Eagles look to rebound after Berlin loss

By Lloyd Jones

CONWAY — A step backwards is how Kennett High Girls' Basketball Coach Larry Meader summed up Tuesday's 46-34 loss at home to Berlin.

The defeat dropped the Eagles to 2-10 in Division II play while the Moutaineers from the top of Pinkham Notch improved to 7-8 in Division III.

"We didn't play well at all," Meader said. "We kind of took a step back to how we were playing in December. I don't know that was, whether the girls were intimidated by Berlin, who plays physical, or what, but we were taken right out of our game. We didn't move well on offense or defense.

"Our energy level was down all night," he continued. "We didn't rebound like we're capable; didn't move our feet, it was kind of disappointing after playing so well against St. Thomas (who KHS beat 45-41 on Jan. 29)."

Jan. 29 was the last time the Eagles had played a game due to the postponement of last Friday's game with Windham, which has been rescheduled for Feb. 20 at the Nest at 6:30 p.m.

The Kennett girls trailed 11-8 after the first quarter, but the Eagles pulled within two, 18-16, at the half.

Berlin outscored KHS 15-8 in the third quarter to build a nine-point lead, 33-24, after three frames.

"We just didn't do much in the second half," Meader said. "We turned the ball over 28 times in the game, and at least half of those were unforced."

Gianna Jones led the Eagles with 10 points. Kelsey Bush added six; Isabel Wrobleski, six; Sydney Perk, six; Liz Kenny,, Maggie Bennett and Cassidy Chick, each had two.

The Eagles will look to rebound Friday (6:30 p.m.) when Plymouth (2-12) comes to town for a 6:30 p.m. tip-off.

The Bobcats beat KHS 36-30 in Plymouth on Jan. 15.

"That was one we let get away," Meader said. "We were up seven at the start of the fourth quarter and ended up losing by six. We know we've got to play better and do it for four quarters."


Kennett girls win alpine title; boys third

By Lloyd Jones

CONWAY — The Kennett High girls' alpine team won its fourth consecutive Division II State Championship on Thursday on the Eagles' home course at Cranmore in North Conway. The girls, led by Maddie Glavin's win, took the top four spots in the morning giant slalom to seal their victory.

The KHS boys saw their remarkable run of five straight titles come to an end on the bid for No. 6 due to a talented Plymouth squad that put everything together in the morning GS and afternoon slalom. The Eagles actually finished third behind Plymouth and Hollis-Brookline.

Cranmore had been scheduled to host the Division II State Meets with the boys racing on Tuesday and the girls on Thursday, but with weather uncertainty for Tuesday, the New Hampshire Interscholastic Athletic Association made the decision on Monday to have both meets on Thursday at Cranmore.

The KHS girls had a rough time in the afternoon slalom, finishing fourth as a team, but it didn't matter. Their dominating performance in the morning GS was more than enough for the Eagles to defend their crown.

The Eagles won the overall title with 744 points, topping the 13-school field. Hanover and Souhegan finished tied for second with 706.5 points followed by Hollis-Brookline, 687; Kingswood, 670; ConVal, 575; Windham, 562; Oyster River, 558; Pembroke, 472; Lebanon, 407; Plymouth, 338; and Milford, 265.

Overall for the boys, Plymouth lifted the crown with 733 points, topping 12 other schools. Hollis-Brookline followed with 693; Kennett, 672; Milford, 616; Windham, 611; ConVal, 603; Souhegan, 593; Lebanon, 575; Oyster River, 501; Hanover, 482; Pembroke, 481; Kingswood, 423; and John Stark, 411.

Individually in the slalom for the girls, Souhegan's Allison Rhiannon, who was third after the first run, put down the fastest second run to win in a combined time of 1:14.15.

She was joined on the podium by a pair of Kennett skiers, Glavin, who was second, 1:15.40, and Rockett, third, 1:16.04.

Other Kennett skiers were Paige Hill, 19th, 1:28.98; Emma Niiler, 38th (she was sixth after the first run), 1:44.14; Victoria Burns, 50th, 1:58.47; and India Drummond, did not finish (she was fourth after the first run).

Freshman Jordanna Belle-Isle, who was in the skimeister competition, was 14th in 1:23.97.

The skimeister is an award given to the top skier who competes in every discipline — alpine, cross-country and ski jumping — during State Meet Week.

Souhegan won the slalom team title with 357.5 points followed by Hanover,354.5; Hollis-Brookline, 353; Kennett, 350; Kingswood, 341; Plymouth, 338; Windham, 290; ConVal, 287; Oyster River, 262; Pemborke, 242; Lebanon, 207; and Milford, 128.

