Nashua South tips Alvirne for Chick-fil-A title on buzzer-beater
NASHUA – Nate Mazerolle only needed the Nashua High School boys basketball team to run one play.
South and Alvirne were tied at 59 with 19 seconds left in Saturday’s championship game of the Chick-fil-A Holiday Basketball Tournament, and the Panthers had the ball coming out of a timeout. Mazerolle gave his players a play to beat the Broncos’ zone, but South never ran it.
Instead of running the play, the Panthers got a big play from someone who makes a lot of them.
When Yordy Tavarez’s 3-pointer crashed off the backboard, Trevor Knight was there to scoop the loose ball off the floor and somehow got through three Alvirne players to drop in a buzzer-beating layup, giving South a 61-59 victory. It’s the third straight tournament title for the host Panthers.
“We prepared a couple of things, whether they went man or back to the zone,” Mazerolle said. “We had a backdoor play set up that didn’t happen and Trevor (Knight) still made a play. That’s what he does, he just makes plays.”
With the play happening on the other side of the court from the Broncos’ bench, Alvirne coach Seth Garon didn’t see much, until Knight came out of the scrum with the ball.
“I saw 10 bodies and 20 hands around that basketball,” Garon said. “Then I saw Knight pick up the ball and he had a wide-open look. That’s just how it goes.”
Tavarez finished with a game-high 32 points and was named the tournament’s most valuable player, while Knight finished with eight points and was also named to the tournament team. Mike Osgood also chipped in with eight points and Cam Joyal had seven in the win.
Tyler Brown led the Broncos with 28 points, at times trading points with Tavarez, and the Alvirne senior was also named to the all-tournament team. Alex Wetmore added eight points for Alvirne and George Notini and Sam Bonney-Liles each had six.
The Panthers took the lead early before the Broncos went to work on the glass, limiting South to just one shot on each possession and turning it into points at the other end. Down 17-15 at the start of the second quarter, Alvirne went on an 18-3 run to take its largest lead of the game, 33-20.
“If we don’t rebound, we don’t get out in transition, end of story,” Garon said. “Alex Wetmore and Tyler Brown have done a nice job with gaining possession, which is good. Early on, we had success against their pressure and then I think we got a little tired and they amped up the pressure a little bit.”
South responded by scoring eight straight points to end the first half and then opened the second with another six in a row. The 14-0 run gave the Panthers a 34-33 lead, as Tavarez scored South’s first nine points of the third quarter.
Alvirne switched to a zone defense to try to slow down the Panthers and neutralize Tavarez and it worked enough that neither team led by more than four points the rest of the way.
“We went to a zone and I thought we did well with that,” Garon said. “It seemed to slow them down a little bit. They were taking mid-range jump shots and a couple of them weren’t falling. That’s how we kept it close.”
The Panthers led for most of the third quarter, but a layup and a 3 by Brown gave the Broncos a 49-47 lead going into the final eight minutes.
A Tavarez layup with 1:17 left gave South a 59-57 lead and the Panthers got the ball back on a held ball with under a minute to play. But South’s inbounds pass sailed over the head of everyone and Brown tied the game on the next possession with less than 50 seconds to play.
South held the ball before Mazerolle called a timeout with 19 seconds left on the clock, and out of the break, Tavarez again held the ball before putting up a 3 with about eight seconds left.
“My thought was ‘wow, we took that (3-pointer) much too early,’ ” Mazerolle said. “I was frustrated that we didn’t try to run what we wanted. But I’ll take making a play over executing something that doesn’t work.”
The win extends South’s tournament win streak to 10 games, dating back to 2010. Joining Tavarez, Knight and Brown on the all-tournament team were North’s Jordan Lates and Thornton Academy’s Quinn Richardson-Newton.
Tavarez finished with a tournament-best 27.3 points per game, while Lates averaged 21 and Brown and Richardson-Newton were each at 20.
THORNTON ACADEMY 54, SOUHEGAN 35
The Sabers used a 7-2 run to trail by five points going into the fourth quarter, but the Trojans outscored them 14-0 in the final eight minutes of the game.
Quinn Richardson-Newton and Kevin Barrett each had 13 points for Thornton, of Sacco, Maine, which finished third in the Chick-fil-A Holiday Basketball Tournament. Evan Wright was also in double figures with 10 points.
Souhegan got 14 points from Brock Lefebvre and Matt Segul added eight for the Sabers, who were without starting point guard A.J. Hayes due to a leg injury.
The game was delayed by about 15 minutes after the officials realized Thornton, did not have mouthguards, which aren’t required in Maine. The Trojans had played the first two games of the tournament without them.
