MANCHESTER, N.H. – Manchester Central’s regular season isn’t over yet, but the Little Green kept their post-season fate under control thanks to a 63-49 victory over Manchester Memorial on Friday night.
The Little Green took a 10-point lead into the second quarter and built it to a 31-18 advantage by the half. Central continued to maintain its lead throughout the second half as both teams eased into what seemed to be an inevitable outcome.
One big reason for Central’s dominance was junior Baril Mawo, who led all scorers with 22 points while also grabbing nine rebounds on the night. While Mawo made his mark on the scoresheet, perhaps there was no better moment than when he ran the length of the court for a last-second block in the third quarter.
“He’s really just trying to learn his own body, he’s so strong, he just doesn’t know his own strength sometimes,” said Central Head Coach Sudi Lett. “When he really learns the game, he’s going to be a monster. Physically, he can play above the rim, he can play the perimeter, he can play down low. He’s a really good player and just scratching the surface.”
Central also got double-digit scoring nights from sophomores Andrew Houghton and Bailey Bates as well as junior Emin Ahmetovic, who scored 11, 10 and 10 points respectively.
After Friday night’s action across the Granite State, Central’s 7-9 record puts them in a three-way tie for the final three berths in the NHIAA Division I Tournament with Salem and Goffstown and just ahead of Dover’s 7-10 mark.
At this point, Central controls its own destiny, holding a win in hand against Goffstown from earlier this year and a home game against Salem next Friday while Dover will need a victory against defending champion Exeter.
“We have a young team and I want them to experience the playoffs,” said Lett. “I think we can shock a team.”
Before Salem, Central travels to Pinkerton on Tuesday.
Manchester Memorial drops to 4-12, now mathematically eliminated from post-season contention. They finish their string with home games this week against Nashua South and Alvirne.