For the Kennett boys, they had their troubles with the slalom, too. For the first time in more than decade the Eagles did not have a finisher in the top 10.

ConVal's Eli Tamok posted the fastest two runs to win by more than 2 seconds in 1:12.58.

He was joined on the podium by Paul Menard of Hollis, who was second in 1:15.26, and Windham's Brett Curtis, who placed third in 1:17.22.

Dylan West led the way for the Eagles, finishing 14th in 1:24.98. He was followed by Sean Maloney, 20th, 1:29.15; Marcus Clancy, 21st, 1:29.47; Chris Burton, 22nd, 1:29.59; Thomas Welch, 27th, 1:33.44; and Whipple Roberts, 35th, 1:35.77.

Maloney and Dennis Morgan (31st, 1:34.75) were competing in the skimeister event.

Plymouth won the team slalom title with 369 points, followed by Hollis-Brookline, 367; Kennett, 321; ConVal, 314; Windham, 312; Souhegan, 307; Milford and Lebanon, 289; John Stark, 252; Oyster River, 250; Pembroke, 242; Kingswood, 158; and Hanover, 149.

In the morning GS, the Eagles showed why they were considered the team to beat by taking the top four places. Glavin won the race in 63.68. Teammates Ashton Coleman, Rockett and Hill finished second, third and fourth, respectively, in 64.93, 65.51 and 65.59.

Other KHS skiers were Niiler in sixth, 66.04; and Nora Miller, 12th, 67.88.

The Eagles had perfect score of 394, followed by Hanover, 352; Souhegan, 349; Hollis-Brookline, 334; Kingswood and Plymouth, 329; Oyster River, 296; ConVal, 288; Windham, 272; Pembroke, 230; Lebanon, 200; and Milford, 137.

For the boys in GS, Hanover's David Stocken won the race in 60.79. He was joined on the podium by John Stark's Jason Innerfield, second, 61.58, and Milford's David Spaulding, third, 61.65.

For Kennett, Maloney was sixth, 62.68; Clancy, 14th, 65.36; Jonathon Brooks, 16th, 65.97; West, 19th, 66.47; Jamie Kelemen, 23rd, 67.24; and Burton, 37th, 72.93.

Plymouth took team honors in the GS with 364 points, followed by Kennett, 351; Hanover, 333; Milford, 327; Hollis-Brookline, 326; Windham, 299; ConVal, 289; Lebanon, and Souhegan, 286; Oyster River, 251; Pembroke, 239; and John Stark, 159.


Fryeburg teams place fourth in Wester Maine Conference Championships

By Lloyd Jones

FRYEBURG — "It took two miracles, but we pulled it off."

That's how John Weston, head ski coach for Fryeburg Academy described last week's Western Maine Conference Cross-Country Skiing Championships that were held at Stark's Hill in Fryeburg last Tuesday and Saturday. Mother Nature had been none too kind to the skinny skiers this winter.

Weston said the first miracle occurred Tuesday when the Raiders hosted a 5.4K skate freestyle with barely any snow on the ground. And then temperatures soared in to the 50s later in the week and thinks looked bleak.

"We got a second miracle," Weston said smiling, "thanks to the unforecasted snow we got Friday. We managed to pull off two races."

Weston said his troops were dealing with some sickness, but still managed to turn in a number of impressive results.

In team scoring, the FA girls finished fourth overall, just two points out of third behind Freeport with 137 points. Yarmouth took the top spot overall with 41 points followed by Mc Waldorf, 68.

Falmouth was fifth, 194; Waynflete, sixth, 198; Greely, seventh, 254; York, eighth, 302; and Gray, no team score as the Patriots did not have four skiers finish the classic race.

For the boys, Freeport finished first overall out of night schools with 46 points, followed by Falmouth, 90; MC Waldorf, 118; Fryeburg, 125; Yarmouth, 138; Waynflete and Cape Elizabeth, 251; Greely, 305; and Gray, no team score as the Patriots did not have four skiers finish the classic race.

In Tuesday's skate race for the girls, Kaelyn Woods, of Gray, win the race by 25 seconds in a blazing time of 15:03.

Woods was joined on the podium by a pair of Yarmouth skiers, Sophia Lauki, second, 15:28, and Lucy Alexander, third, 15:33.

Fryeburg was ld by Emily Carty, who placed eighth overall out of 58 skiers in 17:19.

By virtue of a top 10 finish, Carty earned All Western Maine Conference honors.

