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Girls' Basketball: Central gets revenge on Trinity to win tournament

MANCHESTER - After suffering an early regular season loss to Trinity of Manchester, the Manchester Central girls were not about to let that happen again.

Playing a stingy man defense and relying on the senior leadership of Meg Cleary, the Little Green defeated the Pioneers, 39-34, to advance to the today's championship game of the Manchester Central Christmas Tournament Saturday at the Simon Gym in Manchester.

Because of Saturday's snow and hazardous driving conditions, Lebanon did not drive to the Queen City, opting rather to forfeit its game with Manchester Memorial. The uncontested victory sends the Crusaders to the title showdown tonight at 7.

Lebanon, meanwhile, faces Trinity at 5:30 p.m.

Manchester West jumps against Coe-Brown of Northwood at 2:30 p.m. and Hollis/Brookline tangles with Plymouth at 4 p.m.

After a close first period, Central clamped its defense on the Pioneers and held them scoreless for 4:31 of the second period while it built a 23-11 lead. Though Jillian Gilman scored nine of her game-high 13 points in the fourth quarter, the effort was not enough to rally the Bridge Street girls.

Cleary led the Central offense with 12 points.

"Meg is our senior leader," said Central coach Mike Wenners. "We lost in the regular season to Trinity, so she was motivated."

The teams played through a relatively even first frame before Mary Soares hit a five-footer to give Central at 13-11 lead. Central's swarming defense then played havoc with Trinity's offensive flow for much of the remainder of the game.

All eight of Central's dressed players saw game action, and seven inked their names into the scorer's book.

Lizzy Meehan turned in a strong first half for the Pioneers, draining a pair of three point field goals, and she finished with 10 points.

Plymouth 48, Manchester West 30: Amanda Prioa had a game-high 15 points as the Bobcats captured the day's first game. Plymouth controlled play, opening up a 18-6 lead after one quarter and 25-10 at half.

The Blue Knights received a double-figure performance from Alexandra Ricard, who netted a dozen.

Hollis/Brookline 49, Coe-Brown 39: Sharpshooters Ellie Flaum and Jenna Hyatt combined for 15 of Hollis/Brookline's 16 third quarter points as the Cavaliers pulled away in the second half for the victory.

The Black Bears held a 24-23 halftime edge, but Flaum (three 3-pointers) netted nine of her game-high 25 points and Hyatt added six of her eight to fuel the Cavs' 16-6 third period, which resulted in a 39-30 lead.

The Black Bears offense, which featured nine scorers, was paced by Jenny Schlim who tallied 12 points.


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