Trinity cuts through Green Wave, surfs into quarterfinals

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Freshman Jordan Torres was able to block this Dover shot during Trinity’s 20-point first-round win. Stacy Harrison photo

MANCHESTER, NH – A couple key injures couldn’t slow the Pioneers postseason trek Wednesday.

The fifth-ranked Trinity High School boys basketball team (14-5) entered the preliminary-round home matchup against No. 12 Dover (9-10) down three standout sophomore guards, but still managed to earn an 18-10 first-quarter advantage, extend that lead to 15 points by halftime and then cruised to a 74-54 win to advance to the Division I quarterfinals.

Minus Kevin Doughterty, who was shooting better than 40 percent from three-point territory before suffering a season-ending injury, as well as Connor Bishop and Jackson Tanguay, who were each injured at practice this week, first-year Trinity head coach Ray Farmer was able to lean on senior DeVohn Ellis and junior Evan Dunker, who led a balance scoring effort with 17 and 16 points, respectively. Sophomore Derek Erilla pitched in 12 markers and Jamar Gregory-Alleyne and freshman Jordan Torres each produced 10.

“They’re great,” said Dover head coach Matt Fennessey. “They put five guys on the floor that can handle the ball. They defend really hard. They were tenacious. We knew they were going to be that way. We just didn’t execute any of of the things we wanted to do and that’s credit to them. They did a great job.”

Dylan Jabre offered 16 for the visitors and senior classmate David Cady contributed 12 but it wasn’t enough to overcome Trinity’s relentless attack.

“We practice to play in shape, and that’s what we do. We run,” said Farmer. “It’s nothing we’re not used to. We have a next-man-up mentality, a brotherhood and a family, so we’ll be there for our brothers and we’ll fill in.”

Next up for the Pioneers is fourth-ranked Exeter (14-5) which earned a 62-53 win over No. 13 Merrimack to setup a rematch from a Jan. 31 shootout in Exeter that saw the Blue Hawks earn a 76-72 victory. That result ended up being the tiebreaker between the two teams in the final regular-season standings, thus allowing Exeter to host the playoff clash.

“I feel like we matchup really well (with Exeter),” said Farmer. “I mean, kudos to them. We were up for the majority of that game and they didn’t give up, but we learn from our mistakes and we don’t play not to lose, we play to win. We don’t want to slow it down. We want to play even harder and that’s what we’re going to do … we’ll be a better version of ourselves.

“I’m excited,” he said. “Thirty-two minutes of energy.”

Should the Pioneers get past Exeter, Fennessey said Trinity may be setup as well as anyone in the state to take down top-ranked Pinkerton (17-1). He should know. Dover was the lone team to take down the Astros this year, earning a 74-58 upset at Pinkerton on Jan. 26.

“It’s really matchup-based,” he said. “We were able to beat Pinkerton because we were able to do some things (a little different). I think these guys can do it. I think Ray can figure out a way to play against them. You just have to do some things that are outside the box and that sometimes goes against some of the things we would teach as coaches, but I think it can be done.”

But first, Exeter.

Tipoff Saturday is currently scheduled for 7 p.m.

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About this Author

Ryan O'Connor

As a longtime journalist in Southern New Hampshire, Ryan O'Connor has written for several local online and print publications covering everything from school board meetings and local high school sporting events to major crime stories and New Hampshire's first-in-the-nation presidential primary (yes, the last two are mutually exclusive). In addition to spending time with his beautiful wife and four amazing children, Ryan enjoys attending and serving at church, golfing as much as possible, home brewing, playing softball and snowboarding when time allows.