Other Raiders to finish included Irina Norkin, 14th, 18:23; Faye Taylor, 25th, 19:57; Costanza Santarelli, 35th, 21:07; Mae Milo, 44th, 21:59; and Erin Richardson, 47th, 22;30.

Yarmouth won the race with 21 points, followed by MC Waldorf, 38; Freeport, 68; Fryeburg, 75; Gray, 79; Waynflete, 95; Falmouth, 122; Greely, 124; and York, 158.

For the boys in the skate, Tucker Pierce of MC Waldorf won the race by 6 seconds in 13:05.

Also on the podium were John Lane of Yarmouth, who was second in 13:11, and Bennett Hight of Freeport, third, 13:34.

Fryeburg's Patrick Carty skied to all-conference honors by finishing fourth in 13:42.

Other Raiders to finish in the 58-skier field included: Ben Caffrey, 14th, 15:02; Christian Bedell, 16th, 15:19; Alfie Walker, 28th, 16:38; Seth Johnston, 47th, 19:06; Sam Paulding, 51st, 20:11; Jacob Gerrish, 54th, 21:27.

Team scores had Freeport on top with 24 points; Falmouth, 43; MC Waldorf, 60; Fryeburg, 62; Yarmouth, 65; Cape Elizabeth, 128; Waynflete, 129; Gray, 129; and Greely, 154.

In the 5.19K classic race on Saturday, team honors for the boys went to Freeport with 22 points, followed by Falmouth, 47; MC Waldorf, 58; Fryeburg, 63; Yarmouth, 73; Waynflete, 122; Cape Elizabeth, 123; Greely, 151; and Gray, no score.

Waynflete's Wilson Moore won the race by 12 seconds in 15:11. Pierce was second, 15:23.4, and Lane, third, 15:23.5

Carty was eighth, in 16:22, earning all-conference laurels. He was followed by Bedell, 13th, 17:23; Caffrey, 18th, 18:11; Walker, 27th, 18:55; Jonhston, 35th, 20:05; Gerrish, 49th, 22:52; and Reed Wales, 55th, 24:32.

There were 63 finishers in the race.

For the girls, Yarmouth finished first as a team with 20 points, followed by MC Waldorf, 30; Fryeburg, 62; Freeport, 67; Falmouth, 72; Waynflete, 103; Greely, 130; York, 144; and Gray, no score.

Individually, Lily Johnston of Freeport won the race by 48 seconds in 17:42. She was followed by Yarmouth's Alexander, second, 18:30.6; and Fiona Ahearne of MC Waldorf, who was third in 18:30.9.

Carty led the Raiders and earned her second all-conference honors of the week by finishing 10th in the 62-skier field in 20:18.

Other FA finishers included: Norkin, 15th, 21:04; Zoe Maguire, 19th, 22:18; Elise Richardson, 24th, 22:34; Taylor, 35th, 23:59; Santarelli, 41st, 24:32; and Milo, 47th, 25:21.

The State Meet is scheduled for next week at Titcomb Mountain Farmington.

Coach Weston believes the Raiders have a chance to finish in the top three as a team for both the girls and the boys.


Eagles rally to top Sanborn 5-2

By Lloyd Jones

CONWAY — The Kennett High ice hockey team rallied from a two-goal second period deficit to top visiting Sanborn 5-2 at Ham Ice Arena on Saturday afternoon, but got this week off on a tough note, falling 4-1 at home to Berlin on Monday.

The Eagles are now 5-4-3 on the season in Division III play while the Indians of Sanborn fell to 3-9-1 after dropping their fifth consecutive game. Berlin improved to 9-3 in the division  with all three loses against non-division opponents.

In Monday's contest against the Mountaineers, KHS fell behind early and was never able to get back on level terms.

"It was a tough night for us," Michael Lane, Eagles' head coach, said. "We had a pretty good effort, but we've got to clean some things up. Fortunately, there's still time this season to do that, and I think we will."

Trevor Lebrecque keyed the Berlin offense on the night with two goals and an assist. Hunter Fauteux added a goal and two assists, while Evan Valliere netted the other Mountie goal.

Berlin took the lead 1:59 into the first period and added a second goal to lead 2-0 after the opening 15 minutes of play.

The Mountaineers made it 3-0 five minutes into the second period.

The Eagles were able to pull a goal back with 3:49 to play in the second stanza when Connor Doucet scored off a feed from Robert Thurston and Colby Couture.

Berlin added an insurance goal with nine minutes to play.

