By: Ross Laorenza
Noah Beygelman and Ian Cummings combined for 33 points off the bench in Merrimack's 54-42 win at home against Winnacunnet. Beygelman, one of eight seniors on the Tomahawk squad, set a personal season high with 18 points to lead the team in scoring.
"He's been playing really well the last couple of weeks, said Merrimack coach Tim Goodridge. "The last two games he's given us a huge lift. That's what seniors should do."
With two impressive defenses squaring off tonight, scoring was hard to come by in the opening quarter. Dan McKillop scored inside for the game's first points cutting to the basket. Zach Waterhouse drained a three from the corner to put Winnacunnet in front 3-2. His efficiency from long range proved to be a threat all first half. Merrimack would retake the lead with a pass from Zak Kerr to Ian Roberts.
Next, Michael Lewis got to the line for Winnacunnet and tied the game at 4 going 1 for 2. Ian Cummings scored his first points of the night at the free throw line as well entering the game near the end of the first quarter. His two free throws along with two from Jake Giannelli gave Merrimack and 8-6 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Waterhouse continued his excellent shooting in the second quarter adding two more from beyond the arch that helped propel Winnacunnet to an 18-13 lead. A big rebound and basket from Andrew Wojciak cut the lead to three points. Liam Viviano used his quickness to get to the line and made 1 of 2. A steal and lay-up by Waterhouse seconds later gave Winnacunnet their largest lead of the night thus far, 21-15.
After two free throws from Roberts cut the lead down four, Viviano came away with a steal and drew contact at the basket to put himself at the line again. He made 1 of 2. Enter Beygelman...
With the the Tomahawks trailing by 5 points, Noah Beygelman's corner three gave the team a much needed boost. They would outscore Winnacunnet 11-6 in the final 2:30; 10 of those 11 points belonged to Beygelman. He continued to find himself with open shots and scored with under 20 second to go giving Merrimack the 28-27 halftime lead.
The third quarter consisted of two majors runs, one by each team. Winnacunnet opened the quarter on a 7-0 with shots from Logan Keene, Zach Waterhouse, Anthony Primavera and a free throw from Liam Viviano to put the Warriors ahead 34-28. Merrimack was held scoreless by the Winnacunnet zone for nearly six minutes in the 3rd.
Beygelman hit from mid range to stop the bleeding for Merrimack, and then they followed with a 7-0 run of their own. Off a Beygelman miss, Andrew Wojciak raced in for a rebound, made the shot and drew contact. His free throw attempt was unsuccessful. With time now winding down it was Mike Dudash's turns for the and-1 opportunity. With just seconds left in the quarter he grabbed an offensive board, dribbled once, and then put a shot up with his defender all over him. Shot good. And-1 good. Tomahawks lead, 35-34.
They would never trail again, outscoring Winnacunnet 19-8 in the 4th quarter. Ian Cummings had an excellent 4th, scoring 11 of his 15 points on the night. The offense really flowed threw the young sophomore in the late stages of the game. He had two really great moves to the basket evading his defender and making the lay up in both occurrences.
At the other end of the floor Liam Viviano did his best to try and keep Winnacunnet in the game. He went to the line frequently in the 4th, making 6 of 8 free throws. When he wasn't driving to the rim he looked to pass the ball to the perimeter deep threats like Zach Waterhouse, but the shots wouldn't fall.
Final score, Merrimack: 54, Winnacunnet: 42.
As I mentioned earlier it was a career day for Noah Beygelman who totaled a game high 18 points. Iam Cummings finished with 15 points, and the Merrimack bench outscored the Warrior bench 35-9 overall.
Liam Viviano led the Warriors with 16 points. Zach Waterhouse totaled 11 points, but was shut out in the second half.
From Merrimack, New Hampshitre; Ross Laorenza: New Hampshire Notebook