NASHUA NORTH 49, HOLLIS BROOKLINE 28
Jordan Lates scored 19 points as the Titans finished up the Chick-fil-A Holiday Basketball Tournament by winning their final two games. Matt LaVallee also added 12 points for North, which never trailed in the game.
Riley Hamel led the Cavaliers with six points, coming on two 3s, as HB struggled to score for most of the game. The Cavs trailed 12-3 at the end of the first quarter and 21-13 at halftime. No starters played in the second half for HB.
GOFFSTOWN 51, MILFORD 35
Marcus Haynes hit five 3-pointers for a game-high 15 points as the Grizzlies picked up a win in the final day of the Chick-fil-A Holiday Basketball Tournament Saturday at Nashua South.
Goffstown jumped out to a 10-point lead early in the game and led 26-10 late in the first half before Milford closed the gap before halftime. The Spartans had just 21 points heading into the fourth quarter, but scored 14 in the final 4:10 of the game.
Ross Briggs led Milford with 10 points while younger brother Jack Briggs added nine points on three 3-pointers.
Tyler Brown 9-11-28, Alex Wetmore 4-0-8, George Notini 3-0-6, Sam Bonney-Liles 3-0-6, Brett Richardson 2-0-4, Danny Tucci 1-0-3, Evan Hunt 1-0-2. Totals: 23-11-59.
NASHUA SOUTH (61)
Yordy Tavarez 11-10-32, Trevor Knight 4-0-8, Mike Osgood 4-0-8, Cam Joyal 3-0-7, Vinny Ortolano 1-0-2, D.J. Frechette 1-0-2, Malik Langa 1-0-2. Totals: 25-10-61.
ALVIRNE 15 18 16 10-59NASHUA SOUTH 17 11 19 14-61
3-pointers: A-Brown, Tucci; NS-Joyal. Next game: Alvirne hosts Pinkerton on Jan. 3; Nashua South plays at Winnacunnet on Jan. 3.
Marcus Haynes 5-0-15, Patrick Kelsey 2-2-6, Brendan Hall 1-3-5, Tim Riehl 2-0-5, Tim Comeau 2-1-5, Ben Barss 2-0-4, Dillon Skinner 1-0-3, Ryan Roggenbuck 1-1-3, Matt Shaw 1-0-2, Maxx Chambers 1-0-2, Dee Ettiene 0-1-1. Totals: 18-8-51.
Ross Briggs 4-2-10, Jack Briggs 3-0-9, Evan Perron 3-0-6, Seth Hopkins 2-2-6, Liam Shea 0-3-3, Drew Lesmerises 0-1-1. Totals: 12-8-35.
GOFFSTOWN 19 7 12 13-51MILFORD 10 4 7 14-35
3-pointers: G-Haynes 5, Riehl, Skinner; M-J. Briggs 3. Next game: Milford hosts Windham on Jan. 3 in Division II action.
HOLLIS BROOKLINE (28)
Riley Hamel 2-0-6, Cole Gallant 2-0-4, Logan Blake 2-0-4, Nick Fothergill 1-0-3, Jason VanCoughnett 1-0-3, Patch Zorn 1-0-2, Trevor Bowler 0-2-2, Conor O’Shea 1-0-2, Shea Whalen 1-0-2. Totals: 11-2-28.
NASHUA NORTH (49)
Jordan Lates 7-2-19, Matt LaVallee 5-1-12, Brennan Kastens 3-0-6, Demitri Jackson 2-0-4, Brendan Barrett 1-1-3, Drew Sheridan 1-0-3, Ashea Bittle 1-0-2. Totals: 20-4-49.
HOLLIS BROOKLINE 3 10 8 7-28
NASHUA NORTH 12 9 18 10-49
3-pointers: H-Hamel 2, VanCoughnett, N. Fothergill; NN-Lates 3, Sheridan, LaVallee. Next game: HB hosts Pelham on Jan. 3; North heads to Salem on Jan. 6.
Quinn Richardson-Newton 6-1-13, Kevin Barrett 6-1-13, Evan Wright 3-2-10, Reuben Moses 3-0-8, Corey Hart 2-0-5, Andrew Bullard 1-0-3, Rui Chai 1-0-2. Totals: 32-4-54.
Brock Lefebvre 5-2-14, Matt Segul 2-2-8, Isaac Nevrla 3-0-6, Brian Dworkin 2-1-5, Tom Stover 1-0-2. Totals: 13-5-35.
THORNTON 17 7 16 14-54SOUHEGAN 7 11 17 0-35
3-pointers: T-Moses 2, Hart, Bullard. S-Segul 2, Lefebvre 2. Next game: Souhegan hosts Lebanon on Jan. 3.