Category Archives: Winnacunnet

Londonderry wins 2nd straight D1 title 48-33 over Winnacunnet

Londonderry begins to celebrate a second straight title

Londonderry begins to celebrate a second straight title

2015 Division One champions

2015 Division One champions

(Manchester NH) No need for any last-minute heroics by Londonderry in this one.

The #2 seed Lancers started fast and never trailed as they defeated Winnacunnet, 48-33, to take a second straight Division 1 title.

The Friday night encounter at the SNHU Fieldhouse lacked the end-game tension of a year ago when Londonderry rode a late three by Brittany Roche (assisted by Jackie Luckhardt) to an exciting 57-56 victory over Bedford.

#9 Winnacunnet reached the finals by getting the ball inside to Meg Knollmeyer (nearly 20 points per game) and getting to the foul line (83 free throws to opponents‘ 44 free throws).

Tara Burke crowds Meg Knollmeyer (11 points)

Tara Burke crowds Meg Knollmeyer (11 points)

In the title game the Lancers (20-2) collapsed around Meg and wouldn’t let the talented junior or her teammates get to the rim very often.  The Warriors (14-8) had only eight free throws while Meg Knollmeyer was held to eleven points.  Tara Burke and Noelle Lambert were big in denying passes to the interior.

There were turnovers a-plenty in this game.  The number of passes to no one in particular astounded me.  It is important to note that some turnovers are more costly than others.  The first quarter is a prime example.  Londonderry got off to a great 8-0 start.  All eight points came off of Winnacunnet miscues.  That’s costly!

The Warriors played their best minutes of the game after getting down by eight. They got inside (3 layups) and closed to within two (10-8) after a quarter.  Meg Knollmeyer had two of the layups.

The team from Hampton was still within two (15-13) three minutes into the second quarter after a 3-pointer by Molly Britton.  But then the wheels came off for Winnacunnet as the Lancers ran nine unanswered points over the next three minutes to break away, 24-13.  Jackie Luckhardt had a 3-pointer, a rebound, and an assist in the separating segment.

Winnacunnet moved to within two possessions (30-24) on Emily Britton’s 3-pointer with 2 ½ minutes to go in the third quarter.  But the rest of the quarter was all Londonderry with a jumper by Brittany Roche and a long one by Kelsey Coffey.  That ending restored the Lancers’ eleven point lead (35-24).

Molly Britton (#24) had two 3-pointers

Molly Britton (#24) had two 3-pointers

The Warriors go inside a double-digit deficit briefly in the final quarter on Molly Britton’s second three-pointer and later a layup by Meg Knollmeyer.  However, two straight layups by Tara Burke restored the Lancers’ double-digit spread and they played keep-away on offense the rest of the way.

Junior Jackie Luckhardt had nine turnovers for Londonderry but the rest of her stat line had plenty to do with Londonderry winning the championship.  Jackie had eleven rebounds, seven points, nine assists, and six steals.

I saw at least two inbounds layups by Noelle Lambert assisted by Jackie.

This game was long on contact.  Meg Knollmeyer was staggered by a Kelsey Coffey screen in the second half.  Brittany Roche needed help from the trainer after she went down hard.

Winnacunnet scored just one layup in the second half.

Jackie Luckhardt (nine assists) flies over Meg Knollmeyer

Jackie Luckhardt (nine assists) flies over Meg Knollmeyer

Londonderry defeated Winnacunnet, 58-47, during the regular season.  Molly Britton had six 3-pointers for the Warriors while Meg Knollmeyer tallied seventeen points to go with eleven rebounds.  Key to the title win was significantly lessening the production of Molly and Meg in the second meeting.

Greatly appreciated getting a full set of stats from the SNHU stat crew.

