Pinkerton Astros Boys Basketball '15-'16

Sat, Mar 12, 2016 04:30 PM @ Pinkerton
Team 1 2 3 4 Final
Winnacunnet 12 20 14 22 68
Pinkerton 16 8 14 15 53

Fouls, rebounding struggles doom Pinkerton in tourney loss

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Saturday, March, 12 By David Willis
Staff writer

DERRY — Pinkerton looked poised to finally make their run. 

A Matt Rizzo tough rebound and layup cut the Astros' deficit to just four points with 1:28 to play, and with Winnacunnet ice cold from the floor the favorites looked ready to strike.

But just as they had all night, fouls came back to bite Pinkerton.

Following the Rizzo bucket, the Astros were whistled for fouls on back-to-back possessions, resulting in four quick points.

Winnacunnet knocked down the last of its whopping 29 free throws — on 42 attempts — for the night and the No. 7 Warriors downed No. 2 Pinkerton in the New Hampshire Division 1 quarterfinals.  

"We cut the lead to four and it looked like we were back in it," said Astros coach Pete Rosinski. "But foul trouble got the best of us again. We made too many mistakes, committed too many fouls and we did not handle it well. We just couldn't fight through it."

Pinkerton was forced to play without leading scorer Brennan Morris (18 points per game), who was in street clothes with a concussion that held him out of the entire tournament.

"Not having Brennan definitely hurt us," said Rosinski. "He's a big body that can rebound and score. Injuries definitely hit us at the wrong time."

Winnacunnet (14-6), which also beat Pinkerton in its regular season meeting, now advances to face Manchester Central in the Division 1 semifinals. Pinkerton closes out its season 15-5.

"Pinkerton is a very tough team," said Warriors coach Jay McKenna. "But our kids buckled down. We did a great job on the boards against a bigger team, hit our free throws and played tough defense against a few very good Pinkerton players."

The Astros came out fast, starting the game on a 16-6 run including 10 fast points for Thomas Romick.

But starting in the second quarter, the Warriors began to attack, and Pinkerton struggled to respond. The Astros were called for eight fouls in the second quarter — and Winnacunnet responded by going 11 for 16 from the line — and by halftime the Warriors had pulled ahead 32-24.

Worse still, Romick was forced to the bench with three fouls, and Ben Olson was also whistled for two quick fouls and his playing time was limited.

After alternating buckets in the third, Pinkerton limited the Warriors to only two baskets in the fourth.

But with every miss, smaller Winnacunnet seemed to come up with every rebound and draw another foul. And the Warriors iced the victory from the line.

"They were very aggressive, and once the refs started calling fouls we did not handle it from a focus standpoint," said Rosinski. "Tommy is an excellent rebounder and he was in foul trouble and we didn't have Brennan so that hurt. The refs made good calls. We just made too many mistakes."

Rizzo led the Astros with 16 points and eight rebounds, while Joe Merrill hit three 3-pointers and had five steals.

"It's really unfortunate," said Rosinski. "The officials did a good job. We made mistakes, we got hurt on the boards and they were more aggressive. They played hard, and we couldn't hit our shots at the end."

Game Statistics:

Winnacunnet (68): Liam Viviano 3 16-18 23, Zach Waterhouse 2 5-7 10, Freddy Schaake 1 6-11 8, James Morse 1 0-0 3, Logan Keene 6 0-3 13, Anthony Primavera 4 2-3 11. Totals 17 29-42 68 

Pinkerton (53): Thomas Romick 4 1-2 11, Ben Olson 1 1-2 3, Seth Guilmette 1 1-2 3, Matt Rizzo 5 4-6 16, Matt Anzivino 3 0-0 7, Joe Merrill 3 0-0 9, Trystan Brown 1 0-0 2, Nick Bortone 0 2-5 2, Matt Lemire 0 0-0 0, Cason Giordano 0 0-0 0, Riley Hogel 0 0-0 0, Ryan Philibotte 0 0-0 0. Totals 18 9-17 53 

3-pointers: P — Romick 2, Rizzo 2, Anzivino, Merrill 3; W — Viviano, Waterhouse, Morse, Keene, Primavera

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