John Biggio made 24 saves for the Eagles, while Brenden Williams had 18.

Saturday's game also marked the fifth annual Skate with the Eagles, a show of appreciation by the team to all MWV Youth Hockey players, season-ticket holders and general admission patrons. Prior to the game KHS held its annual Business Appreciation ceremony to recognize a few business who go above and beyond in their support for the team.

"It turned out to be a great day at the Ham," Lane said. "We got to recognize a number of businesses who support us; we got the win in the game; and we had a huge crowd stay afterward to skate with the team. Things went the way we hoped they would."

It didn't look like that would be the case early on when the skaters from Sanborn came to play. The two squads skated to a 5-5 draw on Opening Night back on Dec. 19, and the Tribe looked to have Kennett's number.

Sanborn took the lead late in the opening period on a goal by Nick Frost.

Despite the Eagles out-shooting their guests 8-5 in the first period, the visitors led 1-0 at the intermission.

The Indians doubled their advantage 1:25 into the second period when Dalton McCann scored from Frost to cap a two-on-one breakaway.

Lane's troops didn't get rattled be being behind, and slowly took over the game and were rewarded for carrying the play with 6:30 left in the second period. Doucet lit the lamp. He took a pass from Connor Furtado, made a nice rush and finished it off by beating goalie Austin Conley.

The Eagles knotted the game at 2-2 with 5:19 to play in the period when Doucet scored his second of the afternoon with a shot from the top of the circle.

KHS out-shot Sanborn 10-3 in the period.

It was all Kennett in the third period. Dan Nusbaum scored what proved to be the game-winner with 7:36 left on a power-play tally with assists going to Nick Ansaldi and Mackenzie Murphy.

"Nusbaum was fantastic," Lane said. "It was a good team effort, but Dan been real strong on the blue line for us."

Ninety-two seconds later, Ansaldi added an insurance goal to make it 4-2. He played the puck to himself off the half-wall and beat Conley just under the crossbar.

Ansaldi closed out the scoring with an empty-net goal from Caleb McPherson with just 50 seconds to left.

The Eagles out-shot the Indians 12-2 in the third frame and 30-10 overall.

Biggio picked up the win in net for KHS, making eight saves over three period.

The Eagles were back in action Wednesday night when they travel to Kearsarge/Plymouth (6-5). Results were not known as of press time.

KHS is also scheduled to close out the week hosting Moultonborough-InterLakes (3-9) on Saturday (6 p.m.).

"It's a real big week for us," Lane said. "We've got a huge one with Berlin, and then they really don't get a whole lot easier. We go to Kearsarge/Plymouth, who we're in a battle with for a home playoff game. Saturday we play Moultonborough-Inter-Lakes, who are fighting for their playoff lives."


Raiders finish regular season 15-3

By Lloyd Jones

FRYEBURG — It's onto the playoffs for the Fryeburg Academy girls' basketball team.

The Raiders closed out regular-season last week by going 1-1. Thursday, they played great team defense to bottle up York on the road 40-27. On Tuesday, fans were treated to arguably the best half of basketball in Wadsworth Arena when the Raiders hosted undefeated York. The two teams left it all on the court, but in the end the Wildcats were able to leave town with a 55-40 win, in a contest that was much closer than the final score might indicate.

Fryeburg (15-3) expects to be the No. 3 seed in the final Class A South Heal point standings behind York (18-0) and Greely (15-3), the two teams it has lost to this season. Fryeburg is scheduled to open play against Leavitt in the quarterfinals next Monday (Feb. 15), at the Portland Expo.

The Raiders have beaten Leavitt twice this year, winning 42-38 in Turner on Dec. 11, and 50-28 in Fryeburg on Jan. 2.

Prior to tip-off Tuesday, the Raiders recognized seniors Katherine Parker, Sage Boivin, Alexis L'Heureux-Carland, Julia Quinn, Bridget Bailey and McKenna Gerchman for their commitment and dedication to the program. Each received flowers and presented them to their parents, who were also honored at mid-court.

"They are a tremendous group, that has been together for a long time," Coach Sean Watson said. "They should be very proud of what they have accomplished both on and off the court. Their behavior, their citizenship, their academic prowess, their competitive zeal, along with their unselfish attitudes are all fantastic individual and team attributes. Not only is it a credit to them, but to their parents, youth coaches, coaches of other sports, their teachers and the administrators and support staff they have had along the way. This group is a real credit to their families, their school and their community.

