Category Archives: Nashua North

Geo Baker (33 points) leads Pinkerton Academy past Nashua North 63-58 in D1 semifinals

Geo Baker (33 points) hit two free throws, had a steal, and a layup in the last minute

Geo Baker (33 points) hit two free throws, had a steal, and a layup in the last minute

Geo Baker made eight 3-point shots

Geo Baker made eight 3-point shots

(Durham NH) It is not easy to get excited about a rematch between teams that were separated by forty-nine points (74-25) in their first meeting in January.

But #15 seed Nashua North reached the Division 1 semifinals and that gave the Titans a second chance with Pinkerton Academy at UNH on Tuesday night.

And what a rematch it was.  The underdogs went down by ten early but came back with a run of eighteen straight points to lead by eleven at halftime.

But in the second half PA’s sophomore Geo Baker took over getting twenty-two points leading the Astros to a 63-58 win and a trip to the finals at UNH on Saturday afternoon.  The Astros will face undefeated Londonderry for the title.

Pinkerton (18-3) rode the long ball in the second half.  Geo (33 points) had five from beyond the arc while teammate Brennan Morris dialed long distance successfully three times.

PA’s nine second-half 3-pointers had plenty to do with the Astros comeback.  Crunch time, however, belonged to Geo.  The Astros lead was a slim two points (58-56) with fifty seconds left and they had the ball.  The Titans were forced to foul and since Geo had the ball so much he was the one fouled.  He made two pressure free throws in a one-and-one situation to push the PA lead to four.  Next Nashua North possession Geo stole Brennan Kastens’ pass.  Again Geo was fouled but this time he missed with twenty-one seconds left.  NN’s Brendan Barrett got the rebound but his pass was picked off by Tommy Romick.  Tommy quickly fed nearby Geo for a killer layup and a six-point PA lead with sixteen seconds left.  No six-point play in the NN playbook so their remarkable tournament run came to an end.

Geo’s stat line in the second half was 22 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 steals.  No turnovers in his second half stat line.

The Titans (8-13) looked like the #15 seed in the first quarter falling behind 17-7.  Geo Baker had two three’s in the early going and Matt Rizzo also had one.

Ronnie Silva ended the first half with a long three

Ronnie Silva ended the first half with a long three

Nashua North, however, was taking good care of the ball (3 turnovers in the first half).  In the second period PA had a 23-16 lead with 4:37 left.  How do you explain what happened the rest of the quarter?  You never saw momentum shift the way it did.  The Astros didn’t make a point the rest of the quarter while the Titans, led by quick guard Ronnie Silva, couldn’t miss.  The #15 seed ran eighteen unanswered points, including four 3’s from Ronnie, and left the court ahead, 34-23.  Ronnie’s last three had NBA length and was just before the buzzer.

Stunned would be the way I would describe the halftime atmosphere.  The big question was whether or not the Titans could generate enough points in their one-shot possessions against a taller PA squad to stay ahead in the second half.

Geo Baker looks to pass while Brandon Rodriguez and Ronnie Silva defend

Geo Baker looks to pass while Brandon Rodriguez and Ronnie Silva defend

In the second half the Astros shut out Ronnie Silva and defended the Titans into twelve turnovers.  One shot possessions are one thing, when you’re hot, but twelve no-shot possessions added to them will do a team in.  And if you add Geo Baker’s remarkable second half to the mix you can see why Pinkerton rallied back.

Nearly 50% of the shots taken were 3’s – 46/97.

Nathan Hale (16) and Brennan Kastens (14) also reached double figures for the Titans.

Brennan Kastens, Geo Baker, and David Faulks had dunks in the game.  David’s throw down was set up by a terrific Geo Baker pass.

Good crowd on hand.  I suspect that most of the Spaulding/Londonderry early arrivals were encouraging the Titans to knock off #3 seed Pinkerton Academy.

Excellent stat help from the UNH crew.

