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Orton, Joyce garner Honorable Mention selections

by Jeff Lajoie
Sports Reporter

Junior Kaleb Orton was named a Division III Honorable Mention All-State selection after leading the Eagles to the quarterfinals for the second year in a row. Jeff Lajoie. (click for larger version)
March 31, 2014
REGION It was quite a year on the hardwood locally, as the resurgence of some programs mixed with legitimate runs by some others had the Lakes Region schools in prime position to make some noise in the boys' postseason when all was said and done. Once again the southern part of the state ruled in Division III however, with Conant beating Campbell for the title. In Division IV, Epping raised the banner thanks to a tight victory over a very solid Sunapee club.

The New Hampshire Basketball Coaches Organization (NHBCO) released their annual All-State lists after the season, and the locals were well-represented in both divisions.

In Division III, Conant's Rob O'Brien was the Player of the Year after compiling 143 points from the voting board, while Hopkinton's Gabe Nichols, Newport's Andrew Hourde, Conant's Eli Hodgson and Campbell's Zach Bergeron all joined him on the First-Team All-State squad. The Lakes Region had the final member of the First-Team however, as Winnisquam Regional High School sophomore point guard Christian Serrano amassed 101 points to earn top honors. Serrano led the Bears to an outstanding 14-5 season and the seventh seed in the D-III tournament.

Gilford High School had two players selected for All-State teams, as juniors Kaleb Orton (28 points) and Josh Joyce (26 points) were named to the Honorable Mention squad. Joining the duo was Inter-Lakes High School junior Dillon Dow, who received 25 points from the voting panel to also earn Honorable Mention honors. Hopkinton's David Chase was the Division III Coach of the Year, picking up 16 votes.

In Division IV, Derryfield's Max Anderson was the Player of the Year after the Cougars earned the top seed in the postseason before falling to Sunapee in the semifinals. Littleton's Trevor Howard was the D-IV Coach of the Year.

The LR's lone D-IV school had two players on All-State teams, as Moultonborough Academy senior forward Aaron Davis and junior forward Riley Swedberg were Honorable Mention All-State selections after leading the Panthers to a home playoff tilt.

The All-Academic teams were chalk full of local student-athletes. Belmont High School proved to be an up and coming team with youngsters showing plenty of promise, but the upperclassmen were honored for their work in the classroom as seniors Matt Leclair and Tyler Rolfe were All-Academic picks along with junior Andrew Derosia.

Inter-Lakes juniors Dillon Dow and Trevor Hentz were both on the All-Academic team, as were Moultonborough Academy juniors Riley Swedberg, Tristan Price and Matt Tolman.

Gilford had a whopping six players on the All-Academic team, with seniors Jack Athanas, Cam Patridge and Rich Edson joining juniors Kyle Gaudet, Michael Madore and Andrew Caulfield.

Winnisquam had a pair of juniors join the Lakes Region contingent on the All-Academic team, as Tucker Normand and Luke Morrison were both honored for their work in and out of the classroom.

The annual awards did not go without some controversy this winter however, as Division II Player of the Year Patrick Welch of state champion Pembroke Academy was stripped of his award due to what the NHBCO deemed "unsportsmanlike behavior" after an expletive-filled tweet directed at state runner-up Portsmouth.

"The NHBCO is disappointed to announce the unfortunate decision to rescind the Division 2 Player of the Year awarded to Pat Welch from Pembroke Academy," NHBCO president Gary Noyes said in a statement. "Pat Welch was named by the Division 2 coaches as their Player of the Year. Since that time, it has come to the NHBCO executive board's attention that Pat Welch displayed flagrant un-sportsmanlike behavior. We have contacted Pembroke Academy and informed them of our decision."

Bishop Brady's Jourdain Bell was selected as the D-II Player of the Year in Welch's place.

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