Box from the game

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

Kelsey Coffey takes time off the clock in the 4th quarter

Kelsey Coffey takes time off the clock in the 4th quarter

Winnacunnet gets the runnerup trophy

Winnacunnet gets the runnerup trophy

Brittany Roche hit the game winner in the 2014 title game

Brittany Roche hit the game winner in the 2014 title game

Noelle Lambert and Tara Burke (11 points)

Noelle Lambert and Tara Burke (11 points)

Kelly Arsenault hemmed in by a trio of Lancers

Kelly Arsenault hemmed in by a trio of Lancers

Londonderry student section

Londonderry student section

Tara Burke and Brittany Roche lock down Katie Valcich

Tara Burke and Brittany Roche lock down Katie Valcich

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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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Winnacunnet wins with surprising ease (62-31) over Merrimack in boys basketball

High scorer Quinn Parker lines up one of his seventeen points

(Hampton NH) If the win/loss records had been reversed, this one would have made sense……but there was 5-10 Winnacunnet beating the daylights out of 11-4 Merrimack, 62-31, on a rainy Friday night.

Jackson King and Dimitri Floras watch from the sidelines

Granted the Tomahawks were missing two very good injured players (Dimitri Floras and Jackson King), but those two might not have been enough on this night.

The Warriors (6-10) had it going on both ends early.  They held the visitors scoreless for nearly five minutes while putting up eight points of their own to take the lead from the get-to for good, as it turned out.

Winnacunnet had layups from Rich Ruffin (6 points) and Ryan Gigliotti (11 points) plus a jump shot and a converted rebound by high scorer Quinn Parker (17 points).

Down eight points and a timeout later, the Tomahawks (11-5) finally got on the board (two Jeff Giannelli free throws) and matched the Warriors for a few minutes.  A nifty backdoor cut by Tyler Gendron (9 points) with an assist to Brad Jarry put the Merrimack deficit at 14-8.

Because Winnacunnet was carrying a six-game losing streak, my thinking was that this would be a back-and-forth contest the rest of the way.

It didn‘t turn out that way at all! The next five minutes of playing time, stretching to the 4:17 mark of the second quarter, was completely dominated by Winnacunnet.  And similar to the start,  the damage to the Tomahawks was on both ends.  They didn’t score for the 5+ minutes while the Warriors rolled up eleven straight.

The home team was really in command, by the time Tyler Gendron hit a free throw to stop the bleeding.  The Warriors lead was, 25-9, and there were still 2 ½ quarters left.

Ryan Gigliotti (11 points) hits in the lane

During the eleven unanswered, Ben Gareau (10 points) contributed a free throw while Ryan Gigliotti added a spinning layup and a free throw.  Ryan also set up Sam Knollmeyer (10 points) for a long one that ended the first quarter.  Sam added an end-to-end layup and two free throws.

As you can see, Winnacunnet was getting scoring from everywhere while Merrimack struggled to connect from even in close.  It certainly didn’t help that the Tomahawks recorded six turnovers during the lengthy scoring lapse.

The lead was 32-14 at the half, 48-26 after three periods, and 62-31 when it was over.

This was clearly a game that was won early.  Let it be noted that there wasn’t a letup in the effort by either squad despite the large lead.

Minus a shot clock, the Tomahawks had to extend their defense in an attempt to start some sort of a rally.  Here again, the team with the five wins and the six-game losing streak showed the ability to deal with double teams and full court pressure remarkably well.  Instead of getting closer, Merrimack lost more ground.

Sam Knollmeyer (10 points) finds space

Not having Dimitri Floras was huge for Merrimack.  The junior led Division 1 in scoring last season.  He is supposed to be back in March.  His scoring was badly missed by Coach Tom Goodridge and his Tomahawk team versus Winnacunnet.

Merrimack has now lost three straight.  They will host Bishop Guertin on Tuesday night.

Winnacunnet broke their six game losing stretch.  They had been 0-for-February before tonight’s win.  They host Manchester Central on Tuesday.

This was the first New Hampshire high school game I have seen.  Most of the games I cover have been in Massachusetts.  Two differences between the two states are the lack of a shot clock in NH and the fact that all the players have mouth guards in NH.

I did see, arguably, the best team in New England (Brewster Academy) defeat Tilton on Monday afternoon at Wolfeboro.

Winnacunnet boxscore

Merrimack boxscore

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

Rich Ruffin fires from the wing

Eric Gendron defended by Sam Knollmeyer

Ben Gareau defended by Tyler Gendron

Tyler Gendron (9 points) shoots

chuck-a-duck judging

young dribbler

midcourt scramble

Spencer Kennedy

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