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Division IV Preseason Poll

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Who will win the Division IV Championship in 13-14?

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Division IV Preseason Poll Empty Division IV Preseason Poll

Post  EBlessNHSP on Tue Dec 10, 2013 1:47 pm

DIV 10 teams

Last edited by EBlessNHSP on Sun Dec 22, 2013 1:47 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Division IV Preseason Poll Empty Key Players

Post  mmartineaunhti2015 on Thu Dec 12, 2013 12:20 am

Who are the the top 3 key players for each of these teams?


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Division IV Preseason Poll Empty D 4 Preseason Preview by Dave Haley

Post  mmartineaunhti2015 on Fri Dec 13, 2013 5:50 am

The following text was taking directly word for word for this link:

Have you ever walked into a room and immediately gotten the strong suspicion that every person in the room was talking about you up until the moment you popped your head in? That can be paranoia or your imagination getting the best of you for most of us, but not for Derryfield head basketball Rob Bradley. Chances are when he walks into a room full of Division IV coaches they indeed were talking about him.

Well maybe not coach Bradley in particular, and you won’t find a nicer guy by the way, but the kids he is sending out to the opening tip twenty some odd night s over the next three months. Particularly the 6’5, 6’4 and 6’2 ones…. “It’s Derryfield and everyone else for now,” said states one Division IV rival. “They just have such an advantage with that front court but once you get to the big floor in March its anyone’s game.” Others are less sure about that, “Derryfield has to win it this year. They are up and every other team is down this year. They have to win it.”

Death, taxes and Derryfield’s title chances?? We shall see and so today we take a look at the 2013-14 Division IV landscape;

Division IV Predicted order of finish

Derryfield School
Colebrook Academy
Moultonborough Academy
Wilton Lyndeborough

Lurking outside the Top 10: Groveton, Pittsfield, Portsmouth Christian & Gorham.

Imagine having one of your lowest moments captured on video and viewed, to date, 792 times ( ….that’s what Derryfield has had to deal with for the last nine months with no ability to get out on the floor and defend themselves. That ends Friday night and this is a group very aware that they are the team everyone else in their division measures themselves against. “ I think the kids are aware that we’re the teams the other schools are shooting for,” said Rob Bradley five days before the season opener. “ There has to be a different level of focus that comes with that; in one of our first practices we had about 15 minutes of sloppy play and I stopped practice and called them together. I told them that they were going to get everyone’s best shot all season long and that this wasn’t acceptable or good enough. I think the kids will respond well to that.”

It begins with the best frontline in Division IV and one that would rank among the best in Division III. 6’6 center Roger Larrivee returns after an all-state junior season and is joined up front by Player of the Year candidate 6’4 power forward Max Anderson (“ He’s such a complete team player right now, “ says Bradley. “ you couldn’t ask for a better leader.”), forward Bennett Doherty and shooting guard Tyler Zorn. All four players were on the floor last March for the final play of the season against Lisbon. Bradley has very few concerns about his frontcourt, and the addition of 6’4 freshman Sam Anderson (Max’s little brother) will provide even more depth, but it is the backcourt that will have to develop as the season goes on. Robert Rizios steps into the point guard role his older brother Chris vacated last year when he graduated and he, along with shooting guard Pat McGinley, will need to step into much bigger roles and play well if Derryfield is to make that final step to winners’ row. “ If we get good guard play we have a chance to be very good. It’s nice that people think so highly of us but we lost the championship last year to a six seed and I just feel like there are so many teams capable in March of knocking you out. We’re well aware of that and prepared for it.”

In most years a Sunapee team that relied on two sophomores would be considered a year away but in a down year in Division IV underclassman stepping up are going to be the theme of this preview and Ed Tenney’s Lakers can make noise sooner rather than later. “ The thing you notice with those kids is they love to play, they’re athletic as anyone in the division and they are comfortable pushing the pace,” said one rival coach of Sunapee. 6’3 forward James Fitzgerald was one of the breakout stars of the 2013 season and now will be looked upon to establish Sunapee’s game on the low block. A much improved Nick Skarin will provide leadership at the center position as well as an ability to beat opposing centers down the floor with his speed.

