North tops Tomahawks

MERRIMACK – Nashua North wrapped up the regular season on Tuesday and its three-headed monster should give the rest of Division I plenty to fear.

The Titans brushed off a Merrimack push midway through the game, took control in the third quarter and rolled to a 73-54 victory in an NHIAA Division I boys basketball tilt at Merrimack.

Alonzo Linton, Ronnie Silva and Nate Hale combined for 63 of North’s 73 points.

"We just came out hard in the second half. We just had to keep doing what we were doing, pushing the ball up and getting open shots," said Linton, a sophomore, who led the Titans (15-3) with 23 points and nine rebounds. "Most teams can’t really guard us because we have Ronnie, me and Nate – two shooters and one kid that can really drive."

North never trailed, but saw a 12-point second-quarter advantage dwindle to 25-21 by halftime after the Tomahawks (11-6) closed the period with an 8-0 surge.

"We were playing a little better defense and they were missing some shots," said Merrimack coach Tom Goodridge. "We went to that triangle (defense) for a couple of minutes and slowed them down a little bit and we were fortunate to get back into the game."

However, Nashua was too much to contain. Merrimack cut the deficit to two early in the third frame, but the Titans responded with a 17-3 run to seize control and took a 10-point lead into the fourth quarter. Merrimack never cut it to single digits from there.

"They were just on fire," said Goodridge. "They were a better basketball team tonight."

Silva was a difference-maker in the second half, scoring 16 of his 22 points in the final two quarters. He drained 6 of 8 from 3-point range.

"I had a rhythm, so I just kept shooting," he said.

Hale punctuated the game with an exclamation point, throwing down a dunk in the fourth quarter to cap an 18-point performance. He also tallied a game-high four assists.

Zak Kerr was a bright spot for the Tomahawks, as he led Merrimack with a game-high 24 points and team-high eight rebounds.

Merrimack celebrated senior night and held a moment of silence for Ashley Guindon, a police officer and Merrimack graduate who was killed in action Saturday in Virginia. The Tomahawks conclude the regular season on Friday at Pinkerton.