NHIAA Div. I Boys' Basketball: Boykin lifts BG over Central
Bishop Guertin's C.J. Boykin, left, and Kevin Kiczuk celebrate an overtime win over Central during the NHIAA Division I Basketball quarterfinal on Friday. (Thomas Roy/Union Leader)
MANCHESTER - The stage was set Friday for Central High to return to Durham for the semifinals of the Division I boys' basketball tournament.
The second-seeded Little Green had the lead and seventh-seeded Bishop Guertin had its big man, senior center Jeff Lunn, on the bench with four fouls.
The third quarter was less than a minute old.
That's when C.J. Boykin happened.
In what will certainly be remembered as a signature moment in the junior guard's blossoming career, Boykin scored 14 of his game-high 22 points in the second half and overtime as the visiting Cardinals ended the Little Green's season with a 72-70 quarterfinal win in front of a boisterous crowd.
Central nearly forced a second overtime when sophomore guard Brett Hanson stole an inbound pass and got off a shot that just fell short at the buzzer.
Bishop Guertin (15-5) moves on to play third-seeded Spaulding High of Rochester in a semifinal game Tuesday at the University of New Hampshire's Lundholm Gymnasium (6 p.m.)
Boykin has missed large chunks of the past two seasons with injuries and BG coach Jim Migneault said he is just starting to scratch the surface of his potential, Boykin did some serious scratching against the Little Green.
He opened the third quarter with a 3-pointer, knocked down another, made three foul shots after being fouled shooting a 3 and added three assists. He set up Kyle Gavin for a pair of late threes that highlighted a 11-0 run in the final 1:32 of the quarter, as BG turned a six-point halftime deficit into a five-point lead after three quarters.
Credit Central (16-4), which ended the season losing four of five games, for not folding. The Little Green scored the first seven points of the fourth quarter to regain the lead and were up 55-52 before Boykin made three more free throws after being fouled shooting - part of a 9-3 run that gave BG a 59-55 lead late in the fourth quarter.
A 3-pointer by Dawson Dickson (21 points) got Central to within 61-60 and the Little Green went up 62-61 after a BG turnover and layup by Hanson (10). Lunn (12) dribbled hard into the lane against a double-team and came away with a conventional three-point play to put BG ahead again, 64-62, with 51 seconds left. Back came the Little Green as a steal by Tyler Kelly set up Dickson for a layup to tie the game. Dickson missed the accompanying free throw, but Troy Pelletier (17) got the rebound. Central called time with 18 seconds left, but couldn't get off a shot on the ensuing possession.
Hanson scored and was fouled on Central's first possession in the extra session and, even though he missed the free throw, Central coach Doc Wheeler said he thought his team would win.
"It felt good," Wheeler said. "I thought we made some plays that gave us some momentum."
Boykin killed that momentum. After torching the Little Green in regulation with jumpers off the dribble that caught Central by surprise, he made them pay when they came hard after him, finding his teammates for open shots. He set up Gavin (15 points) and Steven Toscano (10 points), and faked a pass that led to him being fouled for a pair of free throws - he was 11-for-12 from the line - as BG went up 70-68.
They upped the lead to 72-68 after a Central miss and a Gavin layup with 17 seconds left.
Central's final gasp came with 4.2 seconds left. Pelletier was fouled and made both free throws. The Little Green stole the inbound pass, but Hanson's 18-foot shot in the corner came up short at the buzzer.