Tag Archives: Brett Marelli

Bishop Guertin take D1 title 42-35 over Winnacunnet

Bishop Guertin wins D1 boys basketball title

Cardinals celebrate the championship

Brett Marelli (10 points) faces two Bishop Guertin defenders

(Durham NH)  Sometimes things don’t go the way you planned.

And that was the way it was for Coach John Fisher’s Bishop Guertin team versus Winnacunnet tonight.

But on this night, Coach Fisher was the one with the smile on his face afterwards saying, “I feel blessed to have had this moment.”

The Cardinals (18-5) took the Division 1 title, 42-35, over Winnacunnet on Saturday night at Oyster River in Durham.

“We wanted to speed things up,” said Coach Fisher.

“We knew they were big,” said Nate Kane (11 points), “so we tried to full-court press them.”

Speed things up.  Get some easy baskets.  Stay away from defensive half-court situations. Good intentions, but that’s now how it went.  Fast breaks were rare, but the Cardinals half-court defense was exceptional.

Matt Santosuosso (20) up for a block

“They’re athletic and long,” said Winnacunnet coach Jay McKenna post-game. “They put a lot of pressure on us in the half-court.”

So while the Cardinals didn’t score a lot of points, they made up for it with great defense.

“We were scraping and dominating the boards even though they were a bigger team,” added senior Nate Kane.

The other thing that didn’t go as BG hoped, but still worked in their favor, was free throws.

“We knew that they have been good at free throw shooting, so we were trying not to foul them,” recalled Coach Fisher.

But foul they did, sending Winnacunnet to the foul line twenty-four times.

The Warriors made only ten of twenty-four attempts!  Two of those misses were on the front end of one-and-one’s.

Free throws were a key to the outcome

The Cardinals were 10-of-14 from the line.

A big difference?  You bet.

“Our free throw shooting has been good this season and has won us a bunch of games,” said Coach McKenna.

“In fact, we’ve worked on free throw shooting with this group more than any other one we’ve had,” Coach McKenna added.

“We even shot a lot of free throws this morning,” he added.  “Some nights you make them and some nights you don’t.”

So on this night, BG didn’t want to foul but did, and it worked to their advantage.

Not the way BG coach John Fisher planned it……..but I’m sure he’s happy with the unplanned ways things worked out.

Sam Andreottola (12 points) guarded by Lucas Baker

This was a one-possession game (26-25) one minute into the final quarter after a Joseph Allen layup set up by Brett Marelli.

The game got away from Winnacunnet in the next five minutes.

While the Warriors had only one free throw (five attempts) the Cardinals put ten points together and came away up ten (36-26) with two minutes left.  Winnacunnet didn’t have time to recover.

During the crucial BG segment, John Sullivan hit a fallaway jump shot in the lane and went in on a successful layin assisted by Nate Kane.

Matt Santosuosso scored on a drive and pairs of free throws (Jordan Robichaud & Dylan Santosuosso) extended the lead to ten points.

Nate Kane (11 points) sets up a teammate with a nice pass

“You have to be able to make free throws at the end of games and we did,” added Nate Kane.

Junior Sam Andreottola paced the Warriors with twelve points.  Senior Brett Marelli (WPI commit) added ten.

Senior Dylan Santosuosso (Colby-Sawyer commit) was Bishop Guertin’s top scorer with twelve points.

Consecutive three’s by Nate Kane and Dylan Santosuosso gave the Cardinals a 10-5 lead early in the second quarter.

Later in that quarter a Brett Marelli rebound basket tied the score at 13-13.

Charge or block?

The next nine points belonged to BG.  Two of the points came on an end-of-the-half, buzzer-beating rebound score by Matt Santosousso after a 3-point miss by his brother Dylan.

The Warriors cut into that eight-point deficit (22-13) in the third quarter and were in a one-possession game (26-23) after three.

Joseph Burns early layup in the 4th quarter put Winnacunnet within one point but Bishop Guertin pulled away the rest of the way to gain the D1 title.

Coach Fisher: “We wanted to do a good job on defense and make them work on every possession.”

Dylan Santosuosso: “This is all very exciting.  The game had runs, up’s and down’s.  We got into foul trouble early in the third quarter and I thought it might affect us in the long run.  Thankfully, it didn’t.”

Matt Santosuosso: “We played strong.  We played solid.  It feels great.  It’s amazing.”

Nate Kane on a drive

Nate Kane: “We knew they were good after they upset Exeter early in the tournament.”

Coach McKenna: “There is an awful lot of disappointment among the kids right now.  We’re exceptionally proud of the effort they put in tonight.  We had a tough time making shots.  That’s how it goes sometimes.”

Noisiest game I’ve been to this season.  In most games, you can hear every coaches’ word during timeouts. The benches, for both teams, were very active.

The lighting at Oyster River was excellent.  I won’t be able to use the “lighting” excuse for mediocre pictures this time.

Bishop Guertin box

Winnacunnet box

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

The link to this coverage will be on Twitter (@mcclellandpeter) and later pictures will be up on Instagram (@mcclellandmiscellanea).

