Kelly A. Bourbon Memorial Scholarship
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Please join us for the annual (2015) Kelly A. Bourbon Memorial Scholarship Fundraiser. For more details for this years fundraiser please check out our events page.  

 Noble High School’s All-Time Leading Scorer Kelly Bourbon 

Remembered for Her Leadership

To those who coached Kelly Bourbon in the past, the most memorable thing about her wasn't what she did on the basketball court, but what she did off it.

Bourbon a former standout at Noble High School in North Berwick, Maine and New Hampshire College (now Southern New Hampshire College) died suddenly from a rare brain cancer on Sunday June 26, 2005 at Concord Hospital. She was 40 and had been living in Allenstown NH at the time of her death.

"She's more than an outstanding athlete, she's a tremendous human being," said Sandi Tilton, Bourbon's coach at Noble. "She was loaded with love and compassion for people."

Ed Sides coached Bourbon as an assistant and a head coach for four years at NHC in the late 80's.

He echoed Tiltons words. "Her personality dwarfed her ability as a player," Sides said, "Every year, when we had new freshmen come in, she went out of her way to make them comfortable. That’s the kind of person she was. She was a good friend to all the players."

While at Noble, Bourbon was an outstanding basketball player and she still holds the school record for most points with 1,608 scored in a career. Her No. 21 was the first to be retired by the school.

Bourbon was a first-team all-state selection and a member of the Foster's Daily Democrat Dream Team her Senior year at Noble during which she averaged 24.3 points per game. She was a four-time York League All-Star and twice chosen as Noble's most valuable player.

Tilton was looking Tuesday at a collage she had made in 1983 to honor Bourbon's High School Career. She remembered when Bourbon scored 52 points over the first two games of the Class B tournament in Augusta Maine in 1982 and she alluded to quote she included in the collage that she feels best describes Bourbon.

"She's more than an outstanding athlete, "Tilton said, "She’s a tremendous human being."

Bourbon went on to play in college at both Bentley and New Hampshire College. She averaged 5.8 points and four rebounds a game during 21 games at Bentley. She then went on to play 3 1/2 years with the Penmen where she averaged 5.5 points and three rebounds a game.

While at NHC Bourbon played the power forward position, and what made her so dangerous was her ability to hit the outside shot. When Sides took over as Head Coach during Bourbon's Senior year, he tailored the offense to revolve around Bourbon.

He set it up so on fast break Bourbon would pop out, get the ball, and she'd have two options. She could either drain the jumper or dump the ball inside to all-league center Julie Ciarcia. Since she hit so many from the outside, the defense had to go out and play her, which opened Ciarcia on the inside.

I rearranged all the offense to suit what she was, "Sides said."
Everything I designed worked because Kelly could hit the outside shot."

That became obvious during Bourbon's Senior year, which she ended up only having half of the year eligibility due to a mistake in her transcripts when she was transferred from Bentley. The Penmen went 10-0 before Bourbon had to leave the team in January and finished with a record of 12-15. Ciarcia also missed most of the second half of the season with an injury.

"She was just a tremendous individual," said Sides, who added he and about a dozen of Bourbon's teammates from NHC will attend the memorial services. "There's no other way to describe her."

Bourbon got her bachelor's degree from NHC and earned her master's in counseling from Notre Dame College in Manchester. She had several different jobs a Hesser College in Manchester, including the women’s head basketball coach and athletic director, after graduating from Notre Dame. Her most current job was a guidance counselor at Central High School in Manchester.

Tilton remained very close to Bourbon over the years. She said that Bourbon, who comes from a family of educators, loved her job at Central.

"She had a great year." Tilton said, "She loved being a guidance counselor."


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