NHIAA Boys' Basketball: Merrimack survives scare
Gendron had 13 of his 24 and Bourque 11 of his 16 points in the first half and the Tomahawks played good defense while taking advantage of Winnacunnet’s poor shooting to open up a 32-17 advantage at the break.
“I knew they weren’t going away,” said Merrimack coach Tim Goodridge. “It was halftime and we were up by 15 and some of the kids thought it was time to go home and have a pizza party. That wasn’t happening.”
After Gendron tipped in his own rebound to give Merrimack a 42-27 lead with four minutes left in the third period, Knollmeyer scored seven straight points to make things interesting at 42-34.
Anthony Primavera cut it to 50-46 with a basket in the lane with 5:40 remaining in the fourth, before a Gendron 12-foot baseline jumper and Bourque free throw got it back to 53-46.
Boucher made the first two of his three foul shots for 56-53.
Austin Franzen then made two free throws at the other end to push it to 58-53, and the Tomahawks closed it out with their foul shooting.
“They do that,” said Winnacunnet coach Jay McKenna. “Historically, Merrimack teams are very strong from the free throw line.”
The Tomahawks made 21 of their 28 foul shots in the game.
They led 4-0 on a steal and layup by Knollmeyer and a strong inside move and basket by Alec Boucher in the first minute. It was 5-5 with 5:22 left in the period.
But it was more than a quarter before Winnacunnet scored again.
Dunn cut it to 20-9 with a couple of foul shots.
Knollmeyer hit from in close, and Matthew MacLeod banked a 3-pointer with 15 seconds left, and it was 29-17 with just 15 seconds to go.
Winnacunnet, the No. 6 seed, closed out at 13-7.