New Hampshire High School Preview | Thursday, December 11th, 2008

New Hampshire High School Preview

One of the nice things about New Hampshire high school basketball is that virtually all of the powerhouse programs play in Class L.  Consequently, the team that wins that particular state championship truly earns the title of the state’s best.  With that in mind here is a look at some of the favorites in Class L. 

Salem: They ran away with last year’s title, defeating Trinity 66-45 in the final game to earn their second consecutive championship.  This year they return all-state first teamer Josh Jones who can hit shots from virtually anywhere on the court.  Last season’s second leading scorer returns as well in Michael Kimball.  Salem will continue to do what they have done in year’s past and that’s spread the floor with their multiple three-point shooters and force the opposition to pick their poison.  But the defensive side of the ball is where they will need to prove themselves if they are going to three-peat. 

Trinity:  Following their loss in last year’s final, Trinity is eager to return to the championship game.  But they’ll have to do it without their leader and point guard from last year, Ryan Bougeouis, who has since graduated.  Junior standout Jordan Laguerre may be the state’s top individual talent, but he also has plenty of help in senior forward Richard Madol and sharpshooter Cormac Fitzpatrick

Manchester Central:  Doc Wheeler’s squads are always to be reckoned with and this year should be no different.  Four year starter Will Bayliss is back to run the point for the Little Green and he should get support from 6’6 Sophomore Center John Wickey.

Bishop Guertin:  With the loss of sensational scorer Oliver Hunter, Coach Jim Migneault is looking to sophomore Sean McClung to fill that void. Along with McClung, senior point guard Jamie Zajac should show solid contributions scoring the ball and running the team’s offense.

Nashua South:  With all five starters returning this year the team looks to seniors Dan Feehan and Josh Ramos to lead their offense.  Junior point guard Jake Nelson is also going to be looked at to provide leadership and scoring for the Panthers this season.

Nashua North:  Nashua North returns top scorer Kyle Pederzani this year who has the ability to shoot any team out of the gym. 6’7 Big Man John Murphy is an intimidating presence in the paint for his senior year. Junior Alex Pratt will also be able to provide significant contributions for the Titans.

Alvirne: The Broncos return only one starter, 6’6 center Brennan Donnelly, from last year’s team. But Donnelly will benefit from the addition of 5’11” senior point guard Dan Porter who transferred into Alvirne this year and will be asked to be the floor general for the Broncos. 6’4 Sean Moyen and 6’5 Ryan Sweeney are also expected to make significant contributions

Pinkerton: The Astros return senior Beau Cassidy, one of the best shooters in the state, who will be looked upon to lead the team this year. Colby Verge will also be depended upon to provide scoring for the team. 

The rest of the league - Winnacunnet, Keene, Dover, Exeter, Goffstown, Londonderry, Concord, Merrimack, Spaulding, Timberlane Regional, Manchester West

Class I

Nicco Demasco returns to Monadnock to provide the defending Class I state champions with one of the more dominant interior presences in the state.  Guard play will be crucial if they are hoping for back to back championships.  But we’ll say this, Monadnock should have an advantage on the interior virtually every time they take the floor. 

The rest of the league - John Stark Regional, Kingswood Regional, Kearsarge Regional, Plymouth Regional, Bishop Brady, Kennett, Lebanon, Bow, Laconia, Pembroke, Portsmouth, Merrimack Valley, Pelham, Hollis Brookline, St. Thomas Aquinas, Oyster River, Hanover, Souhegan, Coe-Brown Northwood, Milford, ConVal Regional, Bedford

Class M

Conant will be looking to repeat after defeating Newmarket 55-48 in last year’s final. 

The rest of the league - Fall Mountain Regional, Hillsboro-Deering, Raymond, Epping, Hopkinton, Sanborn Regional, Mascenic Regional, Somersworth, Prospect Mountain, Campbell, Farmington, Newport, White Mountains Regional, Franklin, Berlin, Mascoma Valley Regional, Newfound Regional, Winnisquam Regional, Stevens, Gilford, Inter-Lakes, Belmont

Class S

Colebrook ran away with the title last year defeating Wilton-Lyndeborough 68-52 in the championship game.  Last year’s class M finalist Newmarket should also be a contender after dropping to class S. 

The rest of the league - Moultonborough, Lin-Wood Public School, Portsmouth Christian, Pittsburg, Lisbon Regional School, Littleton, Gorham, Stratford, Profile School, Sunapee, Concord Christian, Pittsfield, Mount Zion, Hinsdale, Nute, Nashua Christian, Calvary Christian School, Derryfield School, Woodsville, Groveton