"With the exception of Katherine Parker, who moved to Denmark at the start of her sophomore year, all of the others (Sage Boivin, Bridget Bailey, Lexi L'Heureux-Carland, McKenna Gerchman, and Julia Quinn) have played together since well before high school," he continued. "All of them have spent four years in the high school program. Katherine proved right away, to be a natural fit with this group. She is an ideal teammate. It is never easy being the new kid coming into an established group. But she couldn't have been a better fit for this group."

Watson said the senior class will always hold a place in his heart.

"This group of seniors has been very special to me," he said. "We've grown up together, so to speak. My first year of coaching here at the Academy was their freshman year. To say that we've been through a lot together would be an understatement. We have been fortunate enough to enjoy some really good times together. We've also had to pull each other through some tough times. These players have been really good at dealing with and overcoming adversity. They are tough! That toughness should serve them well in their future endeavors.

"However, right now we are living in the present," Watson continued. "We have to continue to be tougher, faster, and smarter each time we take the court, be it in practice or in a game. We need to continue to put the team first, second, and third, just as we have done all season. We want to do the things that give us the best chance to keep this group together and keep this ride going for as long as possible."

York, who beat Fryeburg 57-47 in York on Dec. 19, jumped out of the gate quickly on Tuesday, opening with an 11-1 run.

Mackenzie Buzzell stopped the run a jump shot that drew nothing but the bottom of the net with 3:05 left in the quarter to make it 11-3.

Then it became the Quinn show. The talented guard went coast-to-coast for a layup to make it 11-5; she drained a three-pointer to pull within three with 58 seconds left in the period; and then with 23 ticks left on the clock went into the lane, made an off-balanced scoop shot with two Wildcats draped on her and was fouled on the play. She calmly sank the free-throw, and just like that it was 11-11.

That led to fan Ryan Mayhan firing up the student body by chanting across the court, "Whose house?"

Raiders Nation responded with, "Our house."

The game was knotted at 11-11 at the end of the first period. Buzzell hit a baseline jumper to give the Raiders their first lead of the night with 7:17 left in the second quarter.

The Wildcats scored the next five points (a Chloe Smedley jumper; a Mia Briggs layup; and a free throw by Shannon Todd) to regain the lead at 16-13. Buzzell answered with a lay of her own to pull within a point.

After Smedley scored bucket in the lane, Quinn heated up again with a runner off the glass and a three-pointer 17 seconds later to tie the game 18-18 with 2:45 left in the first half.

York closed the quarter with an 8-2 run keyed by three consecutive baskets by Madigan Cogger to lead 26-22 at the break.

The Wildcats opened up more breathing room midway through the third quarter, thanks to a 7-0 run (a three-pointer by Smedley, a jumper by Cogger, and a reverse layup by Briggs). With 3:13 left in the period, York led 39-26.

The visitors led 47-31 heading into the fourth quarter.

"The effort was there," Watson said. "The emotions were high. We fought like crazy, but in the end we made far too many mistakes. I don't have the stats in front of me, but I know we made a bunch of unforced turnovers. Teams really struggle when they turn the ball over against us. Conversely, we turned the ball over against a quality team and they made us pay. On the bright side, I think it is evident that we can compete with them or anyone else for that matter."

Fryeburg made a dent in the score by netting the first seven points of the fourth quarter (a three-pointer by Gerchman, a free-throw by L'Heureux-Carland and a three-pointer by Quinn) to pull within nine, 47-38 with 5:31 to play.

The Raiders came up short on back-to-back three-pointers that would have cut the deficit to six, but it was the Wildcats who put the game out of reach on three-pointers by Cogger and Emma Thomson.

Quinn finished with a game-high 19 points. L'Heureux Carland and Buzzell each had six; Boivin, four; Gerchman, three; and Nicole Bennett, two.

Chloe Smedley led four Work players in double-figures with 18 points. Cogger added 11; and Briggs and Todd both had 10.

On Thursday, at Cape, the Raiders outscored their hosts 26-13 over the final two quarters to leave town with a 40-27 victory.

Fryeburg led by a point, 10-9 over Cape Elizabeth (7-11) in the first quarter, but the Capers nipped the Raiders in scoring in the second period, 5-4, to knot the contest at 14-14 at halftime. In the second half, FA put the clamps on the Capers, holding them to just four points in the third quarter to open up a six-point cushion, 24-18.

The Raiders put the contest out of reach with 16-9 run over the final eight minutes to pull away.

L'Hereux-Carland led all scorers with a game-high 17 points. Quinn added eight; Boivin, four; Gerchman, three; Parker, two; Buzzell, two; Delaney, two; and Bennett, two.