2024 HS boys basketball guide

Lebanon forward Chase Adams (20) shoots the ball while being defended by Hanover guard Roy Lucas (11) during a game at Lebanon High School in Lebanon, N.H., on Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2023. Hanover won, 48-34. (Valley News / Report For America - Alex Driehaus) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Lebanon forward Chase Adams (20) shoots the ball while being defended by Hanover guard Roy Lucas (11) during a game at Lebanon High School in Lebanon, N.H., on Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2023. Hanover won, 48-34. (Valley News / Report For America - Alex Driehaus) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Alex Driehaus

Hanover head coach Ben Davis shouts to his players from the sideline during a game at Lebanon High School in Lebanon, N.H., on Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2023. Hanover won, 48-34. (Valley News / Report For America - Alex Driehaus) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Hanover head coach Ben Davis shouts to his players from the sideline during a game at Lebanon High School in Lebanon, N.H., on Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2023. Hanover won, 48-34. (Valley News / Report For America - Alex Driehaus) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Alex Driehaus

Caleb Buskey

Caleb Buskey —BigZig Photography

Tyler Jay Mardin

Tyler Jay Mardin —Tris Wykes

Otis Brochu

Otis Brochu —Tris Wykes

Nevin Marsh

Nevin Marsh —Tris Wykes

Hartford High's Brody Tyburski, right, is one of the Upper Valley's best players in the paint. The football standout brings the Hurricanes a physical presence under the basket.

Hartford High's Brody Tyburski, right, is one of the Upper Valley's best players in the paint. The football standout brings the Hurricanes a physical presence under the basket. —Tris Wykes

Lebanon High's Chase Adams, right, will attempt to give the Raiders strong play in the post.

Lebanon High's Chase Adams, right, will attempt to give the Raiders strong play in the post. —Tris Wykes

Hanover High's Ryan McLaughlin (13), shown against Bow on January 10, 2023, is considered a college prospect at guard. The son of Dartmouth College men's basketball coach David McLaughlin plays extensively outside of the high school season.

Hanover High's Ryan McLaughlin (13), shown against Bow on January 10, 2023, is considered a college prospect at guard. The son of Dartmouth College men's basketball coach David McLaughlin plays extensively outside of the high school season. —Tris Wykes

By TRIS WYKES

Valley News Staff Writer

Published: 12-15-2023 5:02 PM

HANOVER

Coach: Ben Davis (2)

League: NHIAA Division II

Last year: 5-13

Returners: Seniors — Christian Blix (F), Freddie Mierke (F); Juniors — Dave Frechette (G), Beckett Sobel (G); Sophomores — Ryan McLaughlin (G), Roy Lucas (G), Jaysen Oriol (F), Allie Muirhead (F).

Newcomers: Senior — Caleb Buskey (F); Sophomores — Wyatt Daigle (F), Jack Lobb (G), Sam Bagatell (F), Keller Greene (G/F).

Analysis: Hanover missed last season’s playoffs, but won five of its final seven games and features a rising star in McLaughlin. The son of Dartmouth College men’s coach David McLaughlin has every tool, but needs to develop maturity and emotional control. “Our core group has worked hard over the summer and this fall,” said Davis, who previously worked under David McLaughlin with the Big Green. “We are excited to reap the benefits of those efforts.” The feeling is the Bears are a year away from making serious noise in the division.

HARTFORD

Coach: Mike Gaudette (7)

League: Vermont Division II

Article continues after...

Yesterday's Most Read Articles

Kenyon: How much do Upper Valley landlords have to raise rents to stay in business?
A Life: Mary Koloski was ‘like an unfiltered version of Dear Abby’
Residents question Hartford’s payout to former superintendent
Lebanon halts paving of Miracle Mile due to asphalt mistake
West Lebanon warehouse damaged in fire
Hanover Selectboard gives $130,000 severance package to departing town manager

Last year: 18-4

Returners: Seniors — Brayden Trombly (F), Brody Tyburski (F), Christian Hathorn (G), Zach Johnson (F), Evan Lynds (G); Juniors — Ayodele Lowe (G); Sophomore — Kole Fotion (G/F).

Newcomers: Sophomores — Ryan Murphy (C), Noah Danelli (G/F).

Analysis: “We bring back a lot of varsity experience and have some talented newcomers,” said Gaudette, who’s in the second season of his second stint leading the Hurricanes and notes his team has scheduled seven Division I foes. “Our goal is to make it to (the state semifinals in) Barre and that can certainly happen if everyone accepts their roles.” Hartford lost in the second round of last season’s playoffs but brings back returning starters Fotion, Tyburski, Trombly, Hathorn and Lynds.

