Eagles bring home trophies from NH Coaches Series

By Lloyd Jones

CONWAY — The Kennett High boys' and girls' cross-country ski teams are the best in the state. Both teams brought home first place trophies after taking top honors at the prestigious New Hampshire Nordic Coaches Association second race in Plymouth on Saturday.

"An amazing wrap to the coaches series races," said Steve Vosburgh, Eagles' head coach. "The Ke'snnett skiers were amazing. This definitely shows the depth of the program. Many of our skiers really had breakthrough days. It was one of those days where everybody just seemed ready to go.'

The Kennett boys edged Concord by a point to claim the team title in the 5K skate (freestyle) with 36 points in the 17-school field.

Concord was second with 37 points, followed by Gilford, 89; Holderness, 117; Lebanon, 133; Bedford and Inter-Lakes, 139; Mloultonborough, 140; Plymouth, 144; Bow, 180; Kearsarge, 192; Hanover, 209; White Mountains, 211; Hopkinson, 255; Fall Mountain, 270; Derryfield, 312; and Keene, 318.

For the girls, Kennett topped 15 other schools with 41 points, followed by Concord, 60; Fall Mountain, 102; Kingwood, 115; Holderness, 124; Kearsarge, 127; White Mountains, 149; Hopkinson, 154; Inter-Lakes, 160; Bow and Lebanon, 172; Bishop Guertin and Moultonborough, 187; Hanover, 200; Plymouth, 272; and Bedford, 288.

Calvin Bates of Dublin took individual honors for the boys with a time of 14 minutes, 40.3 seconds over the 5K course. He was joined on the podium by Kennett's Andrew Doherty, who was second in 14:45, and James Wilkes of Concord, who was third in 15:14.

There were 145 finishers in the varsity A race.

Other finishers for the Eagles were Darren Piotorw, fifth, 15:20; Aidan Hagerty, 14th, 16:13; Wilder Byrne, 32nd, 17;11; Kirk anger, 40th, 17:37; Gridley Lucy, 43rd, 17:41; Garrett Kearns, 49th, 17:51; Noah Geary, 55th, 18:06; Keith Badger, 57th, 18:19; Hunter Krebs, 88th, 19:54; and Andrew Donohoe, 99th, 20:17.

In the race for the girls, which had 141 finishers, Dublin's Lilly Bates won the race by 20 seconds in 17:20. She was joined on the podium by Ford Sayre teammates Greta Bolinger and Perrin Milliken, who were second and third, respectively, in 17:40 and 17:45.

Senior Zoe McKinney led the girls from Conway, finishing sixth overall in 18:07.

Other Eagles who finished were Nina Badger, 16th, 18:59; Eilidh McKinnon, 24th, 19:27; Helen Badger, 28th, 19:38; Ellory Kearns, 30th, 19:42; Riley Steward, 41st, 20:24; Hannah Thelemarck, 42nd, 20:26; Melissa Brown, 52nd, 21:08; Jordanna Belle-Isle, 54th, 21:15; and Kaitlyn Fay, 92nd, 22:54.

Kennett skiers were just as impressive in the B races. Both the boys and girls garnered team honors.

There were 70 girls in the B race, which was won by Kennett's Emily Cormier, winning by 63 seconds in 21:23.

Other KHS skiers were Amy Cotter, sixth, 23:38; Madelyn Marcotte and Chloe VanDyne, tied for eighth, 23:55; Madigan Avery, 12th, 24:16; Violet Webster, 27th, 26:11; Gillian Robert, 30th, 26:26; and Taylor Petell, 41st, 27:47.

Kennett took the top thee spots in the B race for the boys with Daniel Weeder winning in 18:53, followed by Caleb Esmay, second, 19:11; and Eric Bormann, third, 19:48.

Other Eagles in the 71-skier field were Adam Bourque, sixth, 20:14; Nick Heysler, 46th, 23:39; and Emmet Mayer, 67th, 31:53.

 

Eagles handle the Owls to stay in playoff hunt

By Lloyd Jones

CONWAY — The Kennett High girls' basketball team took care of business early on the hardwood Friday night when a struggling young Timberlane team visited the Nest. The Eagles jumped out to a 21-9 first quarter lead and cruised to a comfortable 57-23 victory.

The win lifted Kennett to 4-11 in Division II play, while Timberlane remains winless on the season at 0-16.

The Owls, like the Eagles, did not have the numbers to field a junior varsity program this winter.

"They're very young," said Larry Meader, Eagles' head coach, said. "They don't have any seniors, just one junior and a bunch of freshmen. Our girls came out and did what they needed to. We were able to get out and run and get some easy baskets."

Kennett led 21-9 after the opening eight minutes. The Eagles expanded their lead to 34-12 at the half, and outscored their guests 18-4 in the quarter to lead 52-16 heading into the fourth.

