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

Home » Sports » High School Sports

March 14. 2013 8:11PM

Jim Fennell's High School Basketball: Things have changed


Bishop Guertin’s Steven Toscano drives between Trinity’s Ryan Otis, left, and Carmen Giampetruzzi during the teams’ earlier meeting on Jan. 29, won by the Pioneers, 74-60. The teams battle again Saturday at 3 p.m. in the Division I state final at UNH’s Lundholm Gymnasium. (Union Leader file)


Championship Saturday

At Lundholm Gymnasium, UNH

Division II: No. 1 Pembroke vs. No. 7 Souhegan, noon

Division I: No. 1 Trinity vs. No. 7 Bishop Guertin, 3 p.m.

High school basketball teams can change drastically over the course of six weeks. Games played in January can sometimes be meaningless when two teams meet again now, in tournament time.

Case in point: The championship game of the Division II boys' basketball tournament Saturday in Durham at the University of New Hampshire's Lundholm Gymnasium.

Top-seeded Pembroke Academy (22-0) faces seventh-seeded Souhegan of Amherst (14-7) at noon. The Spartans beat the Sabers in a defensive game, 44-40, back on Jan. 15 in Amherst. Both teams look drastically different from that game.

Sometimes, however, things don't change. Sometimes the same result seems inevitable.

In that vein, we present the Division I championship game between top-seeded Trinity of Manchester (20-1) and seventh-seeded Bishop Guertin of Nashua (16-5). Game time at Lundholm Gym is 3 p.m.

Trinity rolled to a 74-60 road win over BG when the two teams met back on Jan. 29 and both teams have not changed much.

Here's a closer look at each game:



Bishop Guertin vs. Trinity



The Pioneers were up as many as 20 points in the third quarter when they first played the Cardinals. Trinity center Mabor Gabriel was having an inconsistent season, but he went off in that game for 22 points and 17 rebounds and it seemed to turn his season around.

"He was incredible that night," BG coach Jim Migneault said. "You have to keep him off the low block. If he gets too low, you can't stop him."

Gabriel had 26 points and 14 rebounds in Tuesday's semifinal win over Nashua South.

The seventh-seeded Cardinals should be a different team because junior point guard C.J. Boykin missed that first meeting with a shoulder injury. But Boykin was suspended earlier this week for an off-court incident and will not play Saturday.

Would Boykin have made a difference? The answer seems obvious when you consider he had a game-high 22 points in BG's quarterfinal win at Manchester Central.

The good news for the Cardinals is senior Steven Toscano had to start playing more point guard when Boykin was injured right before BG played Trinity in January. Now, he seems comfortable in that role and was a real key in Tuesday's 55-53 comeback win over Spaulding of Rochester in the semifinals with a game-high 19 points.

"He's playing with the utmost confidence," Trinity coach Dave Keefe said. "He's running the show."

Don't be surprised to see Trinity junior Brad Rhoades matched up with Toscano at some point. Rhoades, in his first year at Trinity after playing his first two seasons at Pembroke, helped slow down Nashua South point guard Tim Preston in the final minutes of Tuesday's game.

Migneault also said freshman guard Jack Zimmerman has elevated his game after being forced to play more minutes.

Still, the key for BG will be its ability to stop Gabriel and junior forward Carmen Giampetruzzi. BG counters with senior center Jeff Lunn, a top player in his own right. However, Lunn has been in foul trouble the past two games and will need to stay on the floor Saturday.

Keefe said he challenged Gabriel to match Lunn the first time the teams met and he certainly did that.

This is also a rematch of the 2011 championship game that BG won, 54-46.

While any current BG players who were in the program at the time were on the junior varsity, Trinity starters Gabriel, Giampetruzzi, and Pat Keefe were all with the Pioneers for that game and are making their third trip to Durham.

"I don't know if it means points on the board," Dave Keefe said, "but being comfortable means something and they are comfortable in that setting."



Souhegan vs. Pembroke



Pat Welch was nursing a back injury when the Spartans played the Sabers the first time. Matt Persons scored 23. Meanwhile, Souhegan was 3-3, had it own injuries and was still waiting for some players - notably Jake Kennedy and Tyler Ford - to fully make the transition from football to basketball.

That has all changed.

Welch is healthy and red-hot. He had 21 points on 9-for-10 shooting in Wednesday's semifinal win over Coe-Brown, while Kennedy - a Union Leader All-State football player who will be playing on the gridiron for UNH next year - and Ford are helping complement Souhegan leading scorer Brandon Len.

"He's a load," Pembroke coach Matt Alosa said of Kennedy, who had 12 points and 11 rebounds in Wednesday's semifinal win over Lebanon. "He's strong, physical and pretty smart."

While Pembroke will counter with Kafani Williams and Dominic Timbas up front, Souhegan could try to contain Welch with a combination of Len and senior Tanner Kent, who did a standout job Wednesday against Lebanon's David Hampton.

The difference could be Pembroke's other guards, senior captains Persons and Rene Maher.

"They're calm, cool and collected," Alosa said. "They are going to do their jobs night and night out."


jfennell@unionleader.com


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

New OT rule in AHL generating buzz

Slam thunk! Sarah Silverman nearly hit by basketball at Knicks game... but luckily John McEnroe is there to shield her

Spurs' Matt Bonner will wear new Adidas Crazy 8 shoes for Christmas game

Jason Saltmarsh: Runners should never have to pay for their race photos

Ex-official pleads guilty to embezzling thousands from Pembroke football nonprofit

Former New Hampshire goalie DeSmith tells his side of arrest, dismissal from team

NH hockey team moving to Maine could be worth at least $1 million in economic activity say city officials

New owners of Claremont plan to put speedway back on track

Speedway in Claremont bought for nearly $519,000

Lebanon marathoner qualifies for US Olympic Trials

Matt Bonner talks about the end of the run, making the simple play, and playing until he's 40

Ex-UNH goalie agrees to diversion,receive counseling, avoids jail

Wildcats will face Chattanooga in prime time

New England Revolution forward Charlie Davies teaches supporters how to believe

Helmetless Football? Its the new practice at UNH

CASEY DeSMITH

DeSmith officially dismissed from New Hampshire team, but can return to class as of Dec. 20

San Antonio Spurs forward Matt Bonner (15), of Concord, N.H., shoots the ball against Boston Celtics center Tyler Zeller (44) during the second half at TD Garden.

Rapper Lil B gives shoutout to…Matt Bonner?

Manchester Central's Tyler Stratton watches his shot get by Spaulding High School (Rochester) goalie Derek Scott during a shootout at the 2012 Bauer Christmas Hockey Classic hosted at JFK Coliseum in Manchester.

VFW downsizing threatens Spaulding hockey due to loss of venue for Bingo fundraisers

Eagles notes: Kelly committed to current job

5 face riot charges in beating incident at football game

Ayotte rips top sports league commissioners for snubbing hearing on domestic violence

Manchester Monarchs sign Josh Gratton to AHL contract

Can football without helmets lead to fewer concussions?

MORE

 New Hampshire Events Calendar
    

    SHARE EVENTS FOR PUBLICATION, IT'S FREE!

Upcoming Events

 New Hampshire Business Directory

  

    ADD YOUR BUSINESS TODAY!