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Final Notes and Thoughts on the Season

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Final Notes and Thoughts on the Season Empty Final Notes and Thoughts on the Season

Post  Tuesday and Friday on Mon Apr 05, 2010 10:32 am

Jimmy Stewart once said that he was giving people "nice pieces of time" by making his movies. I had a lot of "nice pieces of time" from the recently concluded basketball season.


“You’re off the hook. They won.” This is what Mike Mitchell Sr. said to Mike Mitchell Jr. on a cell phone as soon as the buzzer sounded in Milford’s 52 – 46 victory over Pembroke in the Class I title game.

I wedge myself into the Bow at Pembroke boy's playoff game mid way through the 2nd period just in time to see a Pembroke shot bounce off the rim and nestle on top of the back board before falling back into play. The Bow faithful start screaming “out of play!!!” and other loud things towards the refs. When I could hear myself speak I explained to Mr. Tarrier sitting next to me that the play was perfectly legal as the top of the backboard is in play. It’s when the ball goes over the backboard is when it’s out of play. Nothing like a rules interpretation to get you settled into a HS playoff basketball game.

After the 1 point victory by Pembroke over Bow I shoot down to the girl’s L championship at SNHU. Tiffany Ruffin drives to the basket and is fouled hard by the solidly built Laura Pierce of Pinkerton. 1000 people boo Pierce for her hard foul. As Ruffin steps to the line for her FTs Pierce offers her an “I didn’t mean it” hand shake. Ruffin disgustedly ignores Pierce's attempt to smoke the peace pipe. A different 1000 people boo Ruffin. This was funny.

It was nice to talk to Coach Fitzpatrick one hour before his prelim playoff game with Salem. We were the only 2 in the Memorial gym talking hoops in a tranquil atmosphere. The calmness and focus he displayed in a silent setting doesn’t differ greatly than these same 2 traits he displays during a frenzied basketball game in a fully packed gym.

What an experience it was to see the Class M semis at SNHU. The passion of the Conant fans is something to see. From the “Fear the Beard” signs to the sea of orange and the fans with fake beards, in honor of Jimmy Peard, you can see why Conant basketball is a way of life for the Oriole faithful.

I attended 14 HS playoff basketball games and the best ending was the finish of the Trinity at Memorial girl’s prelim game. Sophmore star in the making, Amra Elezovic, took a gamble on Trinity’s last possession to win the game and it paid off with a tipped ball, a steal near mid court and drive and finish to give Memorial the stunning victory at the buzzer. There is no greater elation/disappointment joint feeling you can get on a basketball court than when a buzzer beater happens in a playoff basketball game.

With David (Butler) playing Goliath (Duke) tonight for the championship it makes me think back to the 1985 game when Villanova defeated Georgetown by shooting 79% from the field. If there’s any game that put fear into a favored team’s coach, this was the game. No matter what any coach has for talent and a game plan it can go out the window in one game when an opponent shoots lights out. Speaking of lights out, the Pinkerton girls shot 13 – 16 from 3 point land in their quarterfinal playoff victory over Memorial. As Guidi and Company were draining 3 after 3 thoughts of Harold Jensen, Gary and Dwayne McClain popped into my head. The huge upset by Villanova over Georgetown marked the last game in college basketball without a 3 point line.

When you see the Butler Bulldog mascot on TV tonight just think that Mike Mitchell Sr. and Jr. patted the Bulldog last week when they visited Butler. Maybe some NH Class I magic will rub off to some NCAA men’s championship magic tonight.

Jesse Gould had the most on court conversations of any Class L player I saw this year. It’s amazing Gould would find the time to talk to some of his opponents during a 32 minute game. I’m presuming if he takes a Public Speaking class he did well in it.

It was a very weird visual to see Coach Dave Keefe as a spectator at the Memorial – Winny boy’s quarterfinal game. When I first saw him in the stands I thought it was a terrible mistake on his part and he was going to miss coaching the Pioneers in their quarterfinal game.

I still can’t get over the Fire Alarm evacuation event in the 4th quarter of the Milford – Portsmouth game. I didn’t mind the wait, but to be tag teamed verbally by Jeremy and Green Wave Man about my POY pick of Zach Mathieu BEFORE THE PLAYOFFS started was tough to digest. Alas, Mathieu dropped 32 and 37 in his next 2 playoff games and the silence from the aforementioned tag teamers was a beautiful sound for the rest of the playoffs at UNH.