The sophomore backcourt of Matt Tenney (suffering through a knee injury in the pre-season) and Issaiah Chappell has a chance to be one long remembered in a town that loves its basketball. Chappell can beat you off the dribble and along with fellow shooting guard Alex Gioldassis will keep teams from sitting back in zones with their outside shooting ability. “ Sunapee is a team I like a lot,” said one rival coach. “ If they take care of the basketball they’re going to be a very tough out in March.”

Epping head coach Sean Young’s first meeting with his players’ was as subtle as a hurricane but if the message got through the Blue Devils have the pieces in place for that long awaited trip to the Final Four. “ I told them day one what everyone outside of their bubble was saying about them; that they were talented but under-achieving and that people expected them to wilt when it got tough.
The message was a tough one but what I’ve gotten from them every day in practice tells me they are buying in and I could not be happier with the progress we’ve made in a short time,” said Young, coaching The Blue Devils after recent stops in Wilton-Lyndeborough and Merrimack Valley. A good core returns from a team that made back to back quarterfinal appearances the past two years and it starts with 6’3 all-state forward Jimmy Stanley. “ He’s been terrific in the pre-season and I’m looking for him to be a leader this season,” said Young. Joining Stanley will be Jake West, Brett Couture and Chandler Brissette to form one of the better starting units in the division. Aziz Zerguine, who battled eligibility issues a year ago, will run the offense from the point. Defensively Young is known to pressure you full-court and mix up his defenses at the first sign of comfort, it won't be any different with this addition. “ This might be the most athletic team I have ever coached, we’re going to thrown a variety of defenses at you and force you to make the adjustments.”

There are two times you go 100 percent in on the style you love to run; when you have the pieces in place to make it effective and when you have no other choice. Colebrook Academy head coach Buddy Trask is hoping it ends up being the former but well aware that right now it is the latter. “ We don’t have any size and we lost 60% of our scoring with Dylan Leach and Jordan Bedard graduated so other players have to step up and be accountable now. A lot of their points last season came from the other teams being focused on Leach & Bedard and leaving them open, they don’t have that luxury anymore.”

Colebrook will come at you with 32 minutes of full court pressure and an offense led by emerging point guard Sedrick McKinnon. There are shooters all over the roster; Jake Sherer, Bryce Hicks and Justin Siewierski can all keep a defense honest, the issue for Trask’s team is rebounding. Offensive boards would be nice but with a unit that hovers under 6’0 the focus now is on the defensive kind. “ I’ve never seen a team in all of my years win without getting defensive rebounds, Nick Bouchard is a player who is going to have to step in rebound for us. Scoring won’t be a concern but our ability to rebound is a big one.” Trask will get a boost when three year varsity member Creed Cooney returns from a soccer injury in January. Trask does have the ability to go 9 to 10 players deep in the meantime with a rotation that wears teams out and that gives him an advantage over most of the teams in a down season up north. “ I want to see if this group is as mentally tough as the groups I have had in the past. That as much as anything will tell you the level of success we’ll have this season.”

Paul Greenlaw’s Profile Patriots were a couple of plays away from the Final Four a year ago and with a veteran group returning there is a feeling the next step is about to be made. “ It’s a hard working group and a really mature one. I see a focus with these guys from day one I haven’t seen too often in my career in coaching,” said Greenlaw of his team. That group is led by point guard Bailey Johnson (“He has really improved a lot,” said one rival coach), Zach Knowlton and guard Ian Baker. Almost exclusively know as a zone defensive team Greenlaw will take advantage of his added athleticism and employ more man to man defense than in years past. “ I think you’ll see us switch it up more and really I feel comfortable doing that because of what the kids have shown me over the off-season.” Rebounding should be a strength of the Patriots and if Johnson can handle pressure thrown at him from teams like Colebrook and Groveton this is a team that will score when they get good looks. “ I expect to have three guy scoring in double figures for us and that kind of balance could be a big advantage for us.”

