MANCHESTER - You could argue that no high school basketball team in the state has more of an inside presence than Trinity of Manchester, and that strong interior game was on display Saturday.
Trinity received double digits in points and rebounds from both Carmen Giampetruzzi and Wenyen Gabriel, and edged Merrimack, 62-57, in a game between teams that each entered the day with one loss.
Giampetruzzi, a 6-foot-4 senior forward, scored a game-high 24 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in the victory. Gabriel, a 6-foot-6 junior center, finished the game with 20 points, 14 rebounds and four blocked shots. Gabriel, who was recovering from a broken ankle when the season began, and Giampetruzzi scored 16 of Trinity's 18 points in the fourth quarter.
"I'm starting to get by confidence back," Gabriel said. "It (the ankle) was definitely bothersome, but I've been at 100 percent for a couple weeks now."
Merrimack led 35-30 early in the third, but Trinity seized the lead for good by scoring 14 of the final 17 points in the quarter. The Pioneers led 44-38 entering the fourth.
Merrimack pulled within two points, 57-55, when Eric Gendron made a 3-pointer with 46.4 seconds remaining, but the Tomahawks weren't able to get any closer.
"We were down five or six so we wanted to go to a press (midway through the fourth), and it really hurt us," Merrimack coach Tim Goodridge said. "They executed. They broke the press and they got a couple of easy buckets. We tried the press and it didn't work out for us today. Next time maybe it will."
The victory raised Trinity's record to 12-1. Merrimack fell to 12-2.
The Tomahawks were in foul trouble almost from the start. Gendron, the team's leading scorer, picked up his third foul when he was called for a technical with 5:04 remaining in the first and didn't play for the remainder of the half.
"(Gendron) got the foul and then he did something stupid," Goodridge said. "I just think he was a little more emotional than he needed to be.
"We had a lot of kids step up today and do some good things. That's going to make us a better basketball team in the end, and that's what it's all about, We had an opportunity win. We just maybe ran out of gas."
Merrimack's Shayne Bourque, a 6-foot-5 forward, scored a team-high 18 points even though he had his minutes limited because of foul trouble as well. Point guard Austin Franzen also scored 18 for the Tomahawks. Gendron finished with 12.
"Eric was still in foul trouble and so was Bourque, so we could get the ball inside more (in the second half)," Gabriel said. "They're a pretty good team even without Eric, but I knew we had to step it up in the second half if we wanted to get out of here with a win.
"We're rolling right now. We're on a good run."
Pinkerton 55, West 46: At Derry, Jeremy Dietzel tossed in a game-high 19 points to help Pinkerton (7-6) end a four-game losing streak. Pinkerton's Luke Rosinski returned after missing four games with mononucleosis and scored six points. Alfred Nyonee and Zach Theriault each scored 10 points for West (3-10).
Central 75, Spaulding 49: At Manchester, Central raised its record to 14-0 to remain the only unbeaten team in Division I. Central, which will play at Salem on Monday, led 37-26 at halftime and 60-43 after three quarters.
Profile 49, Colebrook 26: At Bethlehem, Eric Tholl tossed in 14 points and grabbed seven rebounds as Profile improved to 11-3 in Division IV. Zach Knowlton added 10 points and nine rebounds for Profile, which received eight assists from point guard Bailey Johnson. Cedric McKinnon led Colebrook (11-3) with 11.
Memorial 43, Alvirne 40: At Hudson, junior guard Angie Marazzi made five 3-pointers and finished with 24 points to help Memorial raise its Division I record to 9-4. Marazzi broke a 40-40 tie when she made a jump shot with 14 seconds to play. The Crusaders received 14 rebounds, six blocked shots and six points from Makenah Grisson.
Sandy Purcell led Alvirne (8-5) with 13.
Goffstown 50, Lebanon 45: At Goffstown, the Grizzlies (8-7) fell behind 35-34 after three quarters but outscored Lebanon (11-5) 16-10 in the fourth to earn the win. Katie Howe scored 15 points for Goffstown and Molly McQueeney (12 points) and Rene Roggenbuck (11) chipped in. Lebanon was paced by Heather King with 18 points.