Monday night the Pythons picked up two big wins over St. Thomas and Bedford as the scores were 33-30 over the Saints and 47-24 over the Bulldogs. Josh Medeiros, Roger Allen, and Mike Perruccio got the Pelham boys off to great starts as all three wrestlers were at 2-0 on the night in the 103, 119, and 125-pound weights. The Riddinger boys were at the top of their game on this night too, as R. J. at 145 pounds, and Mark at 152 pounds, both enjoyed 2-0 undefeated nights. Coach Bob Riddinger was also happy with the efforts of sophomore Josh Lynde, senior Justin Isabelle, sophomore Richie Sullivan, and junior Chris Salazar, who all went 1-1 on the evening. Pelham will be holding their Senior Night this Wednesday when the Souhegan Sabers come to town for a 6 p.m. match.
Last week a pretty tough Goffstown Grizzlie wrestling team came to Pelham High for a big meet and junior Mike Perruccio got them off to a great start at the 130-pound weight when he took a commanding 8-0 lead at the end of the first period and eventually got the pin with 17 seconds left in the second period. With Pelham up 6-0, Justin Isabelle was embroiled in a real tough match at 135 pounds. Isabelle fell behind 1-0 after the first period and still trailed 1-0 into the third period, but he was able to get an escape and send this match into overtime. This match stayed extremely tight through the first two scoreless overtime periods, but with 30 seconds left in the third overtime, the Goffstown wrestler was able to escape and grab the 2-1 win. Richie Sullivan was next up for Pelham at 140 pounds, and he fell behind 2-0 in the first period and 4-0 midway through the second, before he scored a takedown to make it a 4-2 contest. Sullivan could make up the ground and later lost it 6-2 which tied the match at 6-6. R. J. Riddinger lost a real close 145 bout when he was trailing 3-0 late in the match, but couldn’t make up the difference. Mark Riddinger gave the Pythons back the lead at 12-9 when he took a quick 5-0 first period lead, and then pinned this kid with eight seconds left in the second period. Sophomore Warren Greenhalgh looked very good in the first period with a 5-2 lead in his 160-pound battle, but the lead melted to 7-5 in the second period and Greenhalgh made a slip in the third period with 40 seconds left, and the Goffstown kid was able to get the pin. Senior Nick Barrett would give Pelham their last lead of the night in the 171-pound match, as he fell behind 4-0 early, but came back to take a 5-4 lead and then put this kid on his back with 34 seconds gone in the second period. Pelham now had their last lead of the night at 18-15, but two Goffstown pins at 189 and 275, and a forfeit at 215 gave the Grizzlies a 33-18 cushion. Freshman Josh Medeiros gave his team four points back in the 103 bout with a 10-0 major decision, and Roger Allen picked up a forfeit at 119 pounds, but that was it for the Pythons who lost to Goffstown 39-28.
This past Tuesday night the Pelham girls had to travel west to Milford where they trailed 10-6 after one period of play, but fell behind 25-16 by halftime. Brianna Szidat would have 14 points as the Pythons tried to make a gallant comeback in the third quarter when they got to within eight points at 36-28, but the Spartans got away with a 54-36 win that dropped the Pelham girls Class I record to 4-13.
Pelham did a nice job of staying with the number four seeded Kennett Golden Eagles on Friday night as the Pythons would never go away. Brianna Szidat had another monster game with 29 points and 12 rebounds.
Senior center Brianna Szidat had another double-double game Thursday night as she popped in 32 points and hauled in 16 rebounds, as the Pythons jumped out to a 14-5 lead after one quarter, but had to clamp down on defense in the last 30 seconds of the game, get two stops on the defensive end, to finally pull off the 44-43 upset over the Hollis-Brookline Cavaliers. The victory upped the Pythons Class I record to 4-10, and they know that they have to win maybe their last three games to assure themselves of a playoff spot. Szidat burned the Cavaliers inside with her bank shots off the glass, and then stepped outside where she’d have no problem sinking six three-pointers on her way to her biggest scoring night of the season. The other 12 Python points were score by Jacqui Perry who had four, Sarah DeBaldo who had three, April Blinn and Kayla Bailey had a bucket apiece, and Nicole Mastacouris hit a free throw.
