It’s unquestionably true that the Londonderry High School varsity boys’ basketball squad’s up-and-down 2017-18 season ended far sooner than coach Nate Stanton and his charges would have liked.
But it’s also unquestionably true that that LHS contingent had some impressive talent, leadership, and accomplishments in a campaign which came to a rather unexpected halt with a Division I first-round loss to an 11th-seeded upstart from the seacoast.
As far as on-court talent is concerned, senior court general Cole Britting and sophomore scoring machine Jack Anderson both received Division I All-State Honorable Mention recognition, Britting and senior center Pat Zepf both claimed All-Academic team honors, and quite impressively coach Stanton won Division I Coach of the Year for the second time in just five years.
Being the self-effacing gentleman who folks have come to know pretty well in LHS athletic circles, Stanton was reticent where talking about his own accomplishment was concerned and wanted to talk more about his athletes.
Regarding Britting and his all-state recognition, the coach stated “Cole had an amazing year and was a great leader for us. He is the identity of our program, and it’s an honor to say I have had the opportunity to coach him for four years.”
The knee injury Britting suffered late in the regular season – which ended his campaign – was a significant factor in the sixth-seeded Lancers’ early exit from the D-I tourney with a first-round loss to 11th-ranked Dover.
Regarding the all-state honors of Anderson – a 10th grader who played every bit like a seasoned junior or senior and had the kind of leadership abilities which earned him a captaincy with the Lancers – coach Stanton said, “Jack had a great sophomore year and was our leading scorer. He has come a long way from last season to this season and his hard work is paying off.”
When pressed to discuss his coach of the year honors, former Salem High hoop star Stanton said, “I’m honored my peers voted for me for this type of recognition. There are a lot of great coaches in our league, especially this season, and many of them deserve this type of reward. It is a great group of coaches and I’m grateful to have their support. Also, I would like to thank my coaching staff for all they did during the season as well. My assistants Mike Dunham, my dad Brian Stanton Sr., my JV coach Alex LaRosa, freshman coach Shaun Yelle, and last but certainly not least my Number One Scout and freshman assistant coach Lauren Gaudette.”
The Londonderry varsity squad’s 2017-18 season was, perhaps, close to being the very definition of a rollercoaster ride. Even before the Lancers played their first game they lost junior standout Ethan Garofalo to severe leg and foot injuries in off-season hoop play, but they responded by collecting wins in every one of their first five contests.
The locals then dropped three straight games, and followed up those defeats by going a somewhat mediocre 4-3 in their next seven games.
But with standout point-guard Britting on the sidelines with his injured knee, the Lancers won their final three regular season games to finish up at a strong 12-6 and roll into the tournament ranked sixth.
However, the Lancers would reach the end of their road with the aforementioned loss to number 11 Dover, which would then go on to upset third-ranked Bedford and second-seeded Exeter – each by just two points – and push into the Division I championship game against the number one seed from Portsmouth High.