LEBANON

Coach: Blendon Salls (1)

League: NHIAA Division II

Last year: 11-7

Returners: Seniors — Chase Adams (F), Nick Brill (G), Talan Patkul (G), Will Katz (G); Junior — Declan Brandis (G).

Newcomers: Juniors — Myles Nolan (G), Ben Britton (G), Paul Yates (F), Aiden Bvute; Sophomores: Miles Saunders (G), Nehemiah Billings (G/F), Tyler Ranney (G/F); Freshmen: Elliot Brandis (G), Matis Saint Jean (G), Liam Sullivan (G).

Analysis: Salls, a onetime Raiders player, is only the program’s third head coach since 1960, following the legendary Lang Metcalf, who won 507 games and two titles, and Kieth Matte, who won three state crowns. Last year’s team fell in the playoffs’ first round and graduated reliable starting twins Sam and Dawson Bates. “The upperclassmen have really helped bring along our younger students this preseason and set the tone early,” Salls said. “We don’t have a lot of varsity experience on the bench but they are hungry to learn.”

MASCOMA

Coach: Silas Ayres (5)

League: NHIAA Division III

Last year: 17-4

Returners: Seniors — Tyler Jay Mardin (F), James Thomas (G/F), Aiden Smith (G), Travis Stewart (F); Juniors — Tanner Moulton (G), Brody Goulett (G/F), Marshall Yorke (G); Sophomores — Brayden Pierce (G), Bryce Ballou (G), Colin Meyers (G).

Newcomers: Sophomores: Colin Burns (C), Aiden Hemmerling (G), Conner Hemmerling (G), Declan Lyons (G).

Analysis: The Royals fell in last season’s division title game but return starters Mardin, Thomas, Smith and Moulton. Pierce is expected to step into the fifth slot in the lineup. Replacing graduated standout Zach Thompson, now at Vermont State University Castleton, will be a challenge.

NEWPORT

Coach: Robert Clark (3)

Last year: 7-9

League: NHIAA Division III.

Returners: Juniors — Aaron Fellows (F), Gabe Howe (G), Christian Forsythe (G), Kanden Pollari (F).

Newcomers: Juniors — Noah Fryman (G), Travis Avery (G); Sophomores — Adrian Sanchez (F), Connor Clark (G), Aidan Couitt (F), Coby Sawyer (G), Drady Minkler (G); Freshman — Tyson DiPaola (F).

Analysis: “Making it to the Div. III tournament is a bar that this year’s team will continue to strive for,” said Clark, whose team graduated three key seniors. “The core of the team has experience at the varsity level and are working extremely hard to be competitive as we play a strong schedule this year.”

OXBOW

Coach: Jesse Ellsworth (1)

League: Vermont Division III

Last year: 3-18

Returners: Seniors — Matthew Corti (G), Brady Nickles (G), Reese Ilsley (G), Otis Brochu (F); Juniors — Ethan Davis (G), Ethan Emerson (G), Will Gravlin (G), Zadian Walton (F); Sophomores — Braxton Adams (G), Jaxson Griffin (F).

Newcomers: Junior — Oden Schlager (F); Sophomores — Jayden Huntoon (G), Griffin Pike (F); Freshman — Kobin Ellsworth (G).

Analysis: Ellsworth, who played at Oxbow during more successful times from 1996-2000, has previously coached at the junior high and AAU levels. The Olympians haven’t posted a winning season since 2002 and haven’t won a playoff game since 2018. The program’s last division title was in 1993 and it is 53-134 during the past decade. “Our gym used to be a tough place to play — no one wanted to face us there,” said Ellsworth, who believes Oxbow’s lack of boys athletic success costs it students from school-choice towns. “I’d like to have that be the case again.”

RIVENDELL

Coach: Andy Perkins (2)

League: Vermont Division IV

Last year: 20-4

Returners: Seniors — Jacoby Patterson (G), Finn O’Donnell (G/F), Carter Bacon (G/F), Luke Avery (F/C), Robert McNeely (G), Parker Piper (F), Gabe Wright-Swaine (C), Liam Welch (F).

Newcomers: Junior — Will Knowles (F); Freshman — Nolan Bourn (G).

Analysis: The Raptors captured last season’s division title, the first in program history. They’re 39-5 during the past two seasons but graduated four seniors earlier this year. “I’m excited to see our returners and new guys step into larger roles,” said Perkins, a 1991 Thetford Academy graduate and former Panthers player who was promoted from coaching the Rivendell JV before last season. “We’ll play a difficult schedule but I look forward to watching this team grow.”

