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Friday Night, 2/26

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Friday Night, 2/26

Post  OntheBlock on Fri Feb 26, 2016 2:10 pm

4-4 on Turmoil Tuesday, 77-25 on the season.
Eight days left in the regular season. Pinkerton has a lock on the top 4 (if they lose twice, they are the #4 seed at worst because of tie breakers). Also, 1 win gives Pinkerton first place because of the tie-breaker vs. North. The remaining top 4 could come from any of the top 8.

Barring Memorial losing out, and Londonderry, South, or Salem winning out, the top 8 should also be locked in with Pinkerton, North, Central, Exeter, Merrimack, Bedford, Winnacunnet, and Memorial. Now we just need to see where everyone settles, and what the match ups look like.

Great games on tap for tonight! No way to pick a game of the night. (Disclosure: listed ranking are based on Monday’s power poll, and may be different if the poll was taken today.)

#1 Pinkerton (14-2) @ #4 Exeter (11-4) – Very likely that Round 2 of this match-up will happen at UNH. But, the telling stat of this game is that Exeter has lost to all of the other 11+ win teams. In order to win here, the Blue Hawks will have to beat the press, and the perimeter defenders in the half court, and take the ball to the hole. If they get Olson in foul trouble, the middle softens, and opens up the offense.
The key to the game for the Astros will also be taking the ball to the hoop, and not settling for outside, contested 3’s. In the 20 point loss to Bedford, Pinkerton shot 2 for 23 from three point land. When they drive, they dominate. Not only do they have multiple finishers on the drive, but they also have a fantastic drive and kick game. Couple that with solid FT shooting. When they play their game, the Astros are easily the best team in D1 if not the state.
Astros win a playoff type battle.

#2 Central (11-4) @ #8 Winnacunnet (10-5) – The Warriors last regular season home game where they are 6-1 on the season. They have wins over some big teams (Pinky, Memorial). One loss by double digits (Merrimack). Their remaining 4 losses were by a combined 11 points. It just shows that they battle every night. The starters clearly know each other well, and are comfortable on the floor against everyone. Winni will need to trap and create turnovers, and spread the scoring across 7-8 players to win this game.
Doc Wheeler has a great top 3 who can dominate. But, there are some puzzling losses (Salem, BG, Londonderry by 16), and some uncomfortably close wins (Keene by 2, Spaulding, Trinity). If Central is to be considered a threat to the Championship, it has to start tonight. They’ll have to beat Winni’s ¾ to full court press, and prove that they can defend all 5 players on the floor.  The top 2 scorers for Central will have to combine for 50 points if they are going to win tonight.
Central pulls of the win tonight.

Londonderry (8-7) @ #3 Nashua North (13-3) - If I could go back in time, I’d love to be at the Feb. 5th Lancer practice. On the 6th, Londonderry gave Pinkerton everything they could handle in a tight game where the Astros played very well. Since then, the Lancers seem to be a different, much more competitive team. They come into tonight with a ton of confidence, especially after the blowout of Memorial.
North comes in with a 7-0 February, and a big win over Exeter on Tuesday. Their guard depth is impressive with Silva, Hale, Linton (maybe a forward), and Boykin. Inside McCarthy, Vishvak, and Gosselin are very physical, and wear teams down. The Titans have all the tools to be in the Championship game, and their last 3 regular season games are against tough opponents where they can solidify their standing in the Division.
North is more proven on the season, and takes the win tonight at home in a close game.

#6 Merrimack (11-4) @ #5 Memorial (10-5) – Talk about a tough stretch. Merrimack’s final three opponents (Memorial, North, and Pinkerton) have a combined record of 37-10. If the Tomahawks were to go 0-3 in these games, it wouldn’t be a complete shock. But, that’s not going to happen. Merrimack is too good. They are tenacious. Like all teams, they have taken a few nights off this season (BG, South, Alvirne). They will need to bring everything they’ve got in these final three games, and into the playoffs.
Memorial is the big bully in the schoolyard. They beat up on the weaker teams. All of their losses have been to strong D1 teams who have been on a roll when the Crusaders met them. Tonight is no different. Can Coach Quirk yell enough to break his team out of a 2 game losing streak?
Merrimack will not back down tonight, and will get the win on the road, sending Memorial to the bottom of the top 8.

Bishop Guertin (6-10) @ #7 Bedford (10-5) – BG has knocked off giants (Merrimack & Central), but enters the game with a 3 game losing streak. Bedford is a streaky team with a 3 game win streak. They need a 2-1 finish to get a #5 or #6 seed for the playoffs. Tonight Bedford has too much for BG, and gets the win.

Keene (5-10) @ Nashua South (8-7) – South has an outside shot at a #8 seed, and a home game. They need to win out and get help to get there. Keene is 2-10 in their last 10, and need to get some confidence before facing a tough 1st round opponent regardless of where they finish. My faith is in South to get tonight’s win.

Salem (7-Cool @ Dover (2-13) – Dover’s two wins came over Keene and Pembroke. Salem is better than that, and they win to get to .500 tonight.

Concord (2-13) @ Spaulding (5-10) -   The Red Raiders face two tough opponents after this game. They need this win tonight to avoid a #16 seeding. Spaulding takes care of business.

Pembroke (0-15) @ Alvirne (5-10) – Alvirne is another team trying to avoid the #16 seed. They get the win tonight.

Trinity (5-11) has the night off. They are on a 6 game losing streak, but could win their last two games. They could finish as high as a #12 seed, and avoid facing a top 4 team in the first round.

This week’s poll will have tons of movement even if tonight’s games go as expected. But, things don’t ever go as expected.  Looking forward to following the tweets tonight.

OntheBlock
Junior Varsity
Junior Varsity

Posts : 44
Join date : 2014-08-11

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