HAMPTON — The Winnacunnet High School boys basketball team was short-handed two starters for its game on Tuesday at Pinkerton Academy.
Senior Joe LaRosa (nose) and junior Nick Hepburn (concussion) missed the game, a 54-31 win for the Warriors.
Winnacunnet head coach Jay McKenna expects LaRosa back for Friday’s game at Manchester Central, while the hope is that Hepburn returns to action next week.
Junior guards Jordan Fuller and Connor Considine got the starts. Fuller had six points and six assists, and helped hold Pinkerton leading scorer Jay Reynolds to seven points.
“(Fuller) played well on both sides,” McKenna said. “(Reynolds) is a really talented kid, and we did a nice job on him. (Considine) had another solid all-around game and gave us some quality minutes.”
Sophomore James O’Hara also saw more playing time, scoring 11 points and grabbing nine rebounds in 16 minutes of action off the bench.
“This is a great opportunity for us to build some depth,” McKenna said. “(O’Hara) gave us a nice boost at the end of the first and into the second with a couple of quick baskets, he played really well.”
It was the most minutes O’Hara has played since an 8- to 10-minute showing in the season opener against Portsmouth.
"(O’Hara) is one of those talented kids on the offensive end,” McKenna said. “He knows how to score; he’s a creative scorer. Making the jump from freshman to varsity, defensively, is huge, especially as part of what we are doing. He’s getting adjusted and even when we get kids back, he could see more time going forward.”
McKenna also said senior Matt Fiorentini played well defensively off the bench.
“It was a very good team effort on our part,” McKenna said.
Senior Ben Allen scored a game-high 19 points for Winnacunnet, while Jack Schaake added nine.
Head of the class
Winnacunnet (4-0) joins Salem (5-0) and Exeter (4-0) as the three lone remaining undefeated teams in Division I.
“Salem is proving why people were saying they would be one of the favorites and they’re living up to the expectations,” McKenna said. “They are well-coached, have great guard play and a great big guy. And Exeter is just incredibly talented. We can’t get too far ahead of ourselves. We’re just focused on Central and want to improve and get better each day.”
Winnacunnet is scheduled to play at Manchester Central (3-2) on Friday. Tip-off is set for 6:30 p.m.
Central is coming off a 65-45 win at Timberlane on Monday.
“Central is a talented group,” McKenna said. “They compete, they play hard, they’re very quick and very aggressive. We have to limit our turnovers and take care of the basketball. If we’re able to do those things that should put us in a good spot to come out of there with a win, but it’s going to be a tough one for us on the road.”
After Friday, Winnacunnet will be home for its next three games with dates against Timberlane (0-3), Keene (3-1) and Dover (2-3).
“It will be nice to get home,” McKenna said.