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D1 Girl's Playoffs, POY & COY

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D1 Girl's Playoffs, POY & COY

Post  Tuesday and Friday on Sun Mar 01, 2015 11:58 am

Have to throw some Pub to D1 Girls as their playoff season is about to start.

As of this writing the bracket is not up yet on NHIAA's site. The playoff poobahs are burning the coals as they have their hands full with figuring out the D3 boys' playoff bracket which is an Einstein-ian task unto itself. The D1 girls' playoff bracket has some tie breakers that'll be needed to sort out the seedings of the Ladies.

This I do know. It is still wide open in D1 girls. Yes, Bedford and Lond are in one level above the rest, but who ever finishes 2nd, they will have a formidable quarterfinal game awaiting with North/Dover winner, especially if it's the Lady Titans. North is on a roll right now having won 5 of their last 6. They finished the season by losing to Lond by 3.

The 8 v 9 game is a pick em with memorial hosting Winny. Memorial is sliding down the momentum hill, while Winny has a good view from a perch near the top of the momentum hill. Their prelim game will be very interesting. Pinkerton and BG are destined to meet in an effervescent 4 v 5 quarterfinal matchup. Good luck picking the winner of this one. I guess the team who shows up more might walk away with the W and punch their ticket to a Final Four appearance at SNHU on Monday March 9th.

Central..... ah yes the Little Green ladies have had themselves quite a productive season. They are the 3rd seed with 14 - 4 record. They have a barrel of marquee wins this season: 2 over Pinky, North, BG and their best victory a 47 - 44 W over Lond on Valentine's weekend. Their road to garnering a Final Four ticket won't be easy. If the seeds hold out they could host Alvirne in the 3 v 6 quarterfinal. They lost to Alvirne 39 to 35 earlier in the season.

POY for D1 Girls? Good luck with that one. There is no head and heels player. The vote should be interesting. There are 18 votes and you could have 6 to 8 players receiving POY votes like Martin, Tucci, Choate, Berube, Boyatsis, Purcell, etc etc etc. The vote will be close. The margin will be extremely slim between the girl who wins POY and who finishes 6th on the first team ( 6 players make first team).

COY, in my humble opinion is a little more clear. Take a look at the Top 8 teams in the final standings. Ask yourself what teams were expected to be there and what teams were not. Lond/Bedford were consensus 1 and 1A in the preseason. BG was expected. Even though North disappointed early, they are certainly playing like a Top 4 team right now. Pinkerton is a perennial Top 5 team and they are #5. Alvirne is where they should be at #6. Memorial had a great start and certainly pushed newcomer Coach Gundy into the COY talk, but the Lady Crusaders have hit a 2001 Space Odyssey monolith wall as of late in losing 5 of their last 7.....

...... So, this leaves one significant candidate for COY (IMHO): Mike Wenners of Central.

I had Central in the 8 to 10 range in pre season. I believe my esteemed colleague, Jeremy, had them on the outside of the Top 10 looking in with his D1 pre season article. Central has secured the #3 seed. They've had very impressive aforementioned marquee victories. They started the season 2 - 3. Since their 5th game they've gone 12 - 1 and are heading into the tournament on a 7 - 0 victory run. Their 4 losses have been by a combined 20 points to Alvirne, Dover, Bedford and Memorial. The Little Green play hard and never take a night off. They have a good blend of youth and maturity and can be exciting to watch. They are deep and even though they don't have a true go to girl, as in a Bakolas, from seasons of yore, they can hurt you in many ways. Just a very solid team that played consistently well throughout the whole season to capture the #3 seed.

So, given the body of 2014/2015 work, I think the COY vote has to be given to Mike Wenners.

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Re: D1 Girl's Playoffs, POY & COY

Post  Tuesday and Friday on Tue Mar 03, 2015 2:58 pm

NHIAA Basketball Tournament: Girls take the stage

By JOHN HABIB
New Hampshire Union Leader

Over the last four seasons, Bedford or Londonderry has participated in the Division I girls’ basketball championship. Londonderry has been to three of the last four and Bedford has competed in the last two. Last year, the Lancers sent retiring coach John Fagula out with a lasting memory when they spoiled Bedford’s quest for an undefeated season with a 57-56 decision at Southern New Hampshire University.
Nothing has changed this season. On Monday, the NHIAA released the official pairings for the Division I and II girls’ tournaments and Division III and IV boys’ tournaments. No. 1 Bedford and No. 2 Londonderry, both 16-2, are on another collision course to the state final again.
“They’re the top two favorites,” said Manchester Central coach Mike Wenners. “Londonderry is big and physical, and Bedford, which is a guard-oriented team, has speed and quickness.”

