MANCHESTER, N.H. – The Warriors of Winnacunnet kept their perfect record intact on Friday, with a 55-50 win over Manchester Central.
Winnacunnet never trailed but couldn’t build a significant lead for most of the contest, leading by just five by the end of the first quarter and four by the game’s midway point.
Central kept the game uncomfortably close for most of the second half as well, as the Little Green never trailed by more than eight but ultimately couldn’t stop Winnacunnet’s twin big men: Jack Schaake and Benjamin Allen.
Schaake and Allen each ended with 14 points apiece, spread throughout various stretches of the contest, also combining for 19 rebounds as the Warriors ground down Central’s high tempo offense during the
“We knew coming in here it would be an absolute battle, but we were able to calm things down later on,” said Allen. “It was definitely good getting such a good road test so early in the season.”
Central Head Coach Sudi Lett had nothing but praise for the pair.
“Their bigs were awesome, especially Schaake,” said Lett. “We grabbed him, we fouled him, he had such a great demeanor out there. He’s a stud for them.”
When looking at his own squad, Lett has pleased with their overall progress up to this point in the season, but not satisfied with the result by any means.
“We’re inexperienced, we’re taking it game by game, but it’s still a process and a third of the way into the season, you want to get better as fast as you can,” said Lett. “(Tonight) showed some improvement. The guys have been doing a really good job at practice, trying to learn new habits. I’m not pleased, I’m not happy, but we did show some improvement.”
There were also times when Winnacunnet could get over or around Central’s high press, but Lett believes one of the keys moving forward will be better ball movement on offense.
“I don’t care where they shoot it as long as they’re open,” said Lett. “Late in the game, we had a contested three-pointer with no pass, we can’t win like that. But these guys, they don’t know that, they’re inexperienced, we’re just going need some patience from the Little Green nation. It’s going to take some time.”
Jaythan Bosch and Daniel Infante each contributed 12 points to lead the way for Central.
Both teams return to the court on Tuesday night as Winnacunnet (5-0) hosts Timberlane while Central (3-3) heads to Portsmouth.