Saturday was a special day at Southern New Hampshire University's fieldhouse. Manchester Central and Manchester Memorial had a girls/boys basketball doubleheader to honor the late Sam Carey. Carey is the former standout player at Central and then in college at SNHU was passed away in November due to injuries sustained in a car accident. His number 52 was retired, and fans made donations to his family. At halftime of the boys game there was an emotional ceremony to honor him.
As for the games, the boys game was a defensive battle with Memorial playing a very active 2-3 zone which made it extremely difficult for Central to get any good looks at the basket. When the Little Green did get any looks they were struggling to make them, and Memorial also did a nice job on the boards to hold Central to one shot on offense (Tong Akot had 12 rebounds for Memorial). As a result the Little Green scored just 6 points in the entire 1st quarter, 16 in the 1st half, and the Crusaders came away with a 45-36 win in Division boys basketball.
Zoubel Iradakunda led Memorial with a game-high 16 points, showing good tenacity going to the basket. Majak Wenyin had 9 points for Memorial, including a big layup late in the game after Oumaru Kante (who also played well running the point and had 6 points) missed the front end of a 1-and-1. Nobody for Central went after the rebound, and Wenyin was able to pick the ball up and lay it in with no one defending him.
Central was down 39-27 with 3:11 left in the 4th quarter but then went on an 8-0 run to cut the Memorial lead to 39-35 with 1 minute left. Troy Pelletier (14 points) had 2 threes in the comeback, but the Crusaders were able to hang on from there.