Div. I Boys' Basketball Championship: Little Green cap undefeated season
Central punctuated its 2013-14 campaign by winning the Division I championship with a 70-61 victory over Merrimack on Saturday at the University of New Hampshire's Lundholm Gymnasium.
"It's hard to win," Central coach Doc Wheeler said. "It's hard to win a game, and to go 25-0 - I can't tell you how good that feels. That motivation (to go undefeated) helped us build and get better in a lot of ways.
It was Central's 18th state championship, which is the most of any Division I program.
"That's a really good basketball team," Merrimack coach Tim Goodridge said. "They're deep, they're good, they're well-coached. We struggled all night. We couldn't get our offense going, and that's a tribute to Central, too. As good as they are offensively, they play pretty darn good defense too.
Central led 56-40 entering the fourth quarter, but Merrimack opened the quarter with a 14-2 run and was within four, 58-54, with 2:53 to play. Central responded with a 10-2 run that gave the Little Green a comfortable 12-point advantage with less than a minute remaining.
Central led by as many as 16 in the second half.
"They just have so many weapons," Goodridge said.
Gendron made nine of 16 shots from the field, and 12 of his 13 free throw attempts.
Central led 18-11 after one quarter and 33-20 at halftime. Central's largest lead in the first half was 14. Gendron did all of Merrimack's scoring in the first quarter, when he also picked up two fouls.