NHIAA Basketball: Little Green can't keep up with LancersBy JOE DUBALL
New Hampshire Union Leader
February 16. 2018 10:55PM
LONDONDERRY — You would’ve thought the Londonderry High boys’ basketball team was competing in a track meet instead of a ballgame on Friday night against Manchester Central.
The Lancers ran the Little Green out of the gym on the way to a 55-37 win on Londonderry’s Senior Night. Crisp execution in transition and constantly getting out ahead on the break set the Lancers (9-5) apart as they improved to 9-5 on the season. Londonderry’s best work in transition came while closing out the second quarter on a 15-1 run that set up the win.
“This was the best we’ve gotten down the floor all season,” Londonderry coach Nate Stanton said. “We took advantage of it as much as we could. We saw a hole to work with and they just kept doing it.”
Central (9-5) took a 20-16 lead with an 8-0 spurt just 1:30 into the second quarter, but it didn’t take long for Londonderry to answer. Turnovers and one-and-dones by the Little Green helped pave the way to extra possessions for the Lancers. Those additional possessions yielded eight fast-break points during the big run, leading to a 31-21 halftime edge for the Lancers.
The Lancers had one or two players ahead of the pack on each break. Central coach Dave Keefe chalked it up to sluggishness from his players, but Londonderry started running before fully regaining possession on each of its breaks to get out in front.
“Our bigs were especially good at getting down (the floor),” Stanton said. “We preach to them about getting down to the rim when they can and they certainly did that for us tonight.”
Shane McNamara (eight points) and Ethan May (five points) were among those pitching in on the break, both offensively and defensively. McNamara, who started in his final home game after coming off the bench most of the season, showed well overall with good awareness on offense while providing a defensive spark in the post.
“Shane’s been that X-factor for us in the sixth man role,” Stanton said. “We’ve gone into each game knowing that it can be anyone on any given night. Shane went with that and really came to play for us in this one.”
Jack Anderson led Londonderry with a game-high 17 points while Dakota Bertrand came away with 12, including half of those points in the fourth quarter. Antoine Revere and Yansel Reyes combined for 27 of Central’s points with 14 and 13 apiece.
The Little Green could not protect the basketball from start to finish, which Londonderry capitalized on. On countless occasions, Central tried to throw passes through defenders’ hands or overthrew their teammate while trying to avoid Londonderry players.
“Our biggest problem when we go into our funks is that we don’t value (the ball),” Keefe said. “Stan Spirou used to tell me that there’s one piece of gold and everybody wants it. You have to value every possession and take care of that rock or you’re going to be in for a long night.”
Londonderry honored their seniors before the game and they responded to the praise with 32 combined points. Beyond Bertrand and McNamara’s overall efforts, the Lancers got boosts from reserves Cam Champa, Nate Gervais, Ryan Chisholm and Will Boyle.
“It was a great team effort and I have to be proud of the seniors,” Stanton said. “I’ve challenged each and every one of them in different ways while giving them specific roles. They’ve all stuck with it. I told the guys before the game that some guys don’t hang around for the whole journey. All these seniors did and they deserved it.”