DURHAM, NH – On Tuesday night, the Oyster River Bobcats boys basketball team (9-8) took on Sanborn (7-10) at home, winning 69-59 on senior night. The game was the last regular season home game for the Bobcats’ three seniors: Bode Harmon, Joe Morell, and Kyle Miller.
Thanks to a handful of three pointers early on in the game by Miller, the Bobcats got momentum early on, and built up a 10-point lead by the end of the first quarter. Their lead remained steady, but Sanborn never let up, matching Oyster River point for
point during the remaining three quarters. The Bobcats were able to finish the game with a 69-59 win, powered by strong performances by Miller and Morell, putting up 18 and 26 points, respectively.
“I think the kids played a fantastic game. They played with a lot of spirit and intensity, because of number one, senior night, plus a carry-over from Friday night,” said Paul Bamford, assistant coach of the team. Bamford was referring to a game against Souhegan, where the boys were able to pull off a 17-point win at home.
“It’s been awesome seeing myself and the program grow the last 4 years. I know I’ve grown a lot both literally and figuratively,” said Miller, when asked about senior night. “I still remember being a part of my first senior night when I was a fr eshman. I always thought that day was so far away, but to think back on how fast time has gone by, it’s crazy.”
Senior night has a history of drawing huge, excited crowds coming together to support the departing seniors. “It’s great to see everyone come together for something like senior night for the boys. There’s just so much energy here, and everyone is so excited,” said Dylon Thompson (‘20).“It’s a great experience and I’m happy we get to do this as a school.”
Andy Lathrop, the athletic director for the Oyster River Cooperative School District, had a similar sentiment. “It was a great crowd, a lot of energy, and it was a really good way to send the seniors off. It’s always nice to get a win on senior night,” he said.
Bamford only had positive things to say about this senior class of players. “Joey [Morell] is obviously a great player, a thousand points, can’t say enough about him,” he said. “Kyle [Miller] has been a great leader all year, obviously shooting well off the screens,” he continued.
“Bode [Harmon] coming through, having a big defensive stop down at the other end, that was phenomenal. To have him come back [into the program], go through all the daily practices and not get a lot of game time, that really says a lot about his character.”
“I feel blessed to have watched him throughout this whole season, to watch him progress, from the time where he tried out as a freshman, then quit, then came back again. He’s a real inspiration,” said Jacob Fradillada (‘20).
“Bode really brings the energy to the team and to the crowd too. Everyone gets so hype when he’s around,” said Thompson. “He definitely brings something special to the team.”
The team, seeded ninth in the state, will play in the first round of the playoffs on Monday, where they will travel to take on eighth seed Manchester West.
Their strong starting lineup of Miller, Morell, Ben Mattioni (‘21), Aidan Kelley (‘21), and Hayden Marshall (‘21), is looking to carry the momentum from a 47-41 away win against rival, Coe-Brown (10-7), on Wednesday night.
“With all three of them going into the tournament, we’re going to be a force to reckon with,” said Bamford. “We’re going to be very good if we keep playing with this spirit that we have.”