MANCHESTER, N.H. – Games between schools inside the Queen City are always intense, but Tuesday night’s contest at Manchester Central High School brought that intensity up to another level.
The Little Green boys’ basketball team ultimately defeated the visiting Trinity Pioneers, 57-55.
After grabbing the game’s first point on a free throw, Central would not see another share of the lead until the closing stages of the first half. After that first point, Trinity went on to collect the next 12, finishing with a 17-8 advantage by the end of the first quarter.
Central’s regained lead was short lived as the two teams traded the lead just before the half, with a bucket from Trinity’s Athiel Bol giving Trinity a 26-25 lead heading into the second half.
Trinity began to slow down the tempo at this point, trying to milk the clock and hold onto their early advantage. However, the tide began the turn against the Pioneers following a technical foul by senior Ethan Frenette with 4:37 left to play.
“That completely changed the perspective (of the game),” said Central head coach Sudi Lett. “(Frenette’s) a tough kid, he played really well, we couldn’t stop him from going left even though everybody knew he was coming. After that, we were really able to regroup ourselves.”
Until that point, Central had hung around but couldn’t quite catch up. With momentum back in hand, Central finally tied things up again with 2:19 to play, taking the lead for good around half a minute later off a pair of free throws by senior Jesus Milan.
Milan grabbed another score along the baseline with a minute to play, but Ethan Hutchinson quickly answered with a point from the charity stripe and then provided another two from an offensive rebound with just ten seconds to play.
Down by one, Trinity fouled Sam Kodi, converting his second free throw in what would be the game’s final bucket.
“It’s a city game, it comes down to runs. You get ahead, they’ll come back. People don’t quit these games,” said Trinity head coach Jim Migneault. “These games, people go at each other and go hard. I thought we went hard the entire game.”
Bol dominated the scorebook for Trinity, ending with 22 points to lead all scorers. Frenette was the Pioneers’ only other player in double digits, ending with 11.
Central had four players hit double digits, with Kodi and junior Michael Dupre each grabbing 12.
Trinity’s now 1-1 after their opening night win against Memorial on Friday. Central hosts Dover on Friday at 6:30 p.m.