Spaulding High School senior Arie Breakfield has been named Mr. New Hampshire Basketball and Division I Player of the Year, the New Hampshire Basketball Coaches Organization (NHBCO) announced on Sunday night.
Breakfield was joined on the All-Division I First Team by an all-Seacoast contingent that included Dover’s Ty Vitko, Exeter’s Kevin Henry, Portsmouth’s Alex Tavares (for the second time) and Winnacunnet’s Ben Allen and Jack Schaake.
Breakfield was a four-year starter for the Red Raiders, leading them to a 15-5 record and a trip to the quarterfinals. No. 3 Spaulding lost 40-39 last Friday night to No. 6 Portsmouth. Breakfield netted a game-high 23 points in defeat.
"We had a better year than last year," Breakfield said. "I became a better leader and teammate. I didn't score as much, but did things that were more important for the team."
The 6-foot-5 senior scored 406 points this season in 23 games for an average of 17.7 points per game, while also pulling down 12 rebounds per game. He ended his career with 1,340 points.
“He expanded his game a lot this year,” said Spaulding coach Tim Cronin. “He could score inside and he could score outside. The moves he made around the basket, I think that drew the college coaches. We had college coaches at every game watching him play. When they see stuff like that, they realize that he can play at that next level. I hope he does.”
Breakfield is still finalizing his college options. The Mr. New Hampshire Basketball award is weighted 50 percent on basketball excellence, 25 percent on academics, and 25 percent on sportsmanship and citizenship; Exeter's Cody Morissette was last year's recipient.
Exeter’s Jeff Holmes was named Division I Coach of the Year as he leads the unbeaten Blue Hawks (19-0) into the final four on Wednesday night against No. 4 Londonderry (16-4) at UNH.
Holmes is in his 22nd season as coach of the Blue Hawks. Personal accolades aside, he would love nothing more than to see his team be the last one standing in Durham. Exeter's boys basketball program has only one state title to its record, the 1977 Class I crown.
“I know, because I’ve been in the business for a long time, when you coach there’s 22 teams in the league but realistically there are like five teams that can win it," Holmes said. "Sometimes you just don’t have that chance, you just don’t have the talent. This year, obviously, we do. We’d like to be able to go get it if we can.”
Vitko and Tavares also reached 1,000 career points.
Vitko finished with 1,159 points, including 503 this winter for an average of 22.9 points per game. The Green Wave went 9-10, losing in the first round of the D-I tournament at No. 5 Winnacunnet, 52-49, despite 28 points from Vitko.
Tavares crested 1,000 points during a 69-65 first-round playoff win over Manchester Central last Tuesday.
The No. 6 Clippers (15-5), the two-time defending D-I state champs, are still alive as play No. 2 Salem (18-2) in Wednesday's 5:30 p.m. final four game at UNH.
“It’s Durham,” Tavares after Portsmouth squeaked past Breakfield and the Red Raiders in the quarterfinals. “We’ve got to go back. Back to Durham. We’re going to keep doing our thing at practice and keep playing basketball.”
Other local boys to earn First Team All-State honors were Oyster River’s Kyle Landrigan in Division II; Somersworth’s Evan Gray and Andrew Cavanaugh in D-III; and Newmarket’s Simon Cote and Jared Woodman, and Epping’s Hunter Bullock and Peyton Rivers in D-IV.
Epping’s Bullock, a 1,000-point scorer, and Nick Fiset were named Player of the Year and Coach of the Year, respectively, in Division IV. The top-seeded Blue Devils (20-1) won the D-IV state title this past Friday night over No. 2 Littleton, 72-61, led by Bullock’s triple-double (23 points, 15 rebounds, 10 assists).
Gray was also picked as D-III Player of the Year and was a Jack Ford Scholar-Athlete recipient along with Cote. Somersworth lost in the Division III state final to Conant, 61-38, on Saturday night.
Cavanaugh eclipsed 1,000 career points, ending with 1,078.
St. Thomas Aquinas’ Sean Murphy was named Division III Coach of the Year. He led the Saints to a 16-5 mark and a trip to the D-III semifinals, their first time to a final four since 2005.
The only girl to earn First Team honors was Farmington senior Katie Martineau, who was picked for the second time in Division IV. She led the Tigers to an 18-2 record and their third straight trip to the D-IV quarterfinals. Martineau scored 425 points in 22 games for a 19.3 average, ending her career with 1,779 points.
Players earning second-team honors included, in Division I, Portsmouth seniors Arianna Hebert and Abbe Laurence; Dover’s Katrina Krenzer, a 1,000-point scorer; and Exeter’s Josh Morissette, sophomore.
Oyster River’s Joe Morrell was the lone D-II Second Team selection; the same went for STA’s Shawn DeKorne in Division III.
There was a hefty list of honorable mentions, starting in Division I with Exeter's Carly Pierce and Ryan Grijalva; and Spaulding's Keagan Calero.
Division II honorable mention went to Spaulding's Eliza Brault; Oyster River's Natalie Simonds and Max Lewis; and Coe-Brown's Luke McCusker.
Division III honorable mention went to Somersworth’s Ethan Johnson and Jacob Hamilton.
Division IV honorable mention went to Farmington’s Chloe Weeks and Marcus Berko; Portsmouth Christian’s Madison Trainor, AJ Chase and Bryson Lund; and Newmarket’s Brianna Filion and Will Chase.
Pinkerton Academy’s Brooke Lane was named Miss New Hampshire Basketball as well as Division I Player of the Year.
NOTES: The NHBCO/BSN Sports Senior East-West Games will be played Sunday at NHTI in Concord. The schedule is as follows: D-I vs. D-II girls, noon; D-III vs. D-IV girls, 1:30 p.m.; D-III vs. D-IV boys, 3 p.m.; and D-I vs. D-II boys, 4:30 p.m. Six players from the East and six from the West from each division form one team of 12.