Neither the Pinkerton Academy boys’ basketball squad nor the school’s girls’ hoop contingent got quite as far in Division I competition as they would have liked or as some round-ball fans expected this winter. But both teams boasted significant amounts of talent, and that fact was borne out when post-season honors were doled out recently.
The two PA contingents had a number of important things in common during the 2015-16 campaign, with both finishing their regular seasons with 14-4 records, both then moving on to throttle their first-round tournament opponents, and both then having their championship hopes dashed with losses to opponents from Winnacunnet High School in Hampton in quarterfinal-round tourney play.
The Pinkerton boys’ squad had to play without high-scoring senior forward Brennan Morris in its two tourney games after he suffered a concussion during the span between the Astros’ final regular season game and their first tournament contest.
Morris was named a Division I All-State selection by the New Hampshire Basketball Coaches Association, and he was also a Division I All-Academic Team pick. The tall 12th-grader is ranked an impressive ninth in his graduating class.
“Brennan has the potential to be a Division I (college) scholarship player, and he’ll be going to a prep school next year,” said longtime PA hoop coach Peter Rosinski.
Highly-skilled senior guard Matt Rizzo received Division I honorable mention accolades from the state’s basketball coaches, and like Morris he was an all-academic team selection in D-I.
“Matt was the general of the team and the most efficient player on team,” said coach Rosinski.
Senior guard Matt Lemire, junior guard Matt Anzivino, and junior forward Nick Bortone also made the D-I All-Academic squad.
Other award winners included talented senior forward Tommy Romick, who Rosinski named the squad’s “Most Improved Player,” and senior guard Seth Guilmette, who received the boys’ hoop program’s annual Gail Carnovale Award. That honor was named for the late wife of long-time boys’ basketball coach Tony Carnovale. Both Carnovales were lost to cancer.
And 6-foot-7 shot-blocking machine Ben Olson was named the varsity boys’ hoop squad’s “Unsung Hero” after leading the 2015-16 Astros in rebounds, charges taken, and blocked shots.
“He anchored the defense,” said Rosinski, who added, “With a healthy Brennan and Tommy and Ben staying out of foul trouble we win the state title. But that’s not how it went, unfortunately.”
And like the boy cagers, the Lady Astros’ hoop crew had a diamond on the court night after night in the person of sophomore guard Amanda Lemire, who was named a Second Team All-State selection by the state’s basketball coaches recently.
“Amanda had a break-out year this year,” said PA girls’ coach Lani Buskey. “She was thrust into the role of point-guard for the varsity squad with limited varsity experience, and she exceeded expectations. She was our leading scorer and ran the offensive show for us. Amanda is so receptive to constructive criticism and is constantly working to improve her skills and game.”
And if all goes well, Lemire is only half-way through her high school hoop career with a glittering future ahead.