The teams split during the regular season, the Bulldogs winning by one at home on Dec. 19 and the Lancers prevailing by 18 at home on Jan. 16.
The 16-team Division I tournament begins today at 7 p.m. at the higher-seed’s gym. Wenners said the matchup between host No. 8 Manchester Memorial and No. 9 Winnacunnet of Hampton is the most intriguing game in the first round. “Memorial has talent, and Winnacunnet has won six of its last seven games,” said Wenners. “The team that scares me is Nashua North. They’re not a big team, but they’re very athletic and they love to run the floor.”
Central (14-4) has won seven straight games and 12 of its last 13. The Little Green are seeded third, their highest ranking in five seasons.

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Re: D1 Girl's Playoffs, POY & COY

Post  Tuesday and Friday on Wed Mar 04, 2015 9:26 am

From Union Leader:

March 03. 2015 11:02PM

NHIAA Playoffs Roundup: Top seeds move on in girls' Div. I tourney
The top-seeded Bedford girls' basketball got a team effort in order to beat Concord 50-36 in the first round of the Division I tournament on Tuesday in Bedford.

Nine players scored for the Bulldogs, with Bri Purcell and Courtney O’Connell each dropping in 13 points to lead the way. O’Connell and Jenoyce Laniyan each finished with nine rebounds. Deb Morrill tossed in a game-high 20 for 16th-seeded Concord.

Central 62, Keene 34: In Manchester, Sara Swetland scored 12 points as third-seeded Central eliminated 14th-seeded Keene in the Division I tournament’s first round. Mary Soares added nine for the Little Green.

Londonderry 71, Exeter 36: In Londonderry, Jackie Luckhardt had nine points, nine assists and six steals as the second-seeded Lancers knocked off the 15th-seeded Blue Hawks in the Division I tournament’s first round. Brittany Roche led Londondery with 16 points. Tara Burke finished with 13 points and seven rebounds.

Pinkerton 60, Salem 44: In Derry, Melissa Martel and Marissa Stacy each scored a team-high 14 points to lead the fifth-seeded Astros, who advanced to the Division I quarterfinals. Martel made two of Pinkerton’s six 3-pointers. Val Martin and Jamie Caron each finished with 8 points for the Astros.

Alvirne 61, Nashua South 37: In Hudson, the 6th-seeded Broncos (13-6) topped the 11th-seeded Panthers (6-13) behind 18 points and four 3-pointers from Kaycee Carbone. Amanda Wetmore and Marissa Sweeney added 13 and nine points to the winning cause, while Jocelyn Chaput and Holly Gaudet scored eight and six in defeat. Alvirne led 15-4 after one and 27-12 at the break. The Broncos advance to play Central in the quarterfinals.

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Re: D1 Girl's Playoffs, POY & COY

Post  Tuesday and Friday on Wed Mar 04, 2015 9:28 am

NHIAA Basketball Playoffs; Winnacunnet girls beats Memorial, advance
By ZACK WARD
New Hampshire Union Leader

