Trinity’s Tyler Bike goes to the bucket during the QCIBT.

Tyler Bike is more than just a scorer for the Trinity boys basketball team. The point guard dishes assists, posts the occasional double-digit rebound haul and provides leadership even as a sophomore.

Bike, a Merrimack resident, tries to do a little bit of everything to help the Pioneers succeed, said his dad, Keith, who is Trinity’s head coach.

Bike averaged 16 points over Trinity’s 5-0 start to the NHIAA Division I regular season and run to the Queen City Basketball Invitational Tournament title last month, earning him the December Apple Therapy Services/Bedford Ambulatory Surgical Center/Express MED Athlete of the Month award from the New Hampshire Union Leader Board of Judges.

“He had one game — I think it might’ve been (Dec. 20) against Salem — where he had 12 assists and there’s a couple games where he had seven steals,” Keith said. “He’s trying to play like a Russell Westbrook.”

Bike scored a month-high 25 points in a 72-48 victory at Manchester Memorial on Dec. 17 — the first meeting between the Queen City rivals since Trinity defeated the Crusaders in the playoffs last year. The Pioneers reached the Division I semifinals last winter.

“He’s a pass-first point guard but when he’s getting to the hoop and he’s making his shots, he’s going to score points,” Keith said. “He can score 20-25, but he wants to pass first.”

Rebounds aren’t usually a big part of his game, but Bike grabbed 11 of them, alongside 19 points for a double-double in a 72-55 Pioneers win at Keene on Dec. 22.

Bike is working on developing his shooting, which he focused on last offseason, he said. And, he added, he has improved his leadership skills this season.

“Last year, I was the freshman on the team, I was a little quiet, I didn’t really talk that much,” Bike said. “We had the leading scorer in the state, player of the year, Royce (Williams). I was kind of behind him and now I’m trying to step into a leadership role and start to be the real point guard of the team.”

The QCIBT had a smaller field this year — Memorial, Trinity, Manchester Central and Manchester West participated — but the Pioneers won the holiday tournament for the first time since 2008 behind two game-high 22-point outings from Bike. Trinity opened the QCIBT with a 67-36 win over West and came back to beat Memorial, 63-61, in the final.

Trinity trailed the Crusaders by five points in the fourth quarter before Bike scored 13 of his 22 points.

“Me as well as all my teammates were like, ‘We’re not losing this game,’” Bike said of the final. “We needed to go out there and stop playing around. ... We did that and I ended up just getting the ball in my sweet spots and (was) able to hit. We played good defense towards the end. We just kept pushing.”

Bike said now the Pioneers have experienced what it is like to win a title and are after another one.

“Now that we have that under our belts, we want to go win the state championship,” he said.

Other athletes considered for the December award were Pinkerton Academy basketball player Liz Lavoie, Plymouth State University basketball player Kyler Boss, University of New Hampshire basketball player Amanda Torres, Dartmouth College hockey player Sydney Herrington and Somersworth/Coe-Brown hockey player Aaron Bono.

Lavoie, a sophomore, averaged 17 points and led the Pinkerton girls in scoring in five games over its 6-0 start to the NHIAA Division I season. Bosse, a sophomore guard from Manchester, averaged 17.5 points, six rebounds and one steal over a 3-1 December campaign for the Plymouth State men. Torres, a graduate student guard from Hudson, averaged 11.5 points, three rebounds and 2.5 assists over an 0-4 December run for the UNH women.

Herrington, a junior forward from Bow, recorded three goals and three assists as the Dartmouth women went 3-2 last month. Bono, a senior captain, logged 10 goals and five assists over Somersworth/Coe-Brown’s 3-0 start to the NHIAA Division II season and 3-0 run to repeat as the Peter Hall Christmas Tournament champ. Bono was the tourney’s MVP.


Previous 2021 winners: January, Diana Pivirotto, East Kingston (hockey); February, Royce Williams, Manchester (basketball); March, Isabella King, Bedford (basketball); April, Sam Sacerdote, Hanover (baseball); May, Tim Zepf, Londonderry (outdoor track); June, Jonah Wachter, Concord (baseball); July, James Pleat, Nashua (golf); August, Tristan Lucier, Manchester (baseball); September, Darian Lopez-Sullivan, Dover (football); October, Addison MacNeil, Brentwood (field hockey); November, Drew Heenan, Londonderry (football).

To submit a nomination for future Athlete of the Month consideration, email the Union Leader Sports Department at sports@unionleader.com and enter “Athlete of the Month” in the subject line.