"Everyone played and got into the game in the first half," Meader said. "I think they all played quite a bit.

Izzy Wrobleski led the Eagles in scoring with 11 points, despite the Owls playing a box-and-one on her most of the night.

"We set up some plays to get her some good looks off screens," Meader explained.

Cassidy Chick and Maggie Bennett both had nine points for KHS, while Liz Cote added eight; Liz Kenny, seven; Gianna Jones, six; Casey Leavitt, five; and Becca Schiller, two.

Chick pulled down a game-high nine rebounds, while freshman Marissa Henry came off the bench to grab seven.

The win was a good rebound for the Eagles, who lost on the road at Pembroke 46-32.

"We came out really flat," Meader said. "We got down 24-10 at the half. We basically played them even, 22-22, in the second half. It was the same people, we just played with more fire and desire."

Only three Eagles scored in the contest. Chick finished with a game-high 15 points and 11 rebounds.

"Cassidy played a great game," Meader said. "She was all over the boards and created some nice chances."

Wrobleski added 14 points, while Kenny had three to round out the KHS scoring.

Kennett hosted Oyster River (4-12) Monday night in a battle between two schools vying for the final playoff spot. Results were not known as of press time.

The Eagles are scheduled to host Merrimack Valley (10-6) on Tuesday (6 p.m.) on Senior Night. Prior to tipoff, the team will recognize its lone senior, Gianna Jones, for her commitment and dedication to the program.

Kennett is slated to close the book on the regular season with a trip to Wolfeboro to take on arch-rival Kingwood (11-5) on Friday (6 p.m.).

The Knights beat the Eagles 38-31 in Conway on Jan. 31.

 

Bedell and Boros break school records

By Lloyd Jones

FRYEBURG — It was a record-setting night for the Fryeburg Academy indoor track and field team on Friday when the Raiders competed in the Western Maine Conference Championships on the campus of the University of Southern Maine in Gorham.

Freshman Gwen Boros broke the school mark in the long jump with a winning leap of 15-feet, 10-inches to pace the girls from Fryeburg to a fourth place showing in the team standings, just two points behind York in the 14-school meet.

Christian Bedell broke the school record in the 800 meters to help lead the Fryeburg boys to and overall fifth place finish, just four points behind Cape Elizabeth.

"Overall a fine evening for the Raiders," a smiling Coach Kevin McDonald said of the results.

Boros has jumped ahead of her years this winter for the Raiders and timed the best jump of her career for the biggest stage to date.

"Quite a feat for this young lady," McDonald said. "Gwen has worked very hard this season and it is showing at just the right time. This distance seeds Gwen in seventh place for the Class B State Meet to be held Saturday (at Bates College at noon). Gwen is also seeded eighth in the 400-meter dash and finished second at conference championships in the event. She also runs the anchor leg on our top seeded 4x200-meter relay. An impressive showing for a freshman."

Bedell put the pedal to the metal in the 800 meters, finishing second in 2:03.88, to set the new school record.

"Christian has been a solid athlete all season and we knew he had a fast time within him, but he had not gone below 2:06," McDonald said. "This has set the stage for a fantastic race at states as Christian, who is seeded sixth, will have fast company all around him. A fierce competitor, we believe Christian will rise to the occasion and produce a fine 800."

McDonald said there were a host of other strong performances by the Raiders. Allenceiah Waiters ran to fourth place in the 400 meters and anchored the junior 4x200-meter relay to a third place finish. Joining Waiters on the relay were Olivia Plekie, Jen L'Hommedieu and Cam Ghadfa.

Malina Voter placed second in the junior high jump and just missed at 4'8".

"Malina has been a bit frustrated with her jumping but picked up the second place to help the team in the point total," McDonald said.

Kasey Kneissler had a breakout day in the junior shot put, winning the event with a throw of 33' 7.75".

"A huge PR which seeds her in fourth place at states," McDonald said. "Coach (Jim) Cummings has worked wonders with the throwers. To have Kasey win and Breanna Burnell finish fifth speaks volumes about his program. The team is blessed to have Coach Cummings on board.

Bridget Tweedie made a statement to the rest of the Pine Tree State in winning the 55- and the 200-meter dashes.

"Bridget is seeded second in the 55 meters and seventh in the 200 at states," McDonald said. "Bridget also anchored the No. 1 seeded 4x200 relay team to a win Friday night. Joining Bridget on that relay were Lexi Charles, Skye Collins and Gwen Boros. Coach (Bobby) Collins has his sprinters ready at just the right time. We, along with everyone else, have been battling the weather and practice time has been hard to come by. However Coach Collins has got this group up and on their toes and ready to race. Coach Collins will have all his sprinters ready for Saturday and we should see some incredible racing."

McDonald believes the boys' 4x200-meter relay may be the race of the meet at Class B State Championships as seven/tenths of a second separates three teams. Fryeburg, Old Town and Mt Desert have all run under 1:37.00.

