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NHIAA Basketball: Central handles Pinkerton

New Hampshire Union Leader

January 20. 2018 3:00AM
Central's Erik Cortijo Rodriguez battles Pinkerton's Andrew Lufkin at Pinkerton Academy in Derry on Friday. (THOMAS ROY/UNION LEADER)

DERRY — Manchester Central boys’ basketball coach Dave Keefe said he didn’t like a lot of what he witnessed during his team’s 57-44 triumph over Pinkerton Academy on Friday night, but added that he likes what he sees when he looks at the big picture.

Friday’s victory pushed Central’s Division I record to 5-1. It was also Central’s fourth consecutive road victory.

“On a positive note to be 5-1 with this crew I’m very pleased,” Keefe said. “Do we have a lot of work to do? Yes. Are they willing to do the work? I think they are. So I’m pleased about that.”

Central was sloppy with the basketball and struggled at the offensive end for much of the contest and that allowed Pinkerton to take a 33-31 lead — its first lead of the game — when Sam Goy dropped in a 3-point shot with 2:33 remaining in the third quarter. It was all Central after that however. The Little Green scored the final six points in the third and then opened the fourth with a 13-4 run to build a 13-point lead, 50-37, with 3:16 to play. Central led by 15, its largest lead in the game, with a little more than a minute to play.

The loss dropped Pinkerton’s record to 1-5.

“We played real good defense for a while, and then we have lapses where we lose our focus,” Pinkerton coach Pete Rosinski said. “We were right there with them, then we made some bad decisions with the ball. It’s a matter of being consistent throughout the whole game. We have moments and pockets of the game either offensively or defensively where we’re not consistent and we make bad decisions.”

Sophomore forward Dede Nyiang led the Central offense with 18 points. Sophomore Yansel Reyes added 11, and Erick Cortijo Rodriguez tossed in nine.

Goy, a junior forward, led all scorers with 19 points. He scored 10 points in the second quarter, when Pinkerton outscored Central 17-9 to trim the Little Green’s lead to one point, 25-24, at halftime. Junior guard Andrew Lufkin and senior forward Matthew Furgal each scored seven points for Pinkerton.

Central, which led 15-6 after one quarter, missed nine of its 10 free-throw attempts in the first half, but made 15 of 18 in the second half.

“That first quarter I thought we came out with pretty good defensive intensity, we just weren’t putting it in on the other end,” Keefe said. “I guess there’s gonna be games where you just have to grind it out. I just think we have to take better care of that basketball. We just didn’t finish, We just didn’t finish tonight.”

Central will be at home against Spaulding (Tuesday) and Memorial (Friday) next week.

“We’ll get back at it Sunday,” Keefe said. “Like I said, to be 5-1 in this league and win four in a row on the road ... that’s not a bad thing.”

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