The Pelham Pythons boys basketball team found the right remedy to offset Lebanon’s “Tall Towers” in the paint last Friday night in front off 700 screaming fans at “The Pit” at Pelham High School. Coach Todd Kress simply put the ball in the hands of his senior guard sensation Justin Hojlo, and sat back and watched Hojlo work his magic. Hojlo only had four points in the first period, but Pelham’s defense was intense and Hojlo worked the ball around to Gant Hebert for five points, and Stephen Spirou, Sean Sweeney, and Mike Lombard for a basket apiece. The Pythons held the much taller Red Raiders to just three hoops and took a 15-7 lead into the second quarter. Lebanon looked like they were starting to get their offense together, but Hojlo and Sean Sweeney started picking their pockets and Hojlo looked like he was getting ready to take over, even though he only had six points in the quarter and only had 10 by halftime. Stephen Spirou had four in the period, Josh Boissonneault and Hebert had hoops and Conor McColgan ended the halftime scoring with a foul shot that gave the Pythons a 29-22 advantage of the break.
Pelham was happy with the defensive job that they did in the first half, but they wanted to get their offense rolling. That usually means that everybody would be spreading out for Pelham and Hojlo would be doing his thing despite double-coverage from everywhere. Hojlo opened up the third quarter with a trey, and then hit a runner in the lane and a pair of free throws. After Spirou drained a 15-foot jumper, Pelham had extended their lead to 28-26. Lebanon hit a 3-pointer and two jumpers to cut the lead to nine with 30 seconds left in the third quarter, but Hojlo killed that short comeback spurt with a 3-pointer just before the buzzer to give the Pythons a 46-34 lead heading into the fourth quarter. Hojlo had heated up with 12 points in the quarter for Pelham and Sean Sweeney came up with steals and forced the Lebanon guards into two five-second violations and to step out of bounds on another instance. Spirou, Hebert, Mike Lombard and Conor McColgan were doing their jobs in boxing out the Lebanon big men, but Hebert put a huge nail in the coffin opening up the final frame when his 3-pointer that came from somewhere near Mammoth Road, saw nothing but net and gave Pelham a 49-34 lead. The Pythons scored 15 points in the fourth period and Hojlo had eight of them. Hojlo ended the night with 30 points, Grant Hebert had 10 points and Lombard and Spirou had eight points a piece for the 61-44 Python semi-finalists.
After the game Pelham head coach Todd Kress said, “That’s the kind of defense that wins championships. It really helped that our fans all came out and were very loud. That’s the loudest crowd that I’ve ever heard here at “The Pit.” Hojlo was fantastic again and Grant Hebert came up with some big hoops at crucial times. Sean Sweeney was all over their guards, and Spirou, Lombard, Hebert, Boissonneault and Conor were all doing a nice job on the boards against a much taller team. Now we have to concentrate on Monadnock, who we’ll play Wednesday night March 11 at the University of New Hampshire in the Class I semis.
Monday night heralded the end of another successful Windham Lacrosse Skills Clinic at the SportsZone in Derry. Ranging in ages from 5 to 14, over 100 girls and over 140 boys participated in what has become an extremely popular clinic run by the Windham Lacrosse coaches. This Clinic is a prelude to the Windham Youth Lacrosse Travel Program, which currently has over 150 girls signed up for the 2009 season – by far “the largest youth program in NH,” according to coach Paul Cino.
The regular season begins Monday, March 16. Regular registration has closed, but if your child is interested in playing, there is still the opportunity to be placed on a wait list. For more information, visit the Windham Lacrosse Website at www.windhamlacrosse.org.
New England Gymnastic Training Center’s boys team competed at New England Sports Academy in Westwood, MA on Sunday, March 1. The Level 4 team boys took second place with a score of 264.4. The boys scored as follows:
Level 4, 6-7 division
Cameron Rogers, 6, of Windham, received an all around score of 83.7. He received a 14.9 (fourth place tie) on floor, 11.4 on pommel, 14.6 on rings, 14.3 on vault, 14.5 on parallel bars, and 14.0 on high bar.
Level 4, 10-11 division
Cameron Genoter, 10, of Pelham, placed fourth with an all around score of 85.3. He received a 13.8 on floor, 14.1 (second place) on pommel, 14.4 on rings, 14.7 (first place) on vault, 14.2 on parallel bars, and 14.1 on high bar.
Level 5, 7-9 division
Jacob Dorman, 8, of Pelham, received an all around score of 79.0. He received a 13.3 on floor, 10.9 on pommel, 13.4 on rings, 14.3 on vault, 14.1 on parallel bars, and 13.0 on high bar.
11-0 Pythons Win State Title over Gilford - 2007 State Division V Football Champions
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