Brewster defends New Hampton Invitational title

NEW HAMPTON, N.H. -- Brewster Academy defeated New Hampton School, 80-72, to win the 2011 New Hampton Invitational Tournament.

The Bobcats (26-1) entered the tournament yesterday after suffering their first loss of the season on Wednesday to St. Thomas More, 78-64. They defeated South Kent in the opening round Friday night, 86-67, to advance to the title game against the hosts and archrivals. St. John’s bound senior Jakarr Sampson had 14 points in the victory to take home tournament MVP honors, while junior big man Mitch McGary added 11 points and 12 rebounds.

Brewster would get going out of the gate taking a 12-0 lead in the first two minutes of the game. Durand Johnson led the charge as the Pittsburgh commit began the contest with a three, and a couple of quick buckets off nice feeds from Eli Carter (11 points) and Kansas-bound point guard Naadir Tharpe.

New Hampton (18-10) would weather the early storm and make it a contest, taking a 31-30 lead with five minutes left in the first half. Brewster would maintain their poise and get some key defensive stops to take a 36-31 lead into the half.

The Bobcats came out firing in the second half, extending the lead to as many as 14 points but the resilient Huskies would not cave in. Up by six with two minutes remaining, 67-61, Villanova-bound center Makus Kennedy stole an inbounds pass, and tossed a highlight-reel alley-oop to Johnson, who slammed it down and cement the win for Brewster.

Johnson led all scorers in the contest with 22 points. New Hampton was led by point guard Olivier Hanlan, who slashed to the basket all night on his way to scoring a team high 18 points.

“New Hampton is an outstanding basketball team,” Brewster Academy head coach Jason Smith said. “They play disciplined, very hard and we were fortunate to come out with the victory.”

Brewster has now won back-to-back New Hampton Invitational tournaments, and four of the last five.

“It is a great time of year to come over here,” said Smith. “This tournament is special as I grew up watching it as a kid. It is an important tournament to get us ready for the postseason.”

St. John’s commitment Jakarr Sampson was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player, adding 20 points in the semifinal to carry his team into the finals.

“It is tough to beat a team three times in a year,” said Sampson. “Hopefully we build off these two wins and keep the momentum going into the playoffs.

Brewster gets back to action Monday, when they host the Tilton School led by Everett’s Nerlens Noel and Boston’s Wayne Selden

Consolation game: Winchendon 86, South Kent (Conn.) 84

In the consolation game, Winchendon defeated South Kent 86-84 in an overtime battle. Winchendon led throughout the contest, but South Kent would storm back in the final minutes to make it a game.

South Kent guard Andrew Crawley hit a three-pointer with 4.2 seconds remaining in regulation to send the game in to overtime. In the extra frame, Winchendon’s Xavier Pollard scored seven of his team high-21 points to lead Winchendon to the victory.

Winchendon guard Corbyn Moe also scored 21 points in the win. South Kent was led by St. John's-bound forward Maurice Harkless, who had 25 points on the night.