Little Green Still Undefeated in NHIAA Play
By: Ross Laorenza
The Varsity boys from Manchester-Central came up LARGE in the second half of tonight’s game in Merrimack. After being held to just 19 points in the first half, the Little Green put up 33 to in the second half to win 52-47.
The cold temperatures had nothing to do with the poor shooting, but Merrimack’s zone did. Central had the ball for almost 2 minutes trying to pass through it at one point, with a foul finally being drawn by #15 Mike Plentzas ending the possession.
The junior guard from Central, Plentzas, had a great game. His defense helped slowed down the Tomahawk’s shooters all game. He started the game along with Dawson Dickson, Troy Pelletier, Brett Hanson and Tyler Kelly.
Little Green Men
Dawson Dickson knows how to play the game of basketball and when he wants to be, he can be great at it. He distributes the ball better than some college level players and he’s smart about it. He put a goose egg up offensively in the first half, but it didn't rattle his head. His passes stayed accurate and he kept feeding the boys with hotter hands. Dickson only scored 2 points late on free throws, by his teammates shared the burden of winning with him.
Troy Pelletier, the lone senior starter on the team, took over the 4th quarter. He had two big steals late as Merrimack tried to come back with less the 3:00 minutes to play. Back to back he came off his man to intercept a long pass and then in the finals minute of play. He is the vocal leader for the younger Central squad. He’s a true professional. I could hear him rallying his team, late and kept his composure throughout the game. Pelletier finished with 14 points on the night.
Mike Plentzas had 13 points in the win. His jump rarely missed and he took some hard fouls, one of which wasn’t even seen. Kid took a two-armed hockey style cross check to the back away from the ball while he was fighting through a screen. He picked himself up and kept on motoring; didn't even complain. Central’s boys know they’re game and they know well enough not to cry foul. That goes to show the high caliber of athletes that comes from “Doc” Wheeler’s program.
Sophomore Brett Hanson made a splash tonight with 10 points, including two buckets from beyond the arch. Junior, Tyler Kelly added 8 points of his own.
Bright Future for Merrimack Sophomore
Austin Franzen (#3) scored 11 points tonight for Merrimack and was 3-3 from the great beyond. He is the only sophomore on Merrimack’s Varsity roster and got the nod tonight starting. His teammates tried to feed him the ball late, but the passes were either stolen or a taller defender would throw a hand in his face and the shot wouldn't quite fall right for him. He is a solid shooter and played well in the zone defense, tonight. This kid is definitely one to watch as he develops over the next few seasons.
Eric Gendron led all players in scoring with 19 points. Shayne Borque had 8 points in the loss for the Tomahawks.
I saw some of the JV game as I prepared my notes from the Varsity game. These kids have skill. Coaching is excellent at Central. All of the players I met were very well spoken and can play amazing hoops. Keep up the good work! They play next on Tuesday at Timberlane.
Central’s varsity boys team is now 8-0 in the NHIAA regular season. Their ability to make the extra pass allowed them to come back in the second half. If you have a fundamentally sound team you can compete. When you have a fundamentally sound team, that works together, communicates and has the talent; you WIN.
The Little Green have all those things, as do several other Division I schools. Memorial, Nashua South, Bedford and Trinity are the others four teams that stand out in my mind (with honorable mention for BG, Merrimack, Salem and Nashua North). I have heard very good things about other Division I teams, but of the team I have covered those 9 teams standout, because of their fundamental execution and overall play.
From the H. Dana Gymnasium in Merrimack, New Hampshire; Ross Laorenza: New Hampshire Notebook. Stay safe.