action:article | category:SPORTS21 | adString:SPORTS21 | zoneID:40

Home » Sports » High School Sports

March 11. 2013 9:07PM

NHIAA Div. I Boys' Basketball Semifinals: Trinity on familiar turf


Trinity Coach Dave Keefe meets with his team during practice at Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester on Monday. (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER)

Four state championship game appearances in six years is a very big accomplishment in Division I boys' basketball. Big because it's been done only five times since 1964.

So when Trinity head coach Dave Keefe takes his familiar front row seat for another bus trip to Durham today, he could return to the Queen City as the only coach to reach the state finals five times in seven years over the last 49 seasons.

"I cherish every trip to Durham and this one is no different," said Keefe, whose top-ranked Pioneers (19-1) battle fourth-seeded Nashua South (16-4) at 7:30 p.m. at the University of New Hampshire's Lundholm Gym.

Speaking of 1964, that was the last season Spaulding of Rochester qualified for the state finals. All that could change tonight in the 6 o'clock opener when the third-ranked Raiders (17-3) confront seventh-ranked Bishop Guertin of Nashua (15-5).

Consistency is a big part of successful programs and the Pioneers have had a winning tradition over the last eight seasons under Keefe. The Pioneers are making their seventh semifinal appearance under Keefe and are just two wins away from the program's eighth overall state crown and first since 2009.

"Just been blessed to have the opportunity to teach and work with great kids over the years, fun to see them mature," said Keefe, who was a prominent player on the 1979 Class L state championship team for Manchester Central.

Tonight the Pioneers face a team Keefe said is similar to his squad.

"You look at Nashua South and see they have many weapons, including what I like to call their 'Big Three' of Tim Preston, Jack Preston and Dave Dunham," said Keefe. "They also come at you with another scrappy player, Dan Auger and a physical kid, Trevor Knight. Like us, they like to push the ball up the floor when the situation presents itself and will run their halfcourt sets as well. Very similar to us."

Trinity's 'Big Three' of Carmen Giampetruzzi, Ryan Otis and Mabor Gabriel are as good as any trio in the league. Wenjin Gabriel and Patrick Keefe round out a formidable five-man unit that is averaging 68.1 points and allowing just 48 points per game.

Of the remaining teams left in the tournament, Trinity has an edge in post-season experience.

"Patrick, Carmen and Mabor are playing in Durham for the third straight season," said Keefe. "That experience is so important to possess, especially this time of year."

Trinity, which opened the season 10-0 and has won its last nine games, defeated Nashua South, 63-58 in the Gate City on Jan. 8.

"The team that takes care of the ball, dives on the floor for the loose balls and does the little things that don't show up in the box score will win," said Keefe. "It comes down to executing plays."

Spaulding beat Bishop Guertin on Feb. 22 in Rochester and that was the night senior Dom Paradis eclipsed the 1,000-point plateau.

In that game against BG, Paradis led the way with 18 points. The Raiders are averaging 61.8 points and allowing 52 per game. From three-point land, Spaulding is shooting 30 percent this season (95-for-312), but have allowed opponents to shoot the same percentage (95-for-318).

Spaulding lost to Merrimack in the semifinals last year and to Trinity in 2008 in the semifinals. The Raiders have already set a school record for most wins in a season.

"Coach (Spaulding Tim) Cronin runs a very good program and we all know Paradis is a very good player," said Bishop Guertin head coach Jim Migneault. "Spaulding reminds me of our own team in 2011 that won the state championship. They love to run the floor and they're very good around the basket."

Nick MacGregor and Alex Gray will provide matchup problems for BG as well.

The Cardinals will be led by Jeff Lunn, but will be without starting point guard C.J. Boykin who, according to Migneault, will be benched tonight. Boykin was arrested Saturday by Hudson Police for an egg-throwing incident by Hudson Police.

"In his place we're going to rely on Jack Zimmerman, Steve Toscano and Kyle Gavin, three players who have played well and whom I have a lot of confidence in," said Migneault. "Our confidence has been growing game to game and we're coming off a big win against Central at their place. We feel we can play with anyone and it's a matter of staying focused and taking care of the ball."


 NH Sports Angle more
Links to news and happenings around the world of sports with a Granite State connection, updated daily.

NASCAR: Who the Vegas wise guys like heading into Loudon

Goalie Danny Tirone to enroll at UNH for second semester after star's suspension for domestic violence

'Smoke' blows into New Hampshire with the law in his rear-view mirror

Man found unconscious at Winchester Speedpark Saturday

Too young to drive, but old enough for NHMS

Police examine speed, possible horseplay in golf cart fatality

Mass. man, 27, dies in golf cart accident at The Links at Outlook

Hanover's Sarah Groff competes in the women's triathlon final during the 2012 London Olympic Games.

Hanover Olympian in spotlight at Las Vegas Super Sprint

FHL makes it official, team planned for Berlin will play in North Adams, Mass. instead

Can NH soccer star Charlie Davies make a comeback?

Inside NIKEs secret sports lab; born in Exeter, now located in Oregon.

Concord Monitor decries gender pay gap in professional tennis

FHL franchise slated for Berlin may go to North Adams, Mass. instead

Eagles' Kelly says he learned his offense by studying defense while at UNH

Former Concord area youth baseball coach sentenced to 30 more years in prison

Maine boxer Brandon Berry making Fight to Educate history

Hudson family, classmates working to keep Alvirne soccer standout Raul Stedile in U.S.

Israel unrest moves meet for NH swim star

Race date for Oxford 250 moved from July to Aug. 30 next year

NH's Groff a highlight for U.S. at ITU World Triathlon Series Grand Final

Maine fighters Lamour, Berry on New Hampshire boxing card

Q&A with Matt Bonner as he weighs free agency

Keene State mum on suspension of veteran track coach

Morgan Andrews speaks: Notre Dame star undeterred by U.S. U-20 World Cup snub

MORE

 New Hampshire Events Calendar
    

    SHARE EVENTS FOR PUBLICATION, IT'S FREE!

Upcoming Events

 New Hampshire Business Directory

  

    ADD YOUR BUSINESS TODAY!