By: Tuesday and Friday
Trinity’s back court duo of Amanda Torres and Lizzy Meehan combined for 33 points to lead Trinity past Memorial in their prelim game 60 to 46. Trinity will play defending state champion Bedford in the quarterfinals this Saturday at 7:00 pm at Bedford High.
You knew going into this 8/9 game it would be a close and intense intra-city game. The first period found Trinity more comfortable playing in their home gym and in front of a boisterous Pioneer student body. Trinity claimed a 14 to 7 lead at the end of 1 with all 5 starters scoring. Memorial’s Angelina Marazzi and Makenah Grisson scored all of the Crusader’s first period points.
Memorial started taking the ball to the basket more in the 2nd period and created contact. They shot 9 for 14 from the line and this got the Crusaders back in the game. 5’11 Memorial freshman Jenoyce Laniyan created havoc in the Crusader offensive paint as she sunk 5 FTs to bolster the Crusaders chances. Memorial outscored Trinity 14 to 11 to keep it close at halftime only down 25 to 21.
In the 3rd period Amanda “Beep, Beep” Torres started warming up. When I was a youngster the Road Runner was the fastest thing I’d ever seen. I kept on waiting for Wile E. Coyote to catch up to the Road Runner, but never saw it happen. Tonight I saw a bunch of Crusaders in futility try to catch up to “Beep, Beep” Torres. The 5’6 sophomore puts constant pressure on opponents at both ends of the court. Her motor is always running and she NEVER takes a play off. She knows one speed: Extremely Fast.
Torres scored 6 points in the 3rd period, but her best play came with 6 seconds left in the period. The Pioneers were working for a last second shot and they were only up 36 to 35. They missed on an outside attempt. The ball was up for grabs near the charity stripe and the first one to grab (Beep, Beep) was Torres. She quickly drove to the hoop and was fouled by Makenah Grisson. It was her 4th foul. Torres sunk the 2 FTs to give Trinity a 38 to 35 lead heading into the 4th period. This was a bad development for the Crusaders. They started the 4th period without their Go To player.
As the 4th period progressed you could see both teams struggle on offense. The rims became tighter with the finality of one of these team’s having their season end tonight. It was more of a struggle for Memorial with Grisson sitting on the bench. Memorial’s offensive possessions in the first 3 minutes of the 4th became lost excursions down the court. The Crusaders had no flow, they had no scoring and they had no Grisson. With 5:44 left in the game 5’7 Trinity sophomore Danielle Mackey converted a huge And 1 to give Trinity its biggest lead of the game to that point at 42 to 35. A 7 point lead in this game felt like 17. A Hope Willard runner made it 44 to 37 with 4:15 remaining.
Both teams went cold for the next 2 minutes and Trinity decided to run time off the clock. A frustration intentional foul on Lizzy Meehan and her converting 1 of the free throws gave Trinity a 45 to 37 lead with 2:38 left. From here on in was Memorial fouling and Trinity shooting A LOT OF FREE THROWS. Trinity salted away the game at the line in the 4th period by going 18 – 29 from the charity stripe.
Angelina Marazzi and Makenah Grisson each had 13 to lead Memorial. Jenoyce Laniyan and Aj Akot each had 9 also. Memorial had a solid season. The Crusaders return 4 of their 5 starters next season. They will have some good young players entering Memorial next year from Manchester Jr High feeder programs.
Amanda (OK I won’t say it this time) Torres had 22 to lead the Pioneers. Senior floor leader, Lizzy Meehan, finished with 11 points. Rugged 5’8 junior Hope Willard had 6 points to go along with many rebounds and steals. She is a nice Lady enforcer on the court. Win or lose against Bedford on Saturday the future looks bright for Trinity IF all their underclassmen return. The Pioneers have a bushel of underclassmen on their roster. With the Central Little Green Ladies on the upswing also with a number of talented underclassmen, the future looks very bright for the Queen City in D1 girls. It wouldn’t be going out too far on the basketball limb to say Central, Trinity and Memorial could be in the Top 6 to 8 teams next season in D1 girls’ basketball.
The next time you’re driving down the Bridge St hill in Manchester by Trinity and hear, “Beep, Beep”, don’t be surprised if instead of seeing a car you see Amanda Torres running past you and a lot of D1 girls’ basketball opponents chasing after her. Just pull your car over and try to get a good look at the lightning quick 5’6 Lady Pioneer.