NHIAA Regular Season Wrap-Up

Dylan Thayer | Thursday, February 15th, 2024

NHIAA Regular Season Wrap-Up

The state of New Hampshire boasts some notable public school talent in their state association known as the NHIAA. As the season winds down with just a few games remaining on the slate, we decided to run through and see how things have gone this season. 


The Top Two


When mentioning New Hampshire’s state association basketball, two teams immediately jump out above the rest in Pinkerton Academy and Bedford High School. Just last year, the two schools faced off in a 66-56 battle for the state championship. While Bedford and star scorer Luke Soden pulled out the win, Pinkerton is back for revenge this season recently taking down Bedford 91-77 in another highly-contested game. Let’s take a look at the two title favorites and where they currently stand.


Pinkerton Academy is pacing the leagues top division with just one loss on the season. Jackson Marshall, a Southern New Hampshire baseball commit, has been arguably the best player in the state thus far averaging over 37 points per game, with a 52 point performance against Bishop Guertin. Marshall is a big bodied forward with some handling ability and is a threat to throw down some physical dunks around the basket. The Brander brothers, Drew and Cristian, are notable for the squad as well. Drew is a senior guard with an all-around offensive game that is carried by his ability to get to his spots to convert shots and he finishes well through contact. Cristian set a school-record earlier this year with 11 three-pointers and has continuously showed out as a long-range marksman this season. 


Bedford is right at the top with Pinkerton, led by senior guard Luke Soden. Soden averages over 26 points per game as he uses his quick, fluid release to dominate games. The guard has a tight handle on the ball and can stop in an instant to take solid shots from all-over the floor. After having a great summer where he received an Assumption offer, Soden has continued to impress and has his squad firmly in contention for the state title. Brady O’Connell is another big contributor for the team as O’Connell makes an impact using his mid-range touch, catch and shoot ability from deep, and willingness to make the next pass. The reigning state champions are in a good spot heading into the playoffs.


Some Other Notable Teams


Josh Caruso and his Nashua South squad are looking to make some noise in the upcoming postseason. With a 9-6 record on the season, South finished the season in the top half of the state’s top division. Caruso is one of the best shooters in the state, wreaking havoc with his shooting versatility coupled with some wiggle with the ball to shot create. On the season, he averages a whopping 27.5 points per game His senior teammate Zac Castonguay is another top scoring threat from the outside at 19.1 points per game and breaks down the defense on drives. Nashua South can pull out a win at any moment with Caruso at the helm. 


Pelham high school is tops in Division II and has been dominant throughout the winter only losing one game on the season. Led by St. Joe’s (ME) commit Zach James, Pelham is ready to take on the competition in the playoffs. James brings knockdown shooting to the table as he gets into-pull up threes with ease and converts at a high rate. Scoring in bunches is nothing new for James as he averages 22 on the season, and has been one of the state’s best scorers for some time. The three-point specialist is looking to lead his Pelham squad to back-to-back state championships this season.


Max Shosa has been one of the five best players in the state this season and has his Manchester West squad 11-4 heading into the Division II playoffs. Shosa is averaging around 26 points per game and he can take over in a variety of ways. Using his bounce and fearless driving ability, Shosa can flush down dunks over contesting defenders. Outside of the paint, he uses a variety of moves to create shots and has converted at a solid clip. Keep an eye on Shosa and the squad in the playoffs.


More Standouts in Division II


Keaton Beck out of Laconia has been a huge part in his team’s success averaging 18 points per game, and has led his team to 10 wins nearing the postseason. At 6’5”, Beck uses his size to impact the game in many ways whether it is to crowd lanes, alter shots and force turnovers or to convert around the basket. The unsigned senior has been a name to know in the NHIAA and looks to continue his great play in the impending playoffs. 


Ryan McLaughlin of Hanover HS caught our eye back in the fall, earning a spot on the New England Elite 75 underclassmen list, and is definitely a prospect to know out of the northern region. McLaughlin recently dropped 31 points against Hollis-Brookline and has averaged almost 17 per game this season. Using his above-average intangibles McLaughlin often limits turnovers and makes great reads. His clean, repeatable release from long distance also makes him a big scoring threat. With a 15-1 Hanover squad heading into the playoffs, keep an eye on this young prospect. 


Pembroke Academy’s Joe Fitzgerald has been a focal point in his team’s 13-2 run thus far. At the guard spot, Fitzgerald is a highly competitive defender that makes reads as a playmaker and can really score the ball. Surpassing the 1,000 point mark this season, Fitzgerald has posted a number of games above the 30 point mark and is averaging around 25 points per game for the season. 


Bow has been led by sophomore Jake Reardon, an intriguing underclassmen in the class of 2026. Reardon offers great play in the post with good shot touch in the mid-range. On the season he’s averaged over 20 points per game with five games over 27 points. Reardon also offers some spacing as a shooting threat from outside. With a 12-4 record, him and his Bow squad’s postseason success will be one to track.