Roger Brown's High School Hoopla: Trinity cagers host Central this afternoon
It's the marquee regular-season matchup in NHIAA boys' basketball this season, and fans are hoping it'll be worth the wait.
Manchester Central and Trinity of Manchester - teams that many expect will meet in this year's Division I championship game - were scheduled to face each other on Dec. 17, but the contest was postponed by bad weather. The game began the following night, but was suspended because moisture on the floor at Trinity made playing conditions unsafe.
The contest is scheduled to resume today (1 p.m.) at Trinity's McHugh Gym, and will provide local sports fans with an appetizer before the AFC and NFC Championship Games are played later in the day. The game was tied, 13-13, with 2:13 remaining in the first quarter when it was suspended, and will pick up at that point.
Barring overtime, those in attendance will have enough time to get in front of their TV before the Patriots and Broncos finish their pregame warmups.
Both teams are unbeaten after five Division I games, and the winner will have sole possession of first place.
"It's nice to be 5-0, but we have a lot of work to do," Trinity coach Dave Keefe said. "We're still a work in progress.
"I know a lot of people are saying it's going to be a Central-Trinity final, but I don't prepare my kids like that. Our goal is to finish in the top four. Central has five kids who can hurt you, not one, two or three like most teams."
Junior guard Brett Hanson was the Central player who hurt Keefe's team the most when Central beat Trinity 66-55 in the semifinals of the Queen City Invitational Basketball Tournament in December. Hanson tossed in a career-high 38 points that night.
Trinity's edge may be close to the basket, an area patrolled by 6-foot-7 senior center Wenyin Gabriel, and 6-foot-4 senior forward Carmen Giampetruzzi.
"Their size is absolutely a concern," Central coach Doc Wheeler said. "We're physically smaller than our opponents in most of our games.
"We share the ball real well and we work real hard, but to be honest we have a lot of things to clean up. That (tournament) game showed both teams what we have to work on.
"Each game has a life of its own. God knows what's going to happen Sunday."
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The Londonderry girls are off to a 5-0 start, but Londonderry coach John Fagula has yet to settle on a starting lineup or a regular rotation. Nor does he seem in a hurry to do so.
"Usually I play everybody, in fact everybody has started different games," Fagula said following Londonderry's 41-38 triumph over Bishop Guertin of Nashua on Friday night. "It's what style fits the team we're playing."
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No boys basketball team has played in more close games this season than Bedford, which got off to an 0-4 start and lost those four games by a total of 11 points. The Bulldogs broke through and collected their first victory Friday, when they beat Alvirne 55-52 in overtime.Cam Meservey led the Bulldogs with 25 points. Bedford has yet to play a game that was decided by more than three points.
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One of Friday night's best games took place in Concord, where Bishop Brady of Concord surrendered an 18-point fourth-quarter lead but beat Lebanon, 84-80, in double overtime.Bishop Brady's Jourdain Bell finished the game with a team-high 22 points, 14 rebounds and seven steals. Lebanon, which trailed 26-8 after one quarter and 56-40 entering the fourth, received a game-high 26 points from Dominick Morrill. Morrill scored 20 of his 26 points after the third quarter.
Roger Brown covers high school basketball for the New Hampshire Union Leader and Sunday News. He can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter: @603SportsMedia.