MANCHESTER, N.H. – An explosive start proved to be the difference as the Concord Crimson Tide left Manchester Central High School with a 53-41 victory on Friday night.
Concord scored the contest’s first 14 points, with a ferocious press keeping the Little Green scoreless until just over two minutes left in the first quarter. The flurry of scoring provided a marked difference from Concord’s defeat at the hands of Central earlier this week in Concord.
“It’s about time for us. The girls, they came ready to play,” said Concord Head Coach Tim LaTorra. “These days, you don’t have a lot of time to prepare before you play, so we did some talking on the bus on the way here. Tonight, for the first time in a while, everyone bought into doing their job, just doing what you do and doing it well.”
Although the Crimson Tide continued their dominance for the rest of the first half, heading into the break with a 26-14 advantage, the Little Green kept trying to recover from Concord’s early run and after the half things finally clicked.
Central managed to cut the deficit down to five by the end of the third quarter, due in large part to the energy of Erin Flurey. Although Flurey had just four points for the quarter, she also contributed three rebounds and three steals through the frame in addition to an intangible presence on the court that provided a bulwark for her teammates.
“Erin does what Erin does, she gets out there and competes, but we all do,” said Central Head Coach Mike Wenners. “Erin’s our leader and it’s easy to become a competitor when your leader competes like she does.”
The Little Green might have been able to even things up if not for seven quick points from Concord’s Elizabeth Blinn early in the fourth, ultimately sealing the Crimson Tide’s victory.
Central only had four players record points, with Emily Hobausz leading the way with 17, followed by Flurey’s 14.
Blinn lead all scorers with 21 points, including 12 in the fourth quarter alone. She also added eight rebounds, three steals, two assists and a pair of blocks.
Ava Woodman was Concord’s only other scorer in double digits, finishing with 18 points, including a 7-for-8 performance from the free throw line in the second half.