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Peete's career day an unexpected boost

New Hampshire Union Leader

March 19. 2017 1:23AM

Portsmouth's Christian Peete shoots as Bedford's Nicholas Mokas defends during the second half of Saturday's Division I championship game at the University of New Hampshire in Durham. Peete scored a career-high 21 points. (Mark Bolton/Union Leader)

DURHAM - Bedford High School coach Mark Elmendorf knew his team would have its hands full with Portsmouth in Saturday's Division I championship game. What he didn't know was how much damage Portsmouth guard Christian Peete was going to do at the offensive end of the court.

Peete, a 5-foot-11 senior, led all scorers by tossing in a career-high 21 points in Portsmouth's 63-40 victory at the University of New Hampshire's Lundholm Gym.

"We know he's a good shooter, but we were really worried about (Cody) Graham, and we were really worried about (Shon) Parham from the perimeter," Elmendorf said. "We were going to play off of (Alex) Tavares and Peete a little bit. That was the game plan going in - and he hurt us. He killed us. He's a good player."

Until Saturday, Peete said he hadn't scored more than 13 points in a varsity game. He made 8 of his 12 field goal attempts against Bedford, including 5 of 6 shots from behind the 3-point arc.

"I'm not always the best offensive player, but if you leave me open I can make shots," Peete said. "We have better offensive threats so I don't usually have to do it, but today I just stepped up and took the shots when I had to take them."

Peete made two 3-pointers early in the first quarter to help Portsmouth build a double-digit lead that forced Bedford out of its zone and into a man-to-man defense. Bedford played man-to-man against Portsmouth during the regular season when the Clippers posted a 56-42 victory.

"Some days he's really hot and some days he's (zero) for the day," Portsmouth coach Jim Mulvey said. "It's a rhythm-confidence thing. The moment's not too big for him, and he's not afraid to fail - and that's a big part of it."

Peete is better known for his defense. He typically guards the opposing team's top shooter, and limited Bedford's Max Chartier to four points Saturday.

"He had a really good game defensively against Max," Elmendorf said. "Their defense is fabulous. They really can lock you down. They can play serious D. Every possession they make you take a tough shot."

Portsmouth went unbeaten en route to winning last year's Division II championship. Saturday's victory stretched Portsmouth's winning streak against NHIAA opponents to 43 games.

"Once I saw those first couple go in I knew it was going to be a good day," Peete said. "Winning the state championship and going undefeated is the greatest feeling. It's the most satisfying season I've ever played in."

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