When it was suggested to Moultonborough Academy head coach Matt Swedberg that his team was considered to be one of the better shooting teams in the division he couldn’t help but laugh. “ You have to be a consistently good shooting team to earn that distinction,” said Swedberg. “Hitting 12 three pointers one night and going 2 for 18 the next night doesn’t cut it.” It’s that consistency that Swedberg looks for with an emerging group that gave eventual champion Lisbon all they could handle in last year’s triple overtime first round thriller. Guards Johnny Mcclay and Tristan Price return to the Panthers backcourt along with point guard Riley Swedberg to give the 2012 champs enough firepower to win shoot-outs. Swedberg expects Aaron Davis to be a big contributor from the forward spot, “ He’s looked very good in the pre-season and he gives us some scoring down low that we really need. We can’t be a team that lives and dies by the three point line. Those types of teams have a hard time winning in the tournament.” Defensively Swedberg will mix up his looks and right now is focusing on the basics. “ We have played zone the past few years just because of all the size we had, now with a smaller, maybe more athletic group we’re working on more pressure and basic principles of half-court man to man defense. We have some flexibility with this group which is obviously a positive.”

One of the best programs in Division IV basketball is transitioning from one era to the next and the message you hear loud and clear from Littleton head coach Trevor Howard is that minutes and opportunities are there for the taking. “ We’ve had a lot of success with our JV program and middle school teams the past few years but now these guys are on a bigger stage and need to step up. We had two of our key returning guys come back and I told them day one of practice that they hadn’t done one thing over the summer to get better. Those are the issues we are dealing with.” Brett Hagan and Danny Brammer will step into roles vacated by the graduation of Nick Whipple & Josh Bogardus. “ Our biggest issue right now is that we don’t have any go to guys to give the ball to when we struggle to score,” said Howard. “ That has not been an issue the past four or five years, so it’s a new problem that needs to be resolved obviously.” Owen Stone has improved throughout the pre-season while brother Cody is one of the team’s best defenders. Their progression through the season will tell you a lot about how far the Crusaders are going. Sophomore center Eric Shafer has the potential to break out at the center spot and Howard likes what he sees out of guard Kuba Kubkowski but today those are two players that haven’t proven it at the varsity level yet and Howard has to hope players emerge. “ We need leaders right now, what kids take a hold of that role is yet to be determined.”

No program in the state of New Hampshire has been to as many Final Fours as Newmarket has the past seven seasons and now with the graduation of five starters from last year’s semifinalist head coach Jamie Hayes goes back to basics. “ We’re going to evolve as a group and I’ll tell you right now I like how hard these kid are working. This is probably the tightest team I’ve ever had in terms of guys caring about each other and picking their teammate up. A goal with a team like this, with as little game experience as we have, is to beat up on teams in February that you may have lost to back in December. I can see that happening.”

Sam Leahy will take over the point guard duties for the graduated Christian Hawkins (now playing for Plymouth State University) and will be joined in the backcourt by newcomer Ryan Jarvis, who has worked hard in the off-season after not playing a year ago. 6’5 sophomore center Ian Bentley is a work in progress but will man the middle with all-state linebacker Jake Valinski. “We are going to struggle to score at times but we should be very good defensively. You do that and rebound the ball and you can win some games while you evolve.” Hayes has been patient with his young team and measured in his expectations as they get up to speed. “ Right now it is about doing a few things well rather than a lot of things marginally. If we keep working and they keep listening we have a chance to be pretty decent in the end.”

Wilton-Lyndeborough got a huge boost with the arrival of Texas transfer Jordan Litts a 6’2 point guard who many coaches feel will do for Wilton what the arrival of Andrew Houde did for Newport a year ago.