As if Friday night’s game wasn’t exciting enough, coach Todd Kress came into this game knowing that starting sophomore forward, Mike Lombard would be out with a twisted ankle against a big 7-4 Milford team. This meant that Kress would need big efforts underneath from sophomore Stephan Spirou, senior Grant Hebert, juniors Conor McColgan and Josh Boissonneault, and senior Dave Wesson. The Spartans had two big 6-foot-5-inch forwards that had a lot of success inside as they jumped out to an 18-11 first quarter lead, and midway through the second period the Milford kids had stretched that lead to 30-18. Pelham’s sensational guard, Justin Hojlo must have looked up at the scoreboard during a time out and said, “Alright, let’s get this party started.” Hojlo scored Pelham’s next nine points and when Spirou hit an inside bucket with 10 seconds left in the half, the Pythons had cut that lead to 35-29 by halftime. Both teams would score 16 points apiece in the third quarter so that Milford still had their 51-45 lead over the Pythons entering the final frame, but Dave Wesson had been summoned off the bench to try and keep the Spartans big men away from the hoop and maybe set some of those bone-crushing picks for his teammates. With about five minutes left to play, junior guard Sean Sweeney gave Pelham its’ first lead when he buried a three-pointer to put the Pythons up 55-53. Stephan Spirou was taking a lot of pressure off Hojlo by getting free underneath for hoops off Hojlo passes, but Milford had a slight 60-59 lead with just over three minutes remaining. Hojlo then drove to the hoop for a conventional three-point play, and Spirou hit another inside bucket. Dave Wesson drew raves from the Pelham fans for blocking a shot off his 6-foot- 5-inch man that he guarded and when he picked off the rebound, he was fouled and sent to the foul line. Wesson, a 5-foot-11-inch 190-pound All-State tackle for the unbeaten 22-0 Pelham football team showed the packed house that he can do way more than just sack opposing quarterbacks and block four punts during the season, as he calmly stepped to the foul line and dropped in his foul shots to give Pelham a four point lead. A minute later with Pelham still holding onto a 67-64 lead, Milford fouled Wesson again with 37 seconds left, and Wesson stepped to the line and canned two more free throws to put the game out of reach Stephan Spirou hit a foul shot with 20 seconds left for the 70-67 final and Milford could never connect with the game tying three-pointer. Justin Hojlo led the Pythons with 27 points, Stephan Spirou was clutch all night with 23 points, but four other Pelham players also played key roles. Grany Hebert added five huge points, Corey Couilliard had two big baskets, Josh Boissonneault had four crucial points, Sean Sweeney had a key three-pointer, and then we had the light-on-his-feet, defensive tackle, Dave Wesson, who hit nothing but net on all four fouls shots to put this win in the bag!
The Pelham Pythons boys basketball played the Kennett Golden Eagles very tough for three quarters last Friday night at New Hampshire Technical Institute (NHTI) in Concord, but still trailed 51-48 heading into the fourth quarter, before Justin Hojlo and the Python defense put on an eight minute clinic that people are still talking about. Coach Todd Kress’ Pythons went out and outscored Kennett 21-3 over the final eight minutes to take a 69-54 verdict that raised their Class I record to 12-1. Senior All-State guard Justin Hojlo only had to toss in 34 points that included five three-pointers on this night, as Stephan Spirou chipped in with 15 big points, and sophomore forward Mike Lombard killed the Golden Eagles under the boards with 11 points and a dozen rebounds. Kennett was able to get a small 12-9 lead after one quarter, but seemed to still hold control at halftime, even though that slight lead had dropped to 26-25. Both teams picked up the scoring tempo in the second half as Kennett went on top 51-48, but the Pythons were lurking in their fourth quarter huddle, and Kennett would never know what hit them over the final eight minutes. The Pythons came up with several stakes that got turned into two-on-one lay-ups the other way, and they dominated both ends of the boards in outscoring Kennett 21-3, to run away with the 60-54 win that now has them tied with Pembroke for first place in the Class I rankings as both teams are 12-1.
11-0 Pythons Win State Title over Gilford - 2007 State Division V Football Champions
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