If you think Jamie Holder is quick while you watch him play basketball, you should try to have a Fox 40 in your mouth and try to keep up with him on the court. They tell you as a referee to close down and open up to get better view of the action. With Holder, just as you get comfortable with seeing the play, his combination of speed and quickness makes you close down and open up a lot faster. It’s as if Holder is the Road Runner in a cartoon. He has the ball and then, Beep Beep, he’s gone. His opponents are like Wile E. Coyote in a constant game of catch up. Thank God the Acme Glass Company isn’t present during games that Holder plays in because opponents of Holder would be shattering large pieces of glass all the time.

When Shaun Munson hit nothing but net on his 3 pointer to tie the Class L Championship at the end of the 1st OT I turned to my associate and said, “The basketball game just ended. From this point on we are experiencing a religiously spiritual event.” The reaction of the Pinkerton crowd when Munson hit the 3 reminded me of the Pink Floyd song “Comfortably Numb.” I will for ever favor the strategy of fouling an opponent and putting them at the line instead of waiting to see if they will hit the 3 to tie a game with less than 10 seconds left in the game. I have seen too many times when a team eschews the fouling strategy and then watches the game be sent into OT or double OT with a made 3. Staying away from that “Comfortably Numb” feeling is good motivation for putting the opponent at the line instead of hoping the 3 doesn’t go in.

You have to think Jack Ford was very proud of the way the Winny boys played this season. He must be resting peacefully in Basketball Heaven knowing Jay McKenna is the man to continue the Jack Ford legacy at Winnacunnet.

When the Milford team bus pulled into the parking lot in Milford after securing the Class I Championship their point guard was there to greet his team mates. The first thing they did when they came off the bus was to hand Mikey the game ball and one of the game nets. Yes, Mike Mitchell is also a 2010 Class I basketball champion.

As the witching hour grew closer on the night of Milford celebrating their Class I Championship my phone started receiving some strange texts from Elisha’s. There was something about the celebration continuing down the street to the Pasta Loft. I’m still trying to figure out who this new Milford fan is who is named Ike?

My Pre Season Pre Season top 10 for Class L next year (assuming all underclassmen return to their respective teams):

1) BG – Green, McClung, Cuipa and Pyzocha are a solid foundation with a couple of key players moving up from JV.

2) Trinity - The Pioneers will be fully loaded with Madol and hopefully a healthy Stevens. Their back court will be more seasoned next season.

3) Central - Wickey, LaCount and Ferge will form the Little Green version of the Big 3. This trio will be able to score a combined 40 to 60 points on most Class L nights.

4) Merrimack - Floras, Gendron and Amigo form a nice trio. Watch for Gianelli moving up from JV. If he provides a presence in the paint then Gendron will be free to perform a varied offensive game in most games.

5) Pinkerton - Patrikis and Parker are a solid duo with a nice balance of Colbert, Light and Williams ready to produce.

6) Dover - Faustino and Al-darraji will be one of the best inside/outside combos in Class L. Mejia will compliment the Dynamic Duo nicely and I'm sure Romps will develop a nice supporting cast.

7) West - I could go on about all the ifs in this basketball program, but suffice to say, Sam Carey will have the Blue Knights in the mix regardless of who they put on the court next year.

Cool North - It's all up to Williams and Gauthier to mature next season and to bring the Titans to the next level.

9) Winny - Cronan, Munson and Dolan return. Who wants to discount Coach McKenna at this stage of his coaching career?

10) Salem - The loss of LaRosa is huge, but Gallant and Cannone will provide inside muscle. How Meisser and Klecan provide the outside game will be key to the Blue Devil fortunes.

On the Outside looking In: Alvrine, Exeter and Memorial.


