It was close for a while. And then, sparked by a defensive play, it wasn’t.
With the top-seeded and undefeated Manchester Central boys’ basketball team in a tight game (38-33) with heavy underdog Exeter, Mike Plentzas took a charge, which ignited the Little Green in its 82-61 victory over the Blue Hawks on Friday in a Division I quarterfinal at Simon Gym.
After the charge, Joey and Jon Martin took over. Joey was the big gun in a 15-0 run that put the game out of reach in the third quarter. He finished with 20 points. Jon added 23 points. Brett Hanson, who scored 21 of his team’s first 23 points, finished with a game-high 33.
Max Medley scored 14 points and Zack Holler added 12 for eighth-seeded Exeter (11-9).
Central, now 20-0, plays Manchester Memorial in Monday’s 7:30 p.m. semifinal game at UNH.
Derryfield 65, Woodsville 28: The top-seeded Cougars took control in the second quarter and eased past Woodsville and into the Divison IV semifinals with the win.
Derryfield will now face No. 4 Sunapee in the Div. IV semifinals on Monday at Plymouth State University. Sunapee defeated No. 12 Wilton-Lyndeborough Friday night, 84-52.
Tyler Zorn paced Derryfield with 17 points, while Bennett Doherty had 14 and Pat McGinley added 10 for the Cougars. Tom D’Angel led No. 9 Woodsville with 11 points and Jaret Beamis scored eight.
Littleton 58, Groveton 45: In Littleton, the No. 2 seeds pulled away in the third quarter against 17th-seeded Groveton in a Division IV quarterfinal game on Friday. Owen State scored 17 points and notched 10 steals, and his twin brother, Kody, added 11 assists. Danny Brammer and Kuba Kubkowski chipped in with nine points each for the Crusaders. Cory Gadwah poured in game-high 22 points for Groveton. Littleton will play Epping in the Division IV semifinals on Monday at Plymouth State.
Hanover 55, Goffstown 35: The second-seeded Marauders trailed Goffstown at the half, 24-18, but outscored the Grizzlies 26-11 in the second half to advance to the Div. II semifinals.
Hanover will face No. 6 Coe-Brown in the Div. II semifinals on Monday at Southern New Hampshire University. Coe-Brown defeated No. 3 Souhegan Friday night, 48-39.
Lexie Hamilton led Hanover with 18 points, including five 3-pointers, while Eileen Daley added 11 points for the Marauders.
Molly McQueeny (11 points) and Olivia Odell (10 points) led Goffstown.
Through the first day of competition at the New England Interscholastic Wrestling Championships in Providence, R.I., Timberlane Regional of Plaistow stood in fourth place with 21½ points, with Londonderry (fifth, 20), Manchester Central (seventh, 18), Nashua North (10th, 15) and Pinkerton of Derry (16th, 13) close behind.
All four Central wrestlers advanced to Satuyday’s competition. Twin brothers Kyle and Keaton Peterson, as well as Azalkhan Sarvalov, all posted 2-0 records and advanced to the quarterfinals. Dylan Wyman went 1-1 and advanced to the consolation quarterfinals.