MANCHESTER — Manchester Central’s Brett Hanson was alone under the basket, but missed an easy shot with 38 seconds to play in Friday night’s contest against Trinity of Manchester. It was one of the few shots he missed in the game.
Hanson, a junior guard, poured in a career-high 38 points as Central advanced to the Queen City Invitational Basketball Tournament’s championship game with a 66-55 victory.
Hanson’s effort was nine points shy of the tournament’s single-game scoring record. Boston College High School’s Dave Gavin tossed in 47 points in a 1986 tournament game that went to five overtimes.
“Brett gets to the rim probably as good as any kid in the state,” Central coach Doc Wheeler said. “There were a lot of things that Trinity was doing defensively that took us out of our game. We had 22 points at halftime and we’re used to scoring more than that. I thought the two. than that. I thought the two teams made some good adjustments at halftime and you saw the scoring pick up.”
Central will face Exeter in the tournament’s championship game tonight (7:30) at Manchester Memorial High School. Exeter advanced with an eight-point victory over Merrimack earlier Friday.
Hanson scored 10 points in the first quarter, six in the second, 14 in the third and eight in the fourth. He averaged 12.5 points per game last season.
“I was getting to the rim and getting easy baskets off of some good passes from my teammates,” Hanson said. “They beat us last year, so we definitely wanted to get them back — and we did.”
Central led 14-12 after one quarter, but it was a 22-22 game at halftime. Central led by two points entering the fourth and outscored Trinity 21-12 in the final eight minutes.
Trinity, last year’s Division I champion, received 17 points from Patrick Keefe and 14 from Ryan Otis.
Central took the lead for good on an old-fashioned three-point play by Hanson that handed the Little Green a 52-50 lead with 3:34 to play. It was the start of a 10-0 run that gave Central a nine-point lead with 1:42 to play.
It was the first of a possible three meetings between the Little Green and Pioneers this season. The teams will complete their suspended regular-season game on Jan. 19, and could meet in the Division I tournament as well.
The regular-season meeting was halted in the first quarter earlier this month because of condensation on the floor at Trinity.
Exeter 61, Merrimack 53: The Blue Hawks outscored the Tomahawks 11-1 in the final 4:46 and advanced to the tournament’s championship game. Merrimack led 52-50, but Exeter scored the next 11 points.
Point guard Zack Holler led Exeter with 13 points. Center Max Medley and forward Jordan Dickenson each finished with 12.
Senior center/forward Shayne Bourque and senior guard Eric Gendron each scored 16 for Merrimack, which will play Trinity in today’s third-place game. The Tomahawks also received 11 from Zach Kerr.
Exeter led 12-11 after one quarter and 30-27 at haftime, but Merrimack outscored Exeter 7-0 over the final 1:20 of the third quarter to take a 46-42 entering the fourth.
Exeter, which opened the tournament with a victory over Bedford, will be seeking its second QCIBT championship. The Blue Hawks won the tournament in 2007.
Memorial 67, West 47: Trevon Maughn scored 18 points to help the Crusaders even their tournament record at 1-1. Malo Roumraj (14) and Kabongo Ngalukukondi (11) also scored in double figures for Memorial.
West received 18 points from Zack Jones and eight from Zach Theriault. The Blue Knights dropped to 0-2 in the tournament.
Memorial led 20-7 after one quarter, 36-18 at halftime and 50-34 entering the fourth.
Weaver (Conn.) 54, Bedford 48: Weaver overcame a seven-point deficit in the second half to even its tournament record at 1-1. Freshman guard Chaylynn Martin scored a team-high 14 points for Weaver, out of Hartford, Conn. Weaver lost to Merrimack on Thursday.
Senior guard Cam Meservey (19) and junior center Samuel Stanton (16) led Bedford, which dropped to 0-2 in tourney play. Meservey made five 3-pointers.
Bedford, which trailed 25-10 in the first half, opened the tournament with a loss to Exeter.