QCIBT: Junior guard lifts Central by Trinity
Central's Dawson Dixson drives to the basket against Trinity's Romeo Masuku during Wednesday's Queen City Basketball Tournament game. (Thomas Roy/Union Leader)
MANCHESTER - Take an always intense city rivalry and make it even more personal and what you get is the kind of performance Dawson Dickson turned in Wednesday on the first day of the 50th annual Queen City Invitational Basketball Tournament at Memorial High.
The junior point guard helped Central High move along in the winners' bracket by scoring a game-high 18 points as the Little Green beat Trinity, 64-50, in front of a full house of more than 1,000 people.
The win moves Central into tonight's marquee game at 7:30, a winners' bracket matchup against Memorial.
Trinity plays the loser of that game at 4:30.
Dickson is in his second year at Central after starting his high school career at Trinity and he seemed intent on making sure his old team wished it still had him. After knocking down a 3-pointer late in the first quarter to put the Little Green up 11-4, he stopped and raised both hands to signal a 3 as he stared long and hard at the Trinity bench.
"I grew up playing with those guys," said Dickson, who knocked down three from long range. "And I love playing in the Christmas tournament. When I was a little kid, I'd come every year."
Central coach Doc Wheeler said he's not surprised by the offense provided by Dickson, who went into the game averaging 15.7 points.
"That kid put in a ton of work during the offseason," Wheeler said. "He can score."
The matchup brought with it the promise of something special considering this was the first city game of the year and both teams are 3-0 in the regular season. The game certainly didn't lack for intensity, but the Pioneers never got untracked offensively as they fell behind 11-4 after one quarter and 29-18 at halftime.
A drive by Wenjin Gabriel got Trinity to within 18-16 with 3:30 left in the second quarter, but the Pioneers scored just two more points before the half.
Trinity made its final run early in the third quarter, cutting Central's lead to 34-30, but a putback by Tyler Kelly (8 points) restored the Little Green lead to 42-33 and led to a timeout by Trinity coach Dave Keefe.
Keefe was whistled for a technical foul during the timeout and things quickly spiraled downward for the Pioneers as the Little Green completed what turned out to be a 17-3 run. Impressive sophomore Brett Hansen (13) capped the run with a 3-pointer to give the Little Green a 51-33 lead.
Troy Pelletier added 17 points for Central, while Mabor Gabriel had 12 points and Carmen Giampetruzzi added 10 for Trinity.
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Jim Fennell may be reached at email@example.com.