Woodsville head coach Jamie Walker knows the landscape has changed amongst the northern teams and feels like his team has a chance to take advantage. “ I think we have a chance to be better and with a team like Lisbon losing their top 8 players and other programs being possibly a little down we have an opportunity to finish in the top 10 and give ourselves an easier tournament road than we have had the past few years.” Joe Abrahamsen should be among the top scorers in Division IV this season and will be joined in the rotation by Tom DeAngelo (“He needs to be more consistent for us but he can certainly score,” said Walker), point guard Derek Maccini and guard Dan Abrahamsen.

Mark Collins of Groveton is one of the top coaches in the state and has a nucleus that will challenge for the school’s seventh Division Championship…likely in 2014 or 2015. The challenge for Collins now is getting an extremely young group comfortable in his full court style of play. “ We’ll be much faster than a year ago and overall we have a lot of quickness. The key now is teaching them what to do with all of that ability; how to draw in a defense and kick it out to a shooter on the wing and how to trap effectively on the other end,” said Collins of his team that will feature five freshman & sophomores in key roles. Scoring is expected to come from senior Brandon Joy while freshman Corey Gadwah, Daegan Lurvey and sophomore Christian Guay will all play major roles. Collins will have added depth with the return of Gage Sharon, Ben Atkinson and Keenan Monahan, each of whom was forced to sit out a year ago. “It’s a good group, they have a lot to learn but there is potential with this team to do something down the road.”

Jay Darrah has been consistently good at Pittsfield and like a lot of teams in his division, will try and mold a very young group into a winner. Freshman point guard (I’m telling you Division IV is going to be loaded with talent in two years..) Xenthios Cyr gets the keys to the car a year before he can legally drive as Darrah puts the ball in his hands against a very tough schedule. “He has a really good head on his shoulders and he’s athletic as well. When you find a smart kid willing to learn with all of that ability good things are probably going to come of it.” Max Tuttle and Kris Perkins return to the starting lineup while Casey Ward and Jesse Slater will have to provide depth off the bench. Darrah was dealt a blow when his best defender Ryan Marquis was lost for the season with an injury suffered in soccer season. “ For us it will be about improving as we go along, with Epping, Newmarket and Derryfield on the schedule it will have to be learning under pressure but I like the attitude of the group and the potential here.”

Portsmouth Christian head coach Lewis ‘Big Smooth’ Atkins would like to get out of the dreaded 13 to 16 seed zone come tournament time. Those are the three hour bus rides with very little history of success and in 2014 Atkins feels like he has the pieces to make someone drive to him for a change. “We’re going to have speed this year and we’ll need it because we plan to go up and down the floor for 32 minutes,” said Atkins. “ We need to create offense from our defense and turning the other team over is how I see this group breaking through. “ Eric Bontemps and Brian Schonewald are expected to lead a veteran group that includes three seniors and four juniors. Point guards Jake Holden and Shaun Bradley will need to handle ball handling duties and limit turnovers for the Eagles. Atkins likes what he sees so far. “ The kids are buying in and I like our ability to rebound. This is a team that I think can make a run at a top 10 finish.”

Lisbon head coach Sam Natti, fresh off of a Division IV championship, knew it was going to be a long summer. Sixty quarters later he had his confirmation. “ We didn’t score in double digits in any of the sixty quarters we played in all summer and into the pre-season,” admitted Natti. “ Scoring may be a problem..” And that may be an understatement. Natti is going back to the basics with a team that lost seven seniors and Player of the Year Chad Knighton who is playing for Holderness Prep for his senior year. “ We have a chance to be solid defensively and we are working hard to do that. It will be progress in little steps this year.”

Pre-Season First Team All-State
Max Anderson of Derryfield
Roger Larrivee of Derryfield
Jimmy Stanley of Epping
James Fitzgerald of Sunapee
Zach Knowlton of Profile

Second Team
Jordan Litts of Wilton-Lyndeborough
Issaiah Chappell of Sunapee
Sedrick McKinnon of Colebrook
Aaron Davis of Moultonborough Academy
Joe Abrahamson of Woodsville

Pre-Season Player of the Year: Jimmy Stanley of Epping


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