By Nathaniel Ford
EXETER – If you like offense, then this was the game for you. A combined 174 points were poured in during the Astros’ 22-point victory, 98-76.
Pinkerton scored their season high, nearly reaching the century mark behind 16 three-point field goals.
This was a Friday night battle between two top programs in Division I. Pinkerton entered the night 3-0, and Exeter was 2-1 coming in, with their one loss coming by just three points against Alvirne.
“The program at Exeter is obviously very, very good. Coming into tonight, this was a big test for us,” said Pinkerton head coach Mike Dunham. Pinkerton is regarded as one of the top teams in Division I, and they want to prove that they really are contenders.
The Astros blew it open early. After starting the game down 4-7, their largest deficit of the game, they went on a 25-3 run and ended up finishing the first quarter up 29-15. Senior forward Jackson Marshall scored a game-high 12 in the 1st quarter.
Pinkerton did not look back, extending their lead to 24 points going into the break. They hit four threes in the second quarter, with three of them coming from Christian Brander. Brander made five threes in the first half, helping to lead them into the half up 52-28.
Pinkerton’s offense showed no signs of slowing down in the second half, pouring in 23 points in the third quarter.
“I wanted to find my shooting again. I wasn’t able to shoot well in the first half,” said Pinkerton’s Charlie Ludden. He is Pinkerton’s third highest scorer on the season, and he was held to just five points in the first half.
Ludden stood by his word, as he found his shot early. He scored eight-straight points for Pinkerton to open the third quarter. He scored 14 in the third and was a big reason Pinkerton was able to keep a large lead.
The fourth quarter went the same as the rest of the game, as Pinkerton controlled the momentum once again and cruised to a 98-76 final score. Marshall led the team with 30 points, with Brander finishing with 23 and Ludden 19.
Exeter was paced by 22 points from Brady Rogers, with Nate McNiff (15), Nik Greco (14), and Dylan Whelan (11) all scoring double figures.
Pinkerton improves to 4-0 on the season and looks to continue this strong season following their runner-up campaign last season. “We want to get to Durham and win this time,” said Ludden. The Astros are not satisfied after their loss against Bedford in the state championship.
“We’ve gotta play a little better defense that’s for sure. Our shots were falling though, which obviously helps” said Dunham. Pinkerton has given up 70, 60, and 76 in their last three games, which they look to clean up.
Pinkerton looks to continue their unbeaten season as they go on the road against Spaulding on January 2nd. Exeter looks to correct their two game skid as they go on the road against Dover on the same day.
Check out photos of the action by Jeff Criss of Perfect Photos…