Dylan Santosuosso

John Sullivan (12) reaches in for a steal

John Sullivan (6 points) tries to split Elynn Houston and Lucas Schaake

Elynn Houston

Dylan Santosuosso guards Brett Marelli

Sam Andreottola guards Matt Santosuosso

Brett Marelli

James O’Hara guards Jordan Robichaud

Matt Santosuosso down the lane

Dylan Santosuosso in for a layup with Sam Andreottola close by

Scramble for possession

Javari Ellison finishes the game with a dunk




Leave a comment

Filed under Bishop Guertin, Winnicunnet

Winnacunnet reaches NH D1 Final Four with 54-43 win over Portsmouth

Brett Marelli battles inside the Portsmouth zone defense

Warriors start to celebrate

(Portsmouth NH) Winnacunnet avoided the upset defeating Portsmouth, 54-43, to gain the Final Four in Division 1.

The Warriors (10-4) will face Trinity on Wednesday (5PM) at Oyster River.

The Clippers (7-6) had lost twice to Winnacunnet in this season of regional schedules.

“Portsmouth was strictly man-to-man the previous two times,” recalled senior Brett Marelli.  “They had some success with a zone defense against Exeter so that is probably why they tried it against us.”

And that Portsmouth zone worked………for 2+ quarters.

The Clippers were up, 32-22, after Coleman Brewster (10 points) made a jump shot at the 5:33 mark of the third quarter.

Timeout Winnacunnet.  “I told the team,” said Warriors coach Jay McKenna, “we didn’t come this far, to come this far.  We couldn’t just be happy with beating Exeter.  We had bigger goals.  Things we wanted to do.”

Elynn Houston (12 points) finds an opening in the lane

What they needed to do, was handle the Portsmouth zone better.

“We struggled with the zone,” said Brett Marelli.  “What we needed to do was move around, pass, and cut into the middle.  It eventually worked and we started rolling.”

Winnacunnet finished the last 5 ½ minutes of the third quarter on a 14-2 run, took the lead (Joshua Schaake three), and held it the rest of the way.

Recalling the turnaround, Elynn Houston (12 points) said, “We brought the energy.  We turned the whole season around”

Six different Warriors contributed points during the crucial segment.  “I liked the way the guys shared the ball and created open shots for each other,” added Coach McKenna.

The Clippers had fallen behind, but they were far from finished in the 4th quarter.

A fallaway in the lane (Carmine Zingariello) reduced the WHS lead to, 38-36.  A minute later a long three by Kevin Cummings (19 points) and the lead was one point – 40-39.

The Clippers, in fact, were just one possession (44-41) away with three minutes to go in the game.

James O’Hara (12 points) gets loose in close in the final quarter

But then the unselfish Warriors found James O’Hara (12 points) twice in close for layups.  Assists to Brett Marelli and Lucas Schaake.

Out of one-possession range the Clippers went, 48-41, and they couldn’t recover in the final minute.

“First half we got down a little bit,” said James O’Hara post-game.  “We had to keep our heads up.  We knew we could battle back.  We’ve done it before after a sloppy first half.”

Senior Kevin Cummings was the key to Portsmouth getting the big start.  He had fourteen of the Clippers first thirty-two points including three 3’s.

“They have two of the best scorers in the state,” said Coach McKenna.  “That we could hold Portsmouth to only forty-three points was a good defensive effort on our part.”

Scramble on the floor as both coaches watch

Portsmouth coach John Mulvey: “Their size affected us, and we ran out of gas.  The purpose of using the zone was to give them one shot and out.  That worked for a while but later on they started getting inside and rebounding and it cost us.”

James O’Hara: “Portsmouth is a great team.  We knew that they can makes 3’s and are streaky.  We knew that we had to lock up, get some turnovers, and convert them into baskets.”

I asked James about his last-second drive to the basket with his team having an eight-point lead.  “I feel bad that I made that last basket, since we didn’t need it.  I just wasn’t sure how far ahead we were.  I was just playing.”

James O’Hara on a late drive

The Warriors now move closer to a championship game next Saturday.  Coach McKenna was well aware that it has been a long time since Winnacunnet has won a boys basketball title.

“The last time we won it was in 1992 and I was on the team,” he said with a smile.

Portsmouth box

Winnacunnet box

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

This story will be posted on my McClelland Miscellanea online blog.  The link to it will be on my Twitter site @McClellandPeter.  I will also post some of the pictures on my Instagram site @McClellandMiscellanea.

Kevin Cummings (19 points) led all scorers

Matt Minckler (7 points)

Tight Clippers defense

Coleman Brewster (10 points) makes a fancy layup in traffic

Carmine Zingariello lines up a three

Brett Marelli (9 points)

Elynn Houston (12 points)

James O’Hara (12 points)

Joshua Schaake

Ryan Minckler (4) and Brett Marelli (24)

Backcourt pressure

Game ends




Leave a comment

Filed under Portsmouth