Tournament basketball: Trinity starts fast, rolls into quarterfinals

Feb. 28—MANCHESTER — Trinity High School was down two starters for Wednesday night's NHIAA Division I boys basketball tournament game against Dover, but you wouldn't have known that by the way the Pioneers performed.

Fifth-seeded Trinity forced 30 turnovers, opened a double-digit lead early and breezed to a 74-54 victory over 12th-seeded Dover in the tournament's first round.

"We want to be the hardest-working team in New Hampshire," Trinity coach Ray Farmer said. "When teams go against us, they have to know that, feel that. We call it controlled chaos, and we implemented it great tonight.

"The other thing is we've been starting off slow. That was our challenge tonight. We wanted to come out fast. Come out hard."

Starting guard Kevin Dougherty and guard Connor Bishop, a starter on some nights, both watched the game in street clothes. Guard Jackson Tanguay was also in street clothes, which left the Pioneers with eight healthy bodies.

Farmer said Dougherty is out for the season with a knee injury. Bishop and Tanguay could return this season depending on how deep the Pioneers advance.

DeVohn Ellis led Trinity with 17 points. Evan Dunker added 16 and Derek Erilla scored 12. Jamar Gregory-Alleyne and Jordan Torres each finished with 10.

Trinity led 18-10 after one quarter, 43-28 at halftime and 61-45 entering the fourth.

Dylan Jabre led Dover with 16 points. David Cady made four 3-pointers in the second half and finished with 12.

Dover is the only team that beat top-seeded Pinkerton Academy during the regular season. The Green Wave posted a 74-58 victory at Pinkerton on Jan. 26.

"I was disappointed with our execution," Dover coach Matt Fennessy said. "They get after you and we were lazy with the ball. They put five guys on the floor who can dribble and shoot. Just an off night, I guess."

Trinity (14-5) will play No. 4 Exeter (14-5) in the quarterfinals Saturday night (7) in Exeter. The Blue Hawks beat the Pioneers 76-72 in Exeter during the regular season.

The Pioneers used an 8-0 run to take an early 11-2 lead. Dunker scored nine of his team's first 11 points.

Trinity extended its lead to 16 points, 36-20, on a Torres basket late in the second. Dover cut its deficit to nine points with 4:48 left in the third, but Trinity went on an 8-2 spurt to take a 53-38 lead with 3:05 remaining in the third. The Pioneers stretched their lead to 67-45 by scoring the first eight points in the fourth.

Trinity has won six of its last seven games, and 11 of its last 13.

"Basketball is a game of ebbs and flows," Farmer said. "I thought we controlled the momentum for most of the game."