Tag Archives: Geo Baker

Londonderry boys get first D1 title 47-46 over Pinkerton Academy

Matt Rizzo set to launch the last shot of the game

Matt Rizzo set to launch the last shot of the game

The Londonderry celebrating begins

The Londonderry celebrating begins

Londonderry (2015 Division 1 champions)

Londonderry (2015 Division 1 champions)

Brandon Radford scored the game-winner.  Here he applies some defense

Brandon Radford scored the game-winner. Here he applies some defense

(Durham NH) They aren’t very far apart geographically (five miles) and when this one ended they weren’t very far apart on the UNH scoreboard either.

#1 seed Londonderry won a good-to-the-last-shot thriller over #3 seed Pinkerton Academy, 47-46, on Saturday afternoon to get their first Division 1 boys’ basketball title in school history.

Londonderry should be one happy place for a while since both girls and boys basketball teams were still standing after championship games today and last Saturday.  Nashua did the same thing back in 1986.

As you can tell by the low final score, both teams struggled to have good offense and good defense together at the same time.  That is why the game came down to the last made shot.  Neither team was ahead by more than a point over the closing tense 4 ½ minutes of the game.

The undefeated Lancers (22-0) scored what turned out to be the winning basket with fifty seconds left.  Matt Rizzo (12 points) missed a free throw and Jake Coleman collected his 11th rebound.  The Lancers’ Brandon Radford was lined up on the inside position for the free throw and when his teammate secured the rebound Brandon took off full-speed for the other end completely unnoticed by anyone on PA.  Jake Coleman took a couple of dribbles and spotted and threw a pass to his wide-open sophomore teammate who finished with a layup.  That gave Londonderry a 47-46 lead that turned out to be the final score.

Matt Rizzo shoots with a chance to give PA a two-point lead

Matt Rizzo shoots with a chance to give PA a two-point lead

Believe me, after that basket with fifty seconds to go, the excitement was far from over.  The Astros used thirty seconds of clock before Geo Baker lost the ball out-of-bounds.  In bounds the ball came to Jake Coleman who was fouled with twelve seconds left.  Here was a chance for Londonderry to add some comfort to a one-point lead but Jake missed.  The Astros got the ball into the hands of Geo Baker and I was quite certain he would take the final shot.  Geo, however, was unable to penetrate and was forced left and forced to give up the ball without a shot.  Matt Rizzo ended up with the ball straightaway from beyond the arc.  Matt had time to fake Jake Coleman away from him and get off a shot before the buzzer sounded. The shot missed but not by much!  And the celebrating began for the Lancers.

Credit the Londonderry defense in that last play for keeping Geo from penetrating and for forcing Matt into a very tough final shot.

Cody Ball defends Geo Baker

Cody Ball defends Geo Baker

Londonderry generated good offense/defense together in 2 ½ minutes of the second quarter running ten straight points together.  Two three’s by Jake Coleman (14 first half points) and a three and a free throw by Marc Corey (17 points) put the Lancers in front, 25-17.

It was Pinkerton’s turn to put the D & 0 together in the third quarter.  The Astros (18-4) collected the first ten points of that quarter (3-pointers by Drew Green and Matt Rizzo were part of it) to get in front, 35-32.

You read this far in a story of a Londonderry basketball game in 2014-15 and no mention yet of NH Division 1 Player-of-the-Year Cody Ball.  Cody, on this afternoon, was a cold-shooting (2-for-12) foul magnet.  Cody (St. Anselm’s next year) missed a good part of the third quarter after his fourth foul.

Jake Coleman held Londonderry together with his fourteen points/six rebounds in the first half.  His ability to handle the ball in the second half without turnovers was crucial.  His ability to see a wide open Brandon Radford in the last minute, for the game-winner, was huge.

Geo Baker looks for an opening

Geo Baker looks for an opening

I enjoyed watching first-team all-stater Cody Ball defend first-team all-stater Geo Baker.

Jake Coleman finished with a double/double (16 points/11 rebounds).

Sophomore Geo Baker spent his freshman year at Buckingham, Browne, and Nichols (BBN) in Cambridge before transferring to Pinkerton Academy in Derry.

The two teams met during the regular season at PA in February.  The Lancers won 67-61 in a game in which Cody Ball had five 3’s and Jake Coleman had twenty-five points.  David Faulks had twenty points in that game including four dunks.

Londonderry has now defeated their neighbors four straight games.

Great crowd and the way the game went back and forth both sides had plenty of opportunity to get excited.

The UNH stat crew did, and do, an excellent job.

Box from the game

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

Marc Corey (17 points) defended by Tommy Romick (11 points)

Marc Corey (17 points) defended by Tommy Romick (11 points)

Geo Baker (10 points) gives Pinkerton the lead in the 4th quarter

Geo Baker (10 points) gives Pinkerton the lead in the 4th quarter

Jake Coleman had a turnover-free game despite plenty of ballhandling

Jake Coleman had a turnover-free game despite plenty of ballhandling

LHS coach Nate Stanton

LHS coach Nate Stanton

Geo Baker and Jake Coleman chase a loose ball

Geo Baker and Jake Coleman chase a loose ball

Joey Kwiatkowski

Joey Kwiatkowski

Drew Green

Drew Green

David Faulks defended by Joey Kwiatkowski

David Faulks defended by Joey Kwiatkowski

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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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