By: Ross Laorenza
The gym was packed to full capacity as the Trinity Pioneers took on the Bedford Bulldogs for the second straight year in playoff action. Trinity was led by Carmen Giampetruzzi and Wenyen Gabriel. Bedford featured captains Cameron Meservey, Jacob Capistran and Taylor Grande.
Gabriel opened the scoring with a nice move underneath the basket. Capistran countered with a straight-a-way three to give Bedford the early lead. Trinity’s ability to draw contact on the way the hoop was key in this game. On back-to-back possessions Giampetruzzi and Gabriel drew contact, made the shot and the and-one for two three point plays. Gabriel’s defense was incredible in this game. He racked up 10 blocks, each sending the crowd into cheers and chants
Brad Rhodes put Trinity up 11-8 with under a minute to play in the first, but Grande was fouled at the other end beyond the arch and went to the line for three free throws. He hit all three, amid plenty of distraction from the Pioneer fans, to tie the game at eleven. Giampetruzzi muscled his way to the hoop as time expired and put one threw to give Trinity a 13-11 lead after one.
Giampetruzzi open the scoring in the second quarter as well, followed by a pair of free throws from Patrick Keefe to give Trinity a six point edge. Ten of Carmen’s 24 points came in the second quarter. He was active from all ranges and got to the line again completing another and-one with 2:44 remaining in the half. Jacob Capistran scored four straight points for the Bulldogs before Giampetruzzi struck from long range putting Trinity up 25-18.
Wenyen Gabriel got the crowd on their feet with a monster dunk with less than two to play putting Trinity’s final points on the board. Grande would get one more shot down for Bedford before the half, drawing contact, but missing the free throw. At halftime Trinity leads 27-20. Carmen Giampetruzzi led all scorers in the first half with 16 points, followed by Wenyin Gabriel with seven. Cameron Meserver scored 6 points and Jacob Capistran score 5 for the Bulldogs.
Trinity extended their lead to 12 point with shots by Rhodes and Giampetruzzi. The opened the third quarter with a 12-4 run, including 7 points by Gabriel. Bedford stormed back into play with back-back threes from Capistran and Meservey to end the quarter trailing 39-30.
The momentum seemed to be shifting in the Bulldogs favor as we started the final quarter. Trinity head Coach was imploring his players to “Get to the basket,” during the opening possession. Two more blocks by Gabriel momentarily slowed down the Bedford offense. With four minutes gone the Bulldogs had climbed to within five points.
Two free throws by Giampetruzzi and a nice shot from Connor Walsh gave Trinity a 9 point cushion as time slowly ticked off the clock. Bedford kept on fighting though. Meservey got to the line for three free throws making them all, and Samuel Stanton hit a nice shot to pull back within five.
Giampetruzzi got to the line again completing his third and-one putting Trinity up 46-38 with less than a minute remaining. Taylor Grande hit a shot for Bedford leading to a time out. Out of the time out it was Meservey from beyond the arch again, this time putting his team within three points. But, like I said earlier Trinity’s ability to draw contact was crucial in their victory tonight along with Gabriel ball swatting defense.
With 30 seconds remaining Patrick Keefe took a pass from Giampetruzzi and headed for the basket. He got his defender up in the air and then put the shot home off glass. He would miss the free throw giving Bedford a glimmer of hope, but it was all for naught. The teams traded free throws in the final 16 seconds of the game and in the end it was Trinity who was victorious by a final score of 50-45.
Giampetruzzi led all scorers on the night with 24 points, followed by Gabriel with 14 points, 17 rebounds and his 10 blocks. Cameron Meservey scored 14 points in the losing effort for the Bulldogs.
From Trinity High School in Manchester, New Hampshire. Ross Laorenza: New Hampshire Notebook