MANCHESTER — It was not the finish the Trinity of Manchester girls’ basketball team needed.
Trinity led Lebanon by six points with 3:39 to play in the Manchester Central Christmas Tournament championship game Monday night, but allowed Lebanon to scored 13 of the game’s final 15 points and pull out a 47-42 victory.
Lebanon tied the game, 42-42, with 1:11 left when point guard Sam MacDonald came up with a steal and made a layup when the Pioneers were holding the ball in an attempt to protect their two-point lead. The Raiders took a lead they wouldn’t relinquish when senior forward Heather King scored two of her team-high 17 points 10 seconds later.
“Last year (King) was in the background because we had two First Team All-Staters (Moriah Morton and Emily Kehoe), but this year she’s stepped to the forefront,” first-year Lebanon coach Rob Marsh said. “She knows this is her team.”
King, a senior who averaged 10.4 points and 7.0 rebounds per game last season, was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player. She scored 32 points in a victory over Manchester Memorial, and tossed in 26 when Lebanon beat Hollis/Brookline.
“For us to be successful this year she needs to score in the 20-point range, and she needs to be in double figures on the boards,” Marsh said. “Right now we’re seeing that out of her.”
Trinity received a game-high 25 points from sophomore guard Amanda Torres, who fouled out with 19.2 seconds to play. Torres scored 23 of her 25 points in the first three quarters, but she was the only Trinity player who scored in the final four minutes.
Trinity’s 40-34 lead in the fourth quarter was the largest lead in the game for either team.
Lebanon, which beat Portsmouth to win last year’s Division II title, entered the tourmament with a 1-2 record.
Marsh, a longtime junior varsity coach at Lebanon, took over for former coach Tim Kehoe, who stepped down in the offseason for family reasons.
“The kids are starting to learn what it’s going to take,” Marsh said. “This tournament allowed us to build our confidence and find ourselves. The girls are starting to understand their roles. We’ll be fine.”