The Memorial boys team gets plenty of coverage in the media. But tnight in Manchester a Crusader basketball team was hoisting up a championship trophy - and it wasn't the one led by Madol and Morgan. It was the one led by Gendron and Elezovic.
Ashley Gendron had a game-high 24 points to go with 7 rebounds, and Amra Elezovic had 12 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists, and the Manchester Memorial girls basketball team defeated Bow 51-43 in the Queen City Girls Christmas Tournament championship game on Thursday night at Central High in Manchester.
Here's the game's complete recap, plus video highlights and a post-game interview with Tourney MVP Ashley Gendron.
2nd Quarter Was the Difference
Early on in the 2nd quarter the game was all tied up at 16-16. The 2 teams went back and forth trading baskets up until then, as it looked like 2 evenly matched squads. But then Memorial went on a 10-0 run, to take a 26-16 lead which turned out to be the difference in the game.
Gendron (who scored 18 of her 24 in the 1st half) was dominant in the run, showing the ability to score the basketball both inside and out. Memorial moved the ball well on offense to create open looks and on defense they buckled down and prevented Bow from getting in any sort of rhythm. Elezovic had some nice passes and also hit a pair of big three pointers for the Crusaders.
Memorial Took Care of Business
Bow (from Division III) was once again missing their best player, 6'0" senior forward Maggie Crisman, who is out with a broken foot. When you consider that, you would have to consider Memorial (from Division I) to clearly be the favorites. Fellow starters Sunday Swett and Savanna Stanley were both also out of the lineup for this game.
"Maggie broke her foot, she's going to the doctor's on Monday and hopes to be cleared to play then" said Bow head coach Bill Vermette, who is in his 1st year at the helm of the Falcons program.
When you consider they were missing 3 key players it is very impressive that Bow was able to hang with Memorial as well as they did. Not only were they tied with Memorial 16-16 in the 2nd quarter, but they also made a little comeback in the 4th quarter as well.
Memorial led 42-27 early in the 4th (their largest lead of the game). You have to give credit to Bow though for not giving up. They kept fighting, and led by point guard Lindsey Nerbonne (team-high 15 points) and forwards Jill Chergey (7 rebounds) and Kendra Toellner (7 points and 5 rebounds), the Falcons clawed their way back into the game. They outscored the Crusaders 16-9 the rest of the way.
Still a Good Tourney for Crusaders
Memorial got the win, and did so without key reserve Danielle Fletcher (concussion). Sophomore point guard Allie Hartford also missed the whole 4th quarter after she hit her head going after a loose ball late in the 3rd quarter. Gendron and Elezovic came up big for Memorial, while Christa Sopel, Ari Dimou and Taylor Leonard all played well in supporting roles.
Not only did they beat a scrappy Bow team in the final, but the Memorial girls also defeated Trinity and Hollis-Brookline in this tournament (2 very good wins).