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March 07. 2014 10:25PM

NHIAA Boys' Basketball: Giampetruzzi leads Trinity into D-I semis

Trinity's Carmen Giampetruzzi drives by Bedford's Thomas O'Rourke during the NHIAA Division I quarterfinals on Friday in Manchester. (Thomas Roy/Union Leader)

MANCHESTER — Trinity of Manchester senior Carmen Giampetruzzi played in the final home basketball game of his high school career Friday night, and it was evident early on that he was in no mood to lose.

Giampetruzzi, a forward, poured in a game-high 24 points to lead second-seeded Trinity past seventh-seeded Bedford, 50-45, in the Division I quarterfinals.

“It was my last game here, sad to say, and I was going out on top,” Giampetruzzi said. “Before this game I was real hyped up. I couldn’t even focus in school today. We came out and played well.”

Giampetruzzi had help. Junior center Wenyen Gabriel finished the game with 14 points and 10 blocked shots.

Bedford was within three points, 46-43, after Cam Meservey made a 3-pointer with 36 seconds to play, but Pat Keefe made a basket and two free throws in the final 26 seconds to seal the win for the Pioneers.

“To sneak out of here with a win against Bedford is very nice,” Trinity coach Dave Keefe (Pat’s father) said. “You have a kid like Carmen on your team, your chances of coming out of here with a win are very good. He’s just so determined — you can see it on his face. He willed us to a win.”

Trinity played without suspended point guard Ryan Otis, who is also expected to miss Monday’s semifinal between Trinity (19-1) and third-seeded Merrimack (18-2) at the University of New Hampshire’s Lundholm Gym.

“He does all the little things that no one sees,” Giampetruzzi said, when asked about having to play without Otis. “At the end of a game like that he would take control of us. (Brad) Rhoades did a good job stepping up. He’s a real asset.”

The loss ended Bedford’s 11-game winning streak. Meservey scored a team-high 16 for the Bulldogs, who completed their season with a 12-8 record. Point guard Taylor Grande (12 points) was the only other Bedford player who scored in double figures.

“If we could have put the ball in the basket a little more at the end, we might have had a crack at them,” Bedford coach Mike Fitzpatrick said. “The defense was terrific for most of the game tonight, but every time they needed a basket Carmen got it. He’s a big, strong kid and a good basketball player. He’s a winner.”Trinity had its largest lead, 39-24, midway through the third quarter, but Bedford climbed back into the game with an 8-0 run. The Bulldogs used a 9-3 run to pull within three late, but that’s as close as they would get.

Monday’s Trinity/Merrimack matchup is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. Trinity posted a 62-57 victory over Merrimack in Manchester during the regular season.

“We’ll just work hard for the next couple days,” Dave Keefe said. “We’re looking forward to that bus ride up to Durham on Monday night.”

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