The number of unbeaten boys’ basketball teams in Division I will be whittled to one tonight when Merrimack hits the road to face Manchester Central.
Both teams are 7-0 and have the only unblemished records in the division. The contest is scheduled to tip off at 6:30.
Merrimack has one of the top scorers in the state in senior guard Eric Gendron, who was New Hampshire’s Gatorade Player of the Year last season. Gendron collected the 1,000th point of his career last Tuesday against Nashua South.
“Huge game for us,” Central coach Doc Wheeler said. “They’re very good. They have the Player of the Year back, and Gendron is just a great, great player. The kid can go off on any night. (Shayne) Bourque is playing well. Austin Franzen can really shoot it. They have a lot of weapons and they’re very good defensively.”
Junior guard Brett Hanson and senior guard Jon Martin have been doing most of the scoring for Central.
Merrimack has shown significant improvement since the Queen City Invitational Basketball Tournament, where it went 1-2. Central beat Exeter to win the QCIBT title.
“It was early in the year and we had only played one game,” Merrimack coach Tim Goodridge said. “I think we’re improving and that’s what our goal is. It doesn’t matter what you do in January. It matters what you do on the date of that first playoff game.”
No team has scored more than 60 points against the Tomahawks in their seven Division I games. Merrimack has held three opponents — Nashua North, Dover and Concord — to 38 points or fewer.
Central has been playing some stingy defense as well. Central hasn’t allowed more than 61 points in any of its Division I games, and the 61 came in a three-point victory against Bedford that went to overtime.
Tonight’s contest will be the first of six consecutive home games for the Little Green.