SHARON

Coach: Ben Lacaillade (1)

League: Vermont Division IV

Last year: 2-19

Returners: Seniors — Jack Doris (F), Joey Thibodeau (C), Zabrien McGee (F); Junior — Conor Jarrait (G); Sophomores — Daniel Piasecki (G).

Newcomers: Freshman — Collin Keep (F); Eighth Grade — Johannis Hinman (G).

Analysis: The Phoenix graduated several important players but the return of Doris from a broken leg that kept him out of the entirety of last season will help.

STEVENS

Coach: Matt Dancosse (1)

League: NHIAA Division III

Last year: 12-4

Returners: Seniors — Lucas Belisle (C), Mason Ferland (F), Devante Thompson (F); Junior — Jacob Davis (G).

Newcomers: Juniors — Nevin Marsh (F), Stevie Rheume (C), Matt Goss (G), Cullen Neathawk (C), Joel Acero (G); Sophomores - Pat Prive (G), Davin Boehle (G); Freshman — Owen Wilkinson (G).

Analysis: The Cardinals graduated a large senior group but return some key rotational players, including Belisle, their lone returning starter. “We will continue to adjust to a new coach and a new playing style,” said Dancosse, who previously taught physical education and coached golf at Lebanon. “The preseason has been full of energy and we are excited to see what we can do when the games start.”

THETFORD

Coach: Jason Gray (8)

League: Vermont Division III

Last year: 16-6

Returners: Senior — Mitchell Parkman (F); Juniors — Hunter Clay (G), Dempsey McGovern (G), Dillon Vance (F/G), Liam Murphy (G), Matthew Vivian (G), Spencer Durkee (F); Sophomores — Sam Parkman (G), Owen Goodrich (G).

Newcomers: Juniors — Brady Sloop (F), Xander Oshoniyi (F/G), Thomas Amber (F).

Analysis: The Panthers reached the division semifinals last winter and return nine players, including starters Mitchell Parkman, Clay, McGovern and Vance. TA had gone a combined 8-23 the two previous seasons so the hope is that a traditionally strong program that won the division’s 2020 title has righted its ship. The Panthers are 55-38 in the playoffs since 1966.

WHITE RIVER VALLEY

Coach: D.J. Craven (2)

League: Vermont Division III

Last year: 12-8

Returners: Seniors — Braden White (F), Tattin Griffin (G); Juniors — Brayden Russ (G), Donavan Craven (F), Wyatt Cadwell (G/F), Zander Clark (G/F).

Newcomers: Senior — Joey Ferris (G); Junior- Paul Andre (G); Sophomores — Dawson Poland (F), Jacob Benoit (G).

Analysis: The Wildcats fell to eventual finalist Hazen in last season’s playoff quarterfinals, 101-62. That team relied primarily on four sophomores and two juniors, however. The team must replace three graduated players, one of them a starter.

WINDSOR

Coach: Larry Dougher (2)

League: Vermont Division II

Last year: 7-14

Returners: Seniors — Bradley Adams (G), Anthony Cook (G), Nate Griffin (G), Trevor LaGrow (F), Corey Lockwood (G), Tanner Moody (F).

Newcomers: Senior — Brady Olmstead (G); Juniors — Billy Blake (G), Kameron Blake (G), Tanner Crane (F), Sam Peckinpaugh (G); Sophomore — Noah Jenks (G).

Analysis: The Yellow Jackets move on from four seniors after a disappointing 2022-23 season and a very tough SVL-B schedule. Windsor does bring up skilled players from its junior varsity and transfers from Hartford in Jenks and Olmstead. “I think we might be a surprise to some this year,” Dougher said. “We saw flashes this summer of a very exciting team. If we can stay healthy, we could be a tough out later in the year.”

WOODSTOCK

Coach: Scott Brooks (1)

League: Vermont Division III

Last year: 5-16

Returners: Seniors — Ezra Lockhart (F), Zach Martsolf-Tan (G), Keller Pauly (G); Kuba Marzec (F), Gavyn Sammel (F) Lucas Morgan (G); Junior – Caeden Perrault (G).

Newcomers: Senior — Jacob Stone (F); Sophomores — Rowan Larmie (F), Asher Emery (G); Freshman — Elvis Lavallee (G).

Analysis: Woodstock graduated three starters and hasn’t posted a winning record since 2018. The Wasps are 22-49 since. “The players have been working extremely hard in the pre-season and if they continue to have fun, stay healthy, create some luck and compete, I think they will have a successful year,” said Brooks, last season’s JV coach and a former Norwich University player. “We could make some noise in the postseason.”