By: Tuesday and Friday
Carmen Giampetruzzi scored 18 points to lead Trinity to their 2nd State Championship in 5 years. With 16 seconds left in the game the title hopes of Pioneer Basketball Land laid in the hands of the All State junior as he stepped to the line. Trinity clung to a 48 to 46 lead as Giampetruzzi had a one and one FT. Giampetruzzi, who has a knack of being in these situations on a consistent basis, buried both FTs to give Trinity the 50 - 46 lead and the State Title.
BG was ready to play for a title today. The Cardinals were clicking on all cylinders in the first quarter. They outscored Trinity 17 to 14 as all 5 starters scored. Kyle Gavin hit a couple of 3's and Jack Zimmerman added another. Rhoades and Keefe knocked down 3's for Trinity to keep the Pioneers close. The Gabriel vs Lunn matchup was a draw. It became evident early on others would have to step up for either side. Enter junior Carmen Giampetruzzi. He put the Pioneers on his back in the 2nd quarter and scored 10 points to give them a 28 to 23 halftime lead. He did this on an array of offensive moves that shows how hard he is to defend on the court. The only thing that stopped G in the 2nd quarter was foul trouble.
When G picked up his 3rd foul with a lot of time left left in the half the Trinity coaching staff started burning the mental fires. After resting G for a bit they decided to substitute G in on offense and take him out on defense. G said "It was tough to pick up my 3rd foul in the first half. The coaches told me they were going to substitute me in on offense when ever they could. I thought it was good strategy." The last 3 minutes of the first half was handled like the last 3 minutes of the game by the Trinity coaching staff. Sometimes, a State Title game causes a team to do things differently. It worked for Trinity as they went to the break with a 5 point halftime lead.
With 6:16 left in the 3rd quarter Wenyin Gabriel hit a MEDIUM RANGE jumper to give Trinity their biggest lead of the game at 32 to 23. BG turned their lonely deficit eyes to their leader Jeff Lunn. He produced a runner to cut the BG deficit to 7 at 32 to 25. Marandola then hit a MEDIUM RANGE jumper with 4:28 left to make it 32 to 27 Trinity. BG was back in the game. The MEDIUM RANGE jumper...... allow me to digress.
As Jeremy, Chris Shuker and Tommy Ameen well know I have been extolling the advantages of being a basketball player that can actually hit a MEDIUM RANGE jumper in 2013. It's almost a lost basketball art. Too many times a player will pull up for a 3 pointer, which leads to a long rebound going the other way. Too many times a player will force the drive to the hoop and pick up a charge. The MEDIUM RANGE jumper is not a bad option players !!!. If you keep practicing that 8 to 15 foot shot you could some day play before about 3000 people in a playoff game at UNH.
Back to the Title game..... Lunn was starting to make his presence felt. BG was back in the game. Others had to step up for the Pioneers to keep BG at a distance. Brad Rhoades hit another 3. Pat Keefe then became an alternative source of scoring. With time running down in the 3rd quarter and the Pioneers clinging to a 39 to 36 lead Keefe came up to half court and launched a long one. As it drifted towards the hoop Wol Majong circa 2011 came in to guide the ball into the net to give Trinity a much needed momentum booster at 42 to 39 at the 3rd quarter buzzer. Wol Keefe, I mean Pat Keefe said, "I knew it had a chance to go in after the release. It was great to see the ball go in."
The game really tightened in the 4th quarter. Giampetruzzi picked up his 4th foul on a Lunn drive with 6:08 left. Offensive possessions took longer for both teams. The aura of hoisting the plaque took over the psyche of both clubs as turnovers were more prevalent. mental mistakes became the norm. Sometimes, when you have the title at your grasp the mental pressure can be over bearing. Mabor Gabriel picked up his 4th foul with 3:31 left. G and G with 4 fouls? The BG offense got easier. With 2:57 left Gavin was fouled by Keefe on a 3 point attempt. He hits all 3 FTs to bring BG within 4 at 46 to 42. Huge sequence for BG !!
Pat Keefe hit a huge jumper to give Trinity a 48 to 42 lead. "I didn't feel the need to step up as a scorer. I just played my own game" said Keefe. With G and G having 4 fouls Jeff Lunn took advantage and made a runner with just under a minute and a 5 foot floater with 30 seconds left to get BG within 2 at 48 to 46. Mabor Gabriel on Lunn: "Lunn is a good player. He's big and strong. We did our best to try and not let him catch the ball so he could do something with it."
With 23 seconds left Trinity took a TO in their backcourt. When you looked at the scoreboard there was one thing that burned very brightly on the Lundholm light bulbs: BG 2 TEAM FOULS. BG had to get busy fouling. Trinity put the possession pressure in the hands of Carmen Giampetruzzi. The QB would now convert to a basketball tight end and receive the majority of the next 5 inbound passes. A precious 7 seconds went by on the 5 inbound fouls to get Trinity to the line. With 16 seconds left, Giampetruzzi stepped to the exact same FT line Trinity superstar Danny Duval did in 1976 in a State Title game against Portsmouth and G very "Dan Duval-like" sunk the FTs to help give Trinity the 2013 Title.
BG played a noble game. Jim Migneault did an outstanding job of coaching this #7 seed to the state title game. BG knocked off the #2 and #3 seeds. They gave the #1 seed all they could handle. "I told them to keep their heads up, I'm proud of them. They pulled together as a team, and got better as the season went on. In the Salem game late in the year is when I got the sense we were capable of making it here" said Migneault. BG will be heard from next season. The Cardinal basketball future is bright.
Speaking of future, let it be noted my last question of the basketball season was posed to Pat Majong.... I mean Pat Keefe. I asked the ever smiling effervescent junior when he would start getting ready for next season? He said "Tomorrow." You have to love a State Championship son of a State Championship father and coach !!