THE PROSPECT MOUNTAIN hoop boys pose with the championship plaque after winning their third straight Lakes Region Holiday Hoop Tournament title. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
January 06, 2014GILFORD — With his team's sweep through the Lakes Region Holiday Hoop Tournament, coach Tom Bourdeau remains undefeated in the tournament in his head coaching career.
For the third year in a row, the Timber Wolves captured the tournament title, coming through in a thriller of a finale against the host Golden Eagles on Monday, Dec. 30.
"It's a great tournament," Bourdeau said. "There were five teams that could've won this thing."
Bourdeau also noted that it is just a holiday tournament. After his team beat Gilford in last year's tournament, the Golden Eagles smoked the Timber Wolves in regular season play.
"We'll enjoy this tonight, but we'll have a two-hour practice tomorrow morning," Bourdeau said. "As I've told the boys, on any given night, we can compete with anyone."
The Timber Wolves opened the tournament against Belmont on Friday, Dec. 27, and walked away with a 49-35 win. PMHS outscored the Raiders 11-2 in the first quarter, but struggled a bit in the second, going to the half with a 20-16 lead. Prospect led 36-26 after three and finished out with a 13-9 advantage in the fourth quarter.
Zach Robertson led the Timber Wolves with 16 points, while Nate Farnham put in 14 points. The Timber Wolves lost Brian Borelli to injury in the game and the junior forward didn't return for the remainder of the tournament.
The win put Prospect in the semifinals against Winnisquam on Saturday, Dec. 28 and fell behind early, 11-5 after one. However, a strong second quarter saw the Timber Wolves bounce back to take a 19-18 lead at the halftime break. They led 35-34 after three and held on for the 44-38 win.
Robertson put in 13 points and Logan LaRoche finished with 12 points to lead the Timber Wolves.
That win put the Timber Wolves in the finals against the host Golden Eagles and those in attendance got more than their money's worth out of the title tilt on Monday, Dec .30.
The hosts had the hot hand out of the gate, as the Golden Eagles drilled three three-pointers in the first quarter.
Farnham and LaRoche had the first two hoops for Prospect, but Gilford was able to get out to a 9-4 lead. Hoops from LaRoche and Robertson cut the lead to 9-8. Gilford got another hoop, but a Robertson free throw cut the lead to 11-9.
However, the Golden Eagles went on a 7-0 run, including a three-pointer, which stretched the lead to 18-9. LaRoche hit another hoop to stop the run, but Gilford got another three before the half and took a 21-11 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Gilford then drilled a three-pointer to open the second quarter, pushing the lead to 24-11, but Farnham answered with a three-point play. Gilford hit another three to go up 27-14, but Prospect answered with a 5-0 run, with LaRoche hitting one from the line and Farnham hitting two, while LaRoche also hit a hoop to cut the lead to 27-19 before Gilford hit another hoop for a 29-19 lead.
Dylan Tiede drilled a three-pointer and Farnham hit two more free throws as Prospect slowly began clawing back, cutting the lead to 29-24. A David Troy three-pointer and a pair of Farnham free throws tied the game at 29. Gilford hit a free throw to go up one, but Robertson hit two free throws before the half, putting the Timber Wolves up 31-30 at the break.
Farnham hit the first hoop of the second half, but Gilford answered with the next four points to take a one-point lead. After a Jake Towle hoop, Gilford hit another hoop to go back on top.
Robertson then drilled a three-pointer to put Prospect up 38-36. Gilford hit three free throws and a pair of field goals to go back in the lead with a 43-38 advantage. However, with two seconds to go, Robertson drilled another three-pointer to cut the lead to 43-41 heading to the fourth quarter.
After Gilford hit the first hoop of the fourth quarter, LaRoche and Troy hit back-to-back threes and Towle hit two free throws to send Prospect back in front by a 49-45 lead.
The Timber Wolves then lost both Farnham and Tiede to fouls and Gilford hit two free throws and converted a three-point play to go up 50-49 with 3:45 to go.
Robertson hit a hoop to put Prospect back in front, but Gilford answered with a hoop to go up by one. The Golden Eagles then got the ball back and were looking to run out the clock when they committed a traveling violation, giving the Timber Wolves the ball back with 24 seconds to go.
Prospect brought the ball back down the field and LaRoche drove hard to the hoop, getting the ball to fall through with nine seconds to go. He was fouled going to the hoop and he then sank the free throw for a 54-52 lead.
Gilford had one final chance. The layup didn't fall and Robertson pulled down the defensive rebound to secure the win for the Timber Wolves.
"Whoever I put in did the job," Bourdeau said of his lineup, which started without Borelli and saw starter Mike Joy go down with an injury and saw starters Farnham and Tiede foul out.
He praised Gilford for coming out of the gate strong, but noted that his guys didn't give in.
"They didn't fold, they just kept playing on," the Timber Wolf coach said. "I'm proud of the boys, they deserve it."
Bourdeau also praised Farnham's defensive play throughout the tournament, as he guarded the opposing team's top offensive threat.
"You just don't have a better defender than Nate Farnham," the coach said.
LaRoche finished with 15 points to lead Prospect, while Farnham and Robertson each put in 13 on the night. LaRoche and Robertson both earned All-Tourney First Team.
Prospect will be back in action on Friday, Jan. 10, on the road at Newfound at 6:30 p.m.
LaRoche 2-0-4, Troy 1-2-5, Tiede 1-2-4, Farnham 6-0-14, Towle 1-0-2, Robertson 7-2-16, Barnes 2-0-4
Duggan 0-2-2, LeClair 0-2-2, Derosier 3-0-7, Price 2-1-5, Derosia 6-0-12, Hunt 3-1-7
LaRoche 4-4-12, Troy 2-0-5, Tiede 0-2-2, Joy 2-0-4, Farnham 3-2-8, Robertson 6-1-13
Pevine 3-0-8, Hunt 1-0-2, Martinez 2-3-8, Harmon 1-0-3, Buxton 1-2-4, Serrano 5-2-13
LaRoche 6-2-15, Troy 2-0-6, Tiede 1-0-3, Farnham 3-7-13, Towle 1-2-4, Robertson 4-3-13
Joyce 7-6-23, Troiano 4-0-8, Madore 0-1-1, Caufield 3-0-7, Davis 1-0-3, Goodwin 1-2-4, Orton 2-2-6
Joshua Spaulding can be reached at 569-3126 or email@example.com.