MANCHESTER – Meg Knollmeyer came up big when it counted on Tuesday night, as the Winnacunnet of Hampton girls’ basketball team won 55-41 at Manchester Memorial and advanced to the quarterfinals of the Division I tournament, where it will face top-seeded Bedford on Friday at 7 p.m.
The junior forward scored 21 points in the second half (28 overall) and helped the Warriors (12-7) come back from a deficit as large as nine. She outscored the Crusaders 14-7 in the fourth by herself to help Winnacunnet pull away. Memorial (11-Cool went cold and Knollmeyer could not be stopped as she received good passes from fellow forward Kaya Cadagan. In addition, Memorial star forward Makenah Grisson (16 points) had to hold back defensively as she picked up her fourth foul with 3:16 to go in the third.
“I think we realized we had a bit of a height advantage,” said Knollmeyer, who did half of her damage (14-for-15) at the free throw line. “We used it well. Getting it inside and just laying up the shots easily. ... (Kaya and I) have played together for a while. We know each other’s movements and we know when we’re going to cut. It works for us.”
However, Winnacunnet might not have even been in the game, had it not been for Molly Britton’s four 3-pointers in the first 8:12 of the contest, which accounted for a 14-13 lead. Britton finished with 17 points.
“I didn’t realize she had so many points,” Winnacunnet coach Cassie Turcotte said of Knollmeyer. “When someone at the end of the game said she had (28) points, I said ‘well when did that happen?’ Because all night long she was a silent contributor. It wasn’t like we were looking for her every shot. Molly, that was where my focus was because she was making those threes in the first half.”
Grisson scored the first six points of the second half and Jess Sweetser added a free throw to make it 30-21 Memorial two minutes and 11 seconds into the third. Memorial came out of the locker room with a lot of energy and Grisson scored on two layups in transition.
Knollmeyer was not going to let the Crusaders off that easy though. She single-handedly took the score from 32-23 Memorial to 32-30 by going 5-for-6 on free throws and adding a layup. Winnacunnet’s Kelly Arsenault made it 34-34 entering the fourth with two free throws on a 1-and-1 with 38.3 seconds remaining in the third.
The Crusaders went on a 6-0 run over the last 2:55 of the second quarter and led 23-21 at the break. Haleigh Shea gave the team its first lead of the quarter with two free throws with 26.9 seconds remaining, but it was Sweetser’s two mid-range baskets from the left baseline that got the momentum going.
For Memorial, it was a missed opportunity where they could have advanced in the postseason despite going 2-5 down the stretch of the regular season. The Crusaders defeated Winnacunnet in Hampton, 57-50, in the regular season.
“We had a great beginning of the season,” Memorial coach Lindsay Gundy said. “But I don’t think that we got worse. I think we played a few better teams and other teams got better too. ... We can’t show people what this team is really capable of, but I’m still proud of them for doing as much as they did.”

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Re: D1 Girl's Playoffs, POY & COY

Post  Tuesday and Friday on Wed Mar 04, 2015 9:31 am

NHIAA Basketball Playoffs: BG girls advance with win over Trinity
By HARRY KOZLOWSKI
Special to the Union Leader

NASHUA — A shorthanded Trinity of Manchester team gave Bishop Guertin all it could handle before losing, 43-35, on Tuesday night in the preliminary round of the Division I girls’ basketball tournament.
No. 4 BG will host No. 5 Pinkerton on Friday night in a semifinal.

No. 13 Trinity came into the game without guard Shannon Roberge, who was held out due to concussion issues. In the second quarter, forward Ally Curran left the game with a sprained ankle.
Despite that handicap, the Pioneers were within three points, 32-29, early in the fourth quarter. But that was when BG’s Marie Laplante stepped up her game, going 5-of-6 from the foul line. She finished with 10 points.
“Marie is a leader at the end of the fourth quarter.” said BG coach Jeremy Faulkner. “She calms everyone down and she made clutch free throws at the end.”

“We missed a lot of them in the first three quarters. That’s what knocked us out of the playoffs last year,” said Faulkner.
“I’m very proud of them,” said Pioneers coach Kevin Gibbs. “Our goals was to be a tough out, a team no one wanted to play.”

Meghan Cramb had 13 points for BG. Hannah Fabiano scored 15 for the Pioneers, who finished their season 6-13.

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Re: D1 Girl's Playoffs, POY & COY

Post  Tuesday and Friday on Sat Mar 07, 2015 11:55 am

March 06. 2015 10:55PM

NHIAA basketball: Pinkerton bounces BG once more
By HARRY KOZLOWSKI

Special to the Union Leader
NASHUA — It was deja vu all over again for Pinkerton Academy of Derry and Bishop Guertin as the Astros knocked the Cardinals out of the playoffs for a second year in a row with a hard-fought 36-33 win.
The win advanced No. 5 Pinkerton to the semifinals against No. 9 Winnacunnet of Hampton, which upset top seed Bedford in the other quarterfinal game. No. 4 Bishop Guertin finished its season 15-5.