Box from the game

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Nathan Hale (16 points) finishes

Nathan Hale (16 points) finishes

Brennan Morris (12 points) ends the third with a long three

Brennan Morris (12 points) ends the third with a long three

David Faulks dunks

David Faulks dunks

Brennan Kastens (14 points) jams

Brennan Kastens (14 points) jams

Ronnie Silva had five 3-pointers in the first half

Ronnie Silva had five 3-pointers in the first half

Drew Green goes for the block on Brandon Rodriguez

Drew Green goes for the block on Brandon Rodriguez

celebrating beings

celebrating beings

Nathan Hale and Matt Rizzo

Nathan Hale and Matt Rizzo

tight defense

tight defense

chasing a rebound

chasing a rebound

 

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Winnacunnet defeats Nashua North 55-45 with big first half

Richie Ruffin (12 points) goes baseline

Richie Ruffin (12 points) goes baseline

Jordan Lates (15 points) gets into the lane

Jordan Lates (15 points) gets into the lane

(Hampton NH) Winnacunnet (2-1) overwhelmed Nashua North in the first half and coasted to a, 55-45, win in Division 1 boys basketball on Wednesday night.

The visiting Titans (1-1) had two four-point periods and trailed by twenty-one (29-8) after a half. It was the Warriors’ active defense that messed up North, forcing them into low percentage attempts when it wasn’t causing turnovers.

This wasn’t a night in which the losers could point to one or two players who did them in.  It was a team effort by Winnacunnet. The Warriors rarely forced offense and usually made the extra pass to get a better look.

Sam Knollmeyer (10 points) battles with Brendan Barrett for a layup

Sam Knollmeyer (10 points) battles with Brendan Barrett for a layup

Richie Ruffin (12) and Sam Knollmeyer (10) paced Winnacunnet.

The Warriors still held their twenty-one point lead (45-24) after three quarters.

Nashua North was down, 55-35, with 3 1/2 minutes left when some serious substituting started.  NN chose this time to play their best basketball of the evening.  They made six straight free throws, and had layups from Daniel McCoy and spark Alejandro Jones to chop off ten points from their deficit in two minutes.

Winnacunnet coach Jay McKenna then called a timeout he wasn’t planning on calling and re-inserted his five starters.  The inserts played keep away for the final 1+ minutes to seal the game for Winnacunnet.

Senior guard Jordan Lates led North with fifteen points.  Jordan saw few openings in the first half whether he was facing Winnacunnet’s zone or man-to-man.  Sam Knollmeyer was matched up on Jordan when the defense was man-to-man.

Winnacunnet coach Jay McKenna watches Ashea Bittle

Winnacunnet coach Jay McKenna watches Ashea Bittle

Jordan found points in the second half by getting shots off in traffic.

Anthony Primavera of Winnacunnet was assessed a technical foul in the final period.

Chris Doyle was fouled on a made 3-point shot but wasn’t allowed to shoot a free throw.  Must be a New Hampshire rule??

The website New Hampshire Sports Page listed the start of the game at 7PM.  I arrived at 6:30PM in time for the player introductions.

Jordan Lates had twenty-three points in North’s first game.

Nashua North will host Bedford on Friday.

Nashua North coach Stephen Lane

Nashua North coach Stephen Lane

Winnacunnet travels to Derry to face Pinkerton Academy.

The lighting at the Winnacunnet gym is as good as it gets.

I generally do Massachusetts games.  The last New Hampshire game I did was Concord’s shocking 42-14 win over Pinkerton Academy in the football state title game on November 23rd.

Winnacunnet box

Nashua North box

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Daniel McCoy (33) drives on Matthew MacLeod (12)

Daniel McCoy (33) drives on Matthew MacLeod (12)

Richie Ruffin and Alejandro Jones

Richie Ruffin and Alejandro Jones

Chris Doyle fires from the corner

Chris Doyle fires from the corner

Sam Knollmeyer and Drew Sheridan

Sam Knollmeyer and Drew Sheridan

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