Unbeaten Run a Thrill for Newport Seniors
A sign for KeyArena appears near the Space Needle, Monday, Jan. 21, 2013, in Seattle. KeyArena would host NBA basketball games for two seasons if a team returns to Seattle as was reported likely on Monday, while a new permanent facility is built south of downtown Seattle. The Maloof family has agreed to sell the Sacramento Kings to a Seattle group led by investor Chris Hansen, the league confirmed in a statement Monday morning. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
New England Patriots defensive tackle Brandon Deaderick carries a trash bag of his belongs through the locker room at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., Monday, Jan. 21, 2013. The Patriots wrap up their season after Sunday's night's loss to the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Championship game. (AP Photo/Stew Milne)
Newport — When seniors Aaron Cherry and Devin Wade were freshmen, the Newport High boys basketball team didn’t win a game. Their sophomore and junior seasons were better, but not a whole lot better.
So for the Tigers to be 10-0 and sitting atop the NHIAA Division III standings today is quite a revelation. Or as Cherry put it last night: “It’s awesome. We met at the beginning of the season and set some team goals, and we’re certainly doing what we set out to do.”
Newport reached that 10th victory with a convincing 84-46 win last night at Wheeler Gym over Sunapee, a team the Tigers have had trouble with in recent years.
“We beat them once last year, but we haven’t beaten them very often,” said Wade, who had his best game of the season with 16 points. “This is great. I never expected us to be on top of the standings.”
Newport coach Steve Lavolpicelo likes the way his team’s been playing, but he’s holding off any lofty predictions as the Tigers — who are 13-0 when factoring in their championship at Keene State College’s holiday tournament last month — do not have any regular-season games with two of the D-III powers, Conant and Campbell. Five of this year’s wins have been by six points or fewer.
“I think we’ve got a way to go before we’re a top-tier team, but I like the way we’re playing, especially the way we played both offensively and defensively in the first half tonight,” he said.
The one downer of the night for Newport was an ankle injury to point guard Spencer Coronis, who had to be helped off the floor in the third period.
“It’s a sprain,” said Lavolpicelo. “He’s icing it right now. I hope he will be OK.”
Derrick Pare also left the game with an ankle injury, but Lavolpicelo said he thought that Pare’s injury was not serious.
Even though Newport controlled play from start to finish, Sunapee coach Ed Tenney is looking forward to the next time the two teams play. When asked if he thought his team was overmatched he said, ”Let’s see how we do the next time we play.”
Lavolpicello agreed that the next time could be tougher. “I don’t look at Sunapee as being a pushover,” he said. “I have lots of respect for Ed Tenney and the way he does things. They gave a great effort tonight, but we just had that good offense and defense in the first half and that got us going.”
One of the reasons that Tenney thinks his team might make a better game of it next time is because “Newmarket beat up Stevens pretty bad (at the Keene tourney), and we were with Newmarket for three periods. Then Stevens almost beat Newport.”
Wade, who started the season recovering from a shoulder injury incurred in football, said he had “lots of fun, and it’s always a good feeling to beat Sunapee. We haven’t always done that.”
While Wade had his best game of the season, Coronis was on his way to his best night. The guard had piled up 13 points before going down in a lot of pain.
Sophomore Andrew Houde continued his torrid shooting with a 24-point night. Houde drilled four 3-pointers and rested on the bench the entire fourth quarter.
Newport hosts Monadnock on Friday, while Sunapee goes to Moultonborough in another Friday game.