I would like to thank Mark Marinelli, Dan McLean Sr., Bill Burt and Al Couture for allowing me to be graced by their presence at high school basketball games. Some times when the game is not so good the company of passionate basketball fans like these 4 is worth the price of admission. I have seen 3 of their 4 sons grow up on the basketball courts by coaching for/against and refereeing a number of their games. It would be my hope that on some random Tuesday or Friday night next season I would be able to enjoy 32 minutes of basketball with these gentlemen even though their sons have graduated. Their sons have turned into very good basketball players with the guidance of nice parents. The best thing is that with their parent's guidance Alex, Dan, Matt and Mike are turning into nice young men. After the air is taken out of the basketball this is what really counts on the scorebard.

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Final Notes and Thoughts on the Season Empty final thoughts

Post  tarrier on Wed Apr 14, 2010 6:12 pm

It's been a while since I've been on here, what with my 2nd son Ryan being born the day after the season ended and then a subsequent job change about a week later(I left WGAM for a sales job at 98.5 "The Sports Hub" in Boston). Hats off to T&F for capturing a few memorable moments from the season, but I mostly want to commend him for working in a Pink Floyd reference about my favorite song of all time, "Comfortably Numb"! I've seen Floyd on 2 occasions and solo Roger Waters a few times as well and I can honestly say that after the conclusion of the Class L Championship broadcast on WGAM I felt, well...Comfortably Numb!

If you want to relive the 2OT thriller between Pinkerton and Winnacunnet click on the following link and listen to my swan song broadcast on WGAM...

www.fnlnh.com

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Final Notes and Thoughts on the Season Empty Re: Final Notes and Thoughts on the Season

Post  Tulliver on Wed Apr 14, 2010 6:38 pm

Congrats on your son! Too bad you left WGAM. You will be missed.

Good luck... and what happened with the Mr. Basketball?

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Post  Tuesday and Friday on Wed Apr 14, 2010 9:02 pm

Thanks Pete. Congratulations on the new Tarrier Addition!! Congrats also on the new job at 98.5. It sounds like a wonderful new stage of life for you. We will miss you on the NH high school basketball courts next year.

I saw David Gilmour perform solo at the Orpheum in Boston. In the middle of his set he did 3 Pink Floyd songs, including "Run Like Hell" from The Wall. The crowd went beserk. This was at a time when it seemed Pink Floyd would never tour again, so the Pink Floyd set was religious at the time.

Tully, WGAM announced the Five Finalists for the Mr. Basketball Award today. The following information is courtesy of Pete Tarrier:

At long last we are proud to announce the 5 Finalists for WGAM's 2010 "Mr. Basketball Award". The following 5 players will be honored at a banquet to be held at the Radisson Hotel in Nashua on Thursday May 13th...

Alex Burt-Dover
Alex LaRosa-Salem
David Madol-Trinity
Sean Martin-Conant
Zach Mathieu-Pinkerton

Each player and their coach will join Chris Shuker and myself for a live interview on WGAM between 6 and 7pm. The award ceremony will follow.

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Post  EBlessNHSP on Thu Apr 15, 2010 8:38 am

Nice group of players...I still think Mike O'Loughlin is the best of the bunch and should have been invited...but you can make a case for many of the young men this year. This should come down to Mathieu or Madol from this group.

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Final Notes and Thoughts on the Season Empty Ms Basketball

Post  8992 on Thu Apr 15, 2010 10:44 am

Ladies too?

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Final Notes and Thoughts on the Season Empty Sorry but Olaughling over Madol?

Post  basketballtime on Thu Apr 15, 2010 11:51 am

I can see a toss up with the rest but Olaughlin over Madol? Would you if you were starting a team pick him over Madol? I have seen both of them play this year a bunch of times including the all star game at the rac and Madol dominated that game with ease. Sorry just not seeing it.

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Post  Tuesday and Friday on Thu Apr 15, 2010 7:50 pm

If I was drafting the Juniors that played in the NH Junior AS game on March 21st at the RAC I would set my draft board like this:

1) David Madol
2) Jamie Holder
3) Mike O'Loughlin
4) Ben Hill
5) John Wickey
6) Mike Mitchell
7) Connor Green
Cool Joey Maher
9) Steve Spirou
10) Shomari Morgan

On the cusp: Faustino and Al-Darraji from Dover with Donnelly from Alvrine and Joe Gallant from Salem.

I'm basing my draft on what I saw in the game and how I would want to build a team. 7 of my top 10 do most of their damage in the paint and around the basket. Red Auerbach always said you have to go big first and worry about everything else later.

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