Top Prospects in the NHIAA
New England may be a region often dominated by the prep ranks, but there’s no state where that’s better exemplified than New Hampshire.
Because of the numerous prep powerhouses, and local products who opt to play in those ranks, it can be easy for the players in the NHIAA to fly under the radar at times. Local Division II and III college programs have gotten numerous steals over the years by mining that talent.
This year, there’s again plenty of talent to be found in the local state association, especially in the sophomore class.
Here’s a look at some of the most notable.
Arie Breakfield, Spaulding – Arguably the best senior in the state, Breakfield is a budding big wing who is often required to impact the game inside the paint at the high school level because of his size. His versatility and ability to impact the game in a variety of ways is the foundation of his value, not just now, but also moving forward to the next level.
Jack Schaake, Winnacunnet – Schaake is one of the, if not the, best big men in the state this year but he’s far from one dimensional. While his size and touch allows him to flourish in the paint at this level, he’s got the type of face-up skill set and basketball acumen that translates well to the college level as well.
Noah Cummings, Sean Menard, & Jack Lehoullier Pembroke Academy – One of the favorites in D2, Pembroke has a great combination of depth and experience. It begins with Cummings, a versatile big guard and shot-maker, while a now fully healthy Menard should provide a big boost this season. Lehoullier compliments that backcourt tandem with some much-needed size up front.
Ty Vitko, Dover – His emergence started last February as he helped Dover advance to the state finals. He kept it up over the spring with a great showing at the Memorial Day Super 16 Showcase and a quality outing at the Elite 75 College Showcase. Now, he’s picking up right where he left off including, most recently, a 28-point performance on Tuesday night.
Alex Tavares, Portsmouth – Tavares is one of the only holdovers from back-to-back championships for Portsmouth and will need to play a prominent role at all times for them to continue to win at a comparable rate. A 1st team all-state honoree last year, Tavares fought through a nagging ankle injury early in the season to assert himself as one of the top 2019 players in the state.
Eli Swanson, Inter-Lakes – He is both one of the top juniors in the state as well as one of the top players in the D3 ranks of the NHIAA. Swanson is averaging over 18 points per game through the first three games of the season. A versatile player, Swanson has good size, strength, I.Q. and a high motor to match.
Matt McCool, Souhegan – Perhaps the best long-term prospect in the state, McCool is physically advanced but actually young for his grade. He’s naturally long and strong, fluid with his movements, continuing to develop his skill set, and already putting up big numbers as just a sophomore.
Josh Morissette, Exeter – He may be only a sophomore, but Morissette is already one of the best and most respected players in the state. Known as a lethal shooter in the grassroots ranks, he gets a chance to play a starring role in high school and show his complete offensive arsenal.
Kingsley Breen, Dover – Breen is a talented young player with a ton of scoring instincts. His decision to return to Dover not only makes him one of the best long-term prospects in the state but is also a big addition for his squad as he and Vitko should make one of the better one-two punches in the state.