the loser's bracket where they met Oyster River again. Hungry for another shot at Jaffrey/Rindge, the Sachems left no doubt as they posted a 55-33 victory. Doherty dropped 15 points to go with 8 boards, Drouin and Muzzey had 7 points each, and Dalibor Kresovic scored 6 off the bench. Filgate led the defensive effort with 6 steals.
They wanted Jaffrey and they got Jaffrey in the championship. Trailing by 8 at the half, Filgate took matters into his own hands, and led his team with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Coming off the bench and helping to shut down the Jaffrey team was Riley Roy with 4 steals and Drew Muzzey with 5 blocked
shots. The game came right down to the wire as the Sachems held on for a thrilling 35-33 victory. Garnering awards for Laconia were Doherty, all tournament player, and Filgate, tournament MVP. "It was a great way to wrap up our season. They kids never gave up. They came to play and we accomplished what we wanted to accomplish. I am extremely proud of the season these kids had. They definitely over achieved this year." said coach Rod Roy.
Last Updated on Monday, 04 March 2013 22:56
The fifth-seeded Kennett will next face top-seeded Berlin in the semi-final round. That game will be held on Wednesday night at the Everett Arena in Concord.
Kennett's first goal, scored by Nick Ansaldi, came less than two minutes into the first period. Anthony LaRusso gave the Eagles a two-goal lead with about nine minutes left in the first. Ansaldi scored his second and Kennett's third on a breakaway at the beginning of the second period. With 1:59 remaining in the second, Bryan Baker put Kennett up by four.
The Bulldogs resorted to pulling the goalkeeper halfway through the final period, a strategy which paid off as Belmont-Gilford's Dylan Treamer put his team on the board with 3:17 remaining. Tom Kuntz pulled the Bulldogs within two with 1:43 left in the game. The resurging Bulldogs fell short, though. Kennett earned the final goal, when a clearing shot from behind Kennett's blue line outpaced Belmont-Gilford's racing defenders on its way toward an empty net.
Last Updated on Monday, 04 March 2013 22:49
"We got off to a slow start," Veazey said on Monday, after having a day to think about the game. Campbell had throttled Gilford's offense by employing a "diamond plus one" defense – a four-man zone with the fifth player assigned exclusively to shut down Josh Joyce, the Golden Eagles' leading scorer. Veazey said his team wasn't "completely surprised" by the defensive look, and had in fact spent a day of practice preparing for such. However, solving an anticipated problem at practice is different than facing the real thing in a game, the Eagles found out. "It took us half a game to figure out what we wanted to do."
The Eagles, who came into the game as the fourth seed in the tournament and favored over the fifth-seeded Cougars, went into halftime looking at a nine-point deficit. By that point, Veazey said, his offense had found a way to find shots and the Eagles defense allowed the team to pull within one by the end of three and had tied the game early in the fourth.
As is always tempting after a close loss, Veazey looked back at missed opportunities that could have swung the decision in his favor. A missed open layup, a couple of uncontested but unsuccessful three-point attempts by an otherwise sure shooter, free throw attempts that bounced off the rim, Gilford was unable to assert command of the game. Making Gilford's mis-steps all the more glaring was Campbell senior guard Max Gouveia, who scored 21 points in the game. Many of those points came from the free-throw line, as Veazey said his players had trouble defending Gouveia's drives. "We put him on the line way too much."
Regrets aside, Veazey said there were several aspects of the game the Eagles can be proud of. "We adjusted well, our defense for the most part was pretty good." Veazey saw great performances from seniors Sam Prescott and David Sykie, who led the team's offensive production. He also liked what he saw from younger players, such as Rich Edson, Cam Partridge and Jack Athanas. Max Troiano, a sophomore, "has really stepped up for us," said Veazey. Joyce is also a sophomore, as is Kaleb Orton, who has grown into a powerful post player.
Although this season ended abruptly for Gilford, Veazey noted that he's only losing three seniors this year. "Everyone else is back. We had a very competitive JV team, the future is bright for this program."
"It's a nice group of kids, things look pretty good," he continued, explaining that the players exhibit certain intangible qualities that mark a winning team. "The chemistry is good, that's always important. They played well together."
Last Updated on Monday, 04 March 2013 22:07