"The relays are the last event of the day and the Bates Field House will be rocking for both the girls and boys," McDonald said. "I don't think there is a more exciting event and I know no one will be backing down. This showdown will be epic! Our relay is made up of Jared Chisari, Miah Schrader, Max Kummer, Christian Bedell and Spencer Thomas. Spencer was unable to compete Friday and the boys still ran 1:37.45. They will need to take a second off that at States."

Schrader was named the boys' track athlete of the meet.

"I do not believe a Raider has ever won this award," McDonald said. "It is voted on by the coaches at the meet and is a huge honor. We are very happy for Miah and after winning the 200 meters, the 400 meters and anchoring the 4x200-meter to the win, he deserved the honor."

The 4x800 relay made up of Kummer, Beddell, Osage Crie and Cole Lablond had a great finish running 9:29.95 for fifth place overall.

"Indoor track and field is a long season," McDonald said. "Our first practice was in November and our last meet, New England's is scheduled for March 4. But as Coach Cummings said on the bus ride home Friday night, all the hard work washes away when you see the athletes succeed. And we have seen a lot of that these last few weeks."

 

Eagles still control playoff destiny

By Lloyd Jones

CONWAY — Despite a weekend loss, the Kennett High ice hockey team still controls its own destiny when it comes to gaining the No. 1 seed for the Division III playoffs. If the Eagles win their final three regular season contests, they will clinch the top spot for the postseason.

Kennett outshot (33-26), and, by most accounts, outplayed host Somersworth/Coe-Brown Northwood on Saturday night, but it was the Bearcats who came out on top on the scoreboard, winning 6-2.

"The score certainly does not indicate the way the game was played," Mike Lane, Eagles' head coach, said. "We played really well. It was essentially a two-game. They scored an empty-net goal (with 78 seconds to play), and added another against essentially our freshmen (with 40 seconds left). We carried the play, outshot them and had lots of scoring chances, but their goalie (Casper Marott, an exchange student from Denmark) stood on his head and made some incredible saves."

The loss dropped Kennett to 12-3 in Division III, while Somersworth improved to 13-3-1.

"The top four teams (Berlin/Gorham and Belmont-Gilford are both 12-3-1) all have three loses," Lane explained. "We're the only one out of the top four without a tie. If we win out, we control our own destiny and will get the No. 1 seed."

KHS got a helping hand in its bid for the No. 1 seed over the weekend when Kearsarge/Plymouth (7-9) upset Belmont-Gilford 3-2 on Saturday.

The Eagles were in action Monday when they hosted Laconia-Winnisquam (0-14) on Senior Night. Results of the game were not known as of press time.

Prior to the puck dropping, KHS planned to honor is three seniors — Tanner Brown, Leah Canavari and Anthony Graziano — for their commitment and dedication to the program.

Kennett found the back of the net first in its contest with the Bearcats. Junior Connor Doucet lit the lamp four minutes into the game when he beat Marott to his blocker side. Graziano and Caleb McPherson assisted on the goal.

The hosts leveled the score inside of 10 seconds when they won the draw off a face-off and a shot was deflected past goalie Johnny Biggio.

The Bearcats took their first lead of the night with just over four minutes to play in the first frame. Casey Pridham, who leads Division III in scoring, beat Biggio with a backhanded shot from close range.

Kennett tied the game at 2-2 four minutes into the second period on a fine play by Colby Couture when he banged home a rebound.

"It was a great effort by Colby," Lane said. "Colby was all over the ice. He's done a really good job for us all season."

The Bearcats took the lead for good two minutes later when Griffen Bono pounced on a loose puck and tucked it home after a scramble in front of the KHS goal.

Somersworth/Coe-Brown added to its lead less than three minutes into the third period on a bit of a flukey goal. Joel Boulanger took a shot that went off the half wall and landed on Biggio's back, trickling into the goal.

The Eagles threw caution to the wind in an attempt to cut the deficit. They pulled Biggio with 80 seconds to play. Pridman added an insurance goal 12 seconds later with the empty-net goal.

The Bearcats closed out the scoring with 40 seconds to play.

"Credit Somersworth/Coe-Brown with the win and we move on from here," Lane said. "The kids battled hard all night. We don't accept losing, but we can walk out of the rink with our heads up, knowing we did some good things."

Kennett got some good news on the injury front. Junior defenseman Conner Furtado returned to game action after missing the past six contests due to a broken hand.

"He looked good," Lane said. "I thought our defense played a solid game."

Kennett is scheduled to close the book on the regular season this week with a pair of road contests. The Eagles are slated to play Pembroke/Campbell (8-8) at the Everett Arena in Concord on Wednesday, and close out the week, Saturday (7:30 p.m. at Lee Clement Arena) against John Stark/Hopkinton (11-1-4).