“I knew it would be a battle,” said Astros coach Lani Buskey. “Two times in two years beating BG on the road feels good, I cannot lie. I’m happy for my girls. They worked really hard.”
BG, down three, had the ball with seconds remaining but could not get a shot off to tie the game. A play set up for Meghan Cramb was lost out of bounds.

Both teams had trouble shooting, both shooting 22 percent. Pinkerton held a 16-13 halftime lead.
“We missed 14 layups and went 11 for 22 at the free throw line,” said Cardinals coach Jeremy Faulkner. “The same thing knocked us out last year against them.”

“It was jitters. I said, ‘Take a deep breath,” said Buskey. “Once the jitters went away, we played composed in the second half.”
Despite the lack of scoring, the Astros controlled the boards, thanks to 11 rebounds by Valerie Martin.

“That was the first thing I complimented her on. She’s so strong,” said Buskey. “So when she adds that to her game, it’s hard to stop her.”
“Rebounds are possessions and in games like this where you win by just three points we need possessions,” said Martin.

BG trailed throughout until the final seconds of the third period when Brianne Nordengren’s put-back and old-fashioned three-point play put the Cardinals up 23-22.
But in the fourth, Martin found her scoring touch, scoring six of her nine points in the fourth, including a 3-pointer with 1:33 left in the game to put the Astros up 36-31.

“The second it went in I thought, ‘We got this,’” said Martin.
Molly Dee cut it to 36-33 with 27 seconds to go, but both teams made two turnovers each in the final seconds, including the final BG possession.

Marissa Stacy also had nine points for the Astros. Dee led BG with 11 points. Cramb had 10.

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Re: D1 Girl's Playoffs, POY & COY

Post  Tuesday and Friday on Sat Mar 07, 2015 12:22 pm

The Quarterfinal night for D1 girls was the most exciting quarterfinal night in a long time. All four games were close and exciting. Tight tough battles with low shooting percentages and low scores were the story.

Bedford made a furious comeback in the 2nd half after being down double digits to Winny. The score was tied in the last 30 seconds, but Winny pulls off the upset. Central, with their season on the line and down by 5 with over a minute left, has Caitlin Vincent hit a HUGE 3 to get them back in the game. The Little Green pulls off the victory with the little bunny energizer, Devin Lacroix, netting 2 big FTs at the end of the game.

The Pinkerton - BG went back and forth all night. Points were tough to come by, but when push came to shove, senior Val Martin gave an offense boost to the Astros when the game counted the most in the 4th quarter. Lond withstood a Titan wave of momentum to punch their ticket for yet another Final Four appearance for the Lady Lancers. I'm hearing bad news for the Lancers though. Ashley Burpee is injured and is out for the season.

Given all the information above the Final Four at SNHU will be:

WIDE OPEN

Any of the 4 teams could wind up hoisting the plaque on Lucky Friday the 13th. One comment made at Billy's last night was any team who gets to 40 points will win on Monday. After reviewing the quarterfinal scores this statement is valid. 3 of the 8 teams scored 40 or more last night. No team scored 50. Given the big stage and the cavernous shooting background at SNHU scoring will be low next Monday in the 2 semis. The teams that consistently take the ball to the rim, create contact and finish off their FTs will be the ones to advance to the Ship on March 13th.

Londonderry fits the mold the best of creating contact and going to the charity stripe. Central's Bigs will be key in holding down the paint area. It will be interesting to see how the LG quick and athletic guards will be able to run on the bigger SNHU court. If they can motor through the Lancer defensive jungle and do positive things with the ball this might enable Central to get the W.

The Winny - Pinky game will be a tight affair with many battles in the paint. The Pinky 13 point victory over Winny in Jan means nothing now as Winny is on a roll and looking to recapture glory of yore. Val Martin is the most important player in this game. How her game goes usually dictates the fortunes of the Lady Astros. If Martin drives, creates contact and finishes then it's usually a good sign for Pinkerton. If her shot is off and she meanders through the game then her mates seem to take the meandering follow.

All in all this sets up a very exciting night of girls' basketball next Monday starting at 6 pm at SNHU.

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