Trinity rallies to claim Queen City title, 64-60, over Bedford

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(Photo by Cindy Lavigne)

MANCHESTER, NH — Trinity High rallied from nine points down late in the third quarter to stun Bedford, 64-60, in the final of the Queen City Invitational Tournament, Thursday night at Memorial High.

Tyler Bike led the Pioneers’ comeback, scoring 13 of his team-high 25 points in the fourth quarter. Bike was named Tournament MVP, averaging 22 points a game.

Devohn Ellis added 12 points and Kevin Doherty chipped in with 8.

The title game victory avenged Trinity’s only loss of the season, 68-62, at Bedford, earlier this month.

“I said coming in that if we hit our shots we’d have a chance and the kids were hitting enough of their shots in the first half to stay with them,” said Trinity Coach Keith Bike. “And then in the fourth quarter, Tyler took over and that’s what we need him to do for us to be successful.”

Forward Aiden O’Connell had 28 points for Bedford to lead all  scorers. Luke Soden added 14, including three 3-pointers in the fourth quarter . His third gave the Bulldogs their final lead, 60-59, with 1:35 to play.

(Photo by Cindy Lavigne)

On the ensuing possession, Bike missed a jumper but Jaiden Summers pulled down a huge offensive rebound, leading to a pair of free throws by Connor Bishop, putting Trinity back on top, 61-60.

O’Connell drew a foul and went to the line with 35 seconds remaining but missed both free throws.

Bike didn’t make the same mistake, hitting two free throws with 20 seconds remaining to give Trinity its biggest lead of the second half, 63-60.

With time winding down Bedford had a final chance, but Soden missed a corner 3 and Trinity’s Evan Dunker won a mad scramble for the rebound to seal the victory.

Having played each other in the regular season just two weeks prior, Trinity (2-1) and Bedford (3-0) didn’t bother with a “feeling out” process. The first 16 minutes were played at breakneck speed, with each club trying to beat the other down the court and not allow the defense to set.

(Photo by Cindy Lavigne)

(Photo by Cindy Lavigne)

Neither team was able to gain separation and the score was tied, 34-34, at halftime.

In the third quarter, Bedford looked ready to take hold of the title game. The Bulldogs tightened up their man-to-man defense, fighting through every pick, clogging the lane, challenging every pass and getting in the face of shooters around the perimeter.

Bedford held Trinity scoreless for the first 6:15 of the quarter, building a 43-34 lead.

“We weren’t moving like we were capable of moving. I think we got stagnant,” said Keith Bike. “But they were giving us chances, their lead didn’t balloon to 15, which it could have.”

Over the final 1:45 of the third quarter, the Pioneers showed signs of life. Ellis scored on an offensive rebound to break the drought, then Bike drained one of his four 3-pointers and it was suddenly a game again.

(Photo by Cindy Lavigne)

Bike set the tone in the fourth, stripping O’Connell and going coast to coast to pull Trinity to within two, 45-43. A nifty drive by freshman Derek Erilla and two free throws from Bike put the Pioneers on top, 47-45.

That lead would last just 10 seconds, when Soden drained his first 3-pointer, giving the Bulldogs a one-point lead and setting in motion a series of possessions that saw the lead change hands six times.

About this Author

Bill Gilman

Bill Gilman is a veteran journalist with 33 years of experience covering community news and sports in New England. He and his wife have two grown sons and two perfect granddaughters.