Hanover boys basketball remains on road to perfection

  • Charles Adams, of Hanover, right, steals from Chad Martin, of John Stark, and breaks away to score on a layup in Hanover, N.H., Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Hanover's Jai White saves the ball from going out of bounds on the endline during the Marauders' game with John Stark in Hanover, N.H., Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • A cheer rises from the Hanover bench as a teammate scores in the third quarter against John Stark in Hanover, N.H., Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 1/24/2020 10:03:01 PM
Modified: 1/24/2020 10:02:47 PM

HANOVER — Walk into the athletic department entrance at Hanover High. On the right wall hang multiple state championship trophies collected over the years. Just this past fall, the Marauders brought home top honors in boys and girls soccer, along with field hockey. 

On Friday night, the Hanover boys basketball team took another step toward finding a spot on that wall as it defeated John Stark, 54-42. 

The Marauders are now a perfect 9-0 overall and 7-0 in NHIAA Division II play. It’s their best start since the 2011-12 season, when they began 12-0 but ultimately fell in the state semifinals. 

“We’ve had trouble winning in the past few years,” senior guard Charlie Adams said. “It feels good to have pieces that can do everything. We have a lot of scorers, we have a big man who can score and we have a lot of players off the bench.” 

Friday night’s win didn’t come easily, though.

Hanover led by only 28-26 at the half and had allowed John Stark’s Christian Barr to hit five 3-pointers. The Marauders offense wasn’t lagging, but simple turnovers allowed the Generals to hang around.

Hanover responded by trapping Barr quickly and often in the second half and held him to score three points. The defense forced plenty of turnovers, which resulted in quick outlet passes to Adams. The senior guard then calmly distributed the ball for easy layups and open 3-pointers.

Coach Tim Winslow was happy with his team’s second-half performance because Hanover’s main focus lately has been on the defensive side of the ball. He knows that winning a championship — Hanover’s last came in 2007 — takes strong defense for four full quarters. 

His three captains — Adams, Nolan Gantrish and Eric Seltzer — are all seniors and are in agreement that a lot of this season’s success is due to the end of last season, when Hanover was blown out of the gym at Kennett, 68-43, in the first round of tournament play. 

They know things are different this season and are proving it on the court. Adams is pacing Hanover at 18.9 points a game, with Gantrish’s second-best 13.6 right behind. Seltzer has seen action only in three games due to injury but had 12 points in Tuesday’s 84-37 over Plymouth. 

In total, four players in Hanover’s starting five are averaging in double digits. 

While the high point production is one of the contributing factors to the fast start, the development of a true big man, Jai White, has made the Marauders stand the test.

A 6-foot-4 sophomore, the forward has been a force in the paint. White finished with 14 points on Friday night, but the best example of his potential came when he finished off a two-handed dunk thanks to a back-door lob. 

“When you think about it, he cleans up a lot of messes for us,” said Hanover coach Tim Winslow, who’s in his 20th season. “He had four tip-in rebounds for us tonight. He’s improved from last year to now, but also from the beginning of this year to now. 

“He truly knows he can play. He expects a lot from himself. When certain things don’t go his way, he gets down on himself. But it’s our job to pick him right back up because the next play is coming right down the pike.”

The three captains said that Hanover’s best win this season was a 69-61 victory over Bow, one of the top teams in D-II.

Still, it’s early in the season. While the wall of champions must be on their mind, they still have to play archrival Lebanon twice; the Marauders have lost 15 consecutive regular-season games to the Raiders. The first matchup comes Feb. 10 at Lebanon. 

“We had more in the tank last year; we all thought we could’ve gone farther,” Gantrish said. “I think we’re showing that this year. We have potential; we just need to do it.”

Notes: Adams finished with 16 points and was 6-of-9 from the free-throw line. … Teammate Hank Pikus had 12 points with two treys. … The Marauders have beaten John Stark in five consecutive meetings. … Hanover visits Manchester West on Tuesday. 

Pete Nakos can be reached at pnakos@vnews.com.




Valley News

24 Interchange Drive
West Lebanon, NH 03784
603-298-8711

 

© 2019 Valley News
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy