QCIBT: Trinity eyes title with win

·3 min read

Dec. 28—MANCHESTER — It's been a long time since Trinity High School won the Queen City Invitational Basketball Tournament. Since 2008, to be exact.

This year's Pioneers are halfway to the title, however, as Trinity opened the QCIBT with a 67-36 victory over Manchester West at Memorial High School on Monday night.

Trinity, which entered the tournament as one of three unbeaten teams in Division I, raised its overall record to 6-0 and will face Manchester Memorial, who won an 85-82 OT thriller Monday over Manchester Central, in Tuesday night's championship game, which is scheduled to be played at Memorial beginning at 6:30 p.m.

"I just told the guys we want to be at UNH on Feb. 20 (for the Division I championship game) and this is the first step toward knowing what winning a championship is all about," Trinity coach Keith Bike said. "It's two games, I understand that, but it's to get that feel of (a championship) under your belt."

The game was close for more than a half. The Pioneers, who led 25-18 at halftime, had a 31-28 lead midway through the third when Trinity point guard Tyler Bike (Keith's son) took control. Bike scored 14 points in the third quarter, including a 3-pointer that gave the Pioneers a 46-29 advantage entering the final eight minutes.

"He did what a player is supposed to do — he took over," Keith Bike said. "They found him with the ball. It's not just shooting and scoring, he distributes better than anyone else we have. He made the right plays and made the right shots."

Bike led all scorers with 22 points. Trinity received 19 from Andrew Politi and nine from Max Shosha. Politi made five 3-pointers, including four in the first quarter.

Aiden Scott-Beaulac led West (3-3) with 14 points. Eliel Chaez was next wih nine.

"In the second quarter we settled for 3s and we weren't hitting," Tyler Bike said. "They left gaps and in the second half we tried to preach getting in the paint and kicking it out, or getting it in the paint and finishing. And we did."

Trinity began the fourth quarter with a 17-1 run.

"We were great for a half," West coach John Langlois said. "We started to commit some turnovers — those always hurt you bad — and we started to get discouraged. Then it was over. Trinity is a very good team. Glad we played them. That's how you get better."

The QCIBT, which is usually an eight-team tournament, was reduced to four Manchester teams this year. Tournament organizers said the event will likely return to eight teams next year. West will face Central in tonight's consolation game, which will begin at 5 p.m.

"I think it's important to be in a championship game," Keith Bike said. "Hopefully we'll have a good tournament atmosphere (Tuesday night). We'll see what happens."

rbrown@unionleader.com

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