NHIAA Girls' Basketball: In Division I, Pinkerton stands alone
Kayla Stacy of Pinkerton, goes for the hoop as Central's Amanda Gaudreault trails during Friday's game, at Central High School. (Thomas Roy/Union Leader)
The Astros raised their record to 10-0 by beating Manchester Central 71-43 Friday night.
Nashua North, the only other Division I team that entered the weekend unbeaten, dropped a 65-48 decision to Londonderry on Friday,
"The reality is we have not played any of the top four teams - BG, Londonderry, North and Bedford," Pinkerton coach John Barry said. "So not playing the top four teams makes (the 10-0) record a little deceptive. We have some serious weaknesses that may show up when we play those teams. I'd be stupid not to like (10-0). We felt it was attainable, but I'm a realist and I'm practical about things."
Pinkerton scored 26 points in the first quarter and led by 12 after eight minutes. It never got any closer. The Astros led 43-24 at halftime, and 58-33 after three quarters.
The Astros received a game-high 14 points from guard Samantha Breslin, who is the only senior on the Pinkerton roster. Two other Pinkerton players scored in double figures. Junior guard/forward Colleen Fortier tossed in 13, and junior guard Brandi Bonneau finished with 12.
"Tonight the kids played very well," Barry said. "They played aggressive and they played together. If any one of my players tries to do too much by themselves we have problems. When they play together, they're good. We're not a team based on one star."
Central had won three of its previous four games, but Central coach Mike Wenners said his team took a step back Friday.
"Not because it was a loss, but a step back because I was expecting some more execution," Wenners said. "We were prepared for the things they were going to do, we just didn't execute. That's what was disappointing about today. I thought we would handle it better than we did."
Senior Megan Cleary led Central with 12 points. Katherine Johnson, Amanda Gaudreault and Angelina Marazzi each finished with seven. Central became the third team to score more than 39 points against the Astros, but the loss dropped the Little Green's record to 3-8.
We'll know more about where Pinkerton fits in the Division I puzzle by the middle of February. The Astros will open the month with a game against Londonderry, and will face Nashua North, Bishop Guertin and Bedford in the two weeks that follow.
"I always expect Pinkerton to be a good team because they're well-coached and they're very disciplined," Wenners said. "What they do they do very well. You know they're going to come out and they're going to play good man-to-man defense. They're going to be very patient, and take care of the ball on offense. They're probably 10, 11 or 12 deep - and that helps.
"They will play the top teams tough. They're more than capable of beating anybody."