Broncos rally past Titans for 65-59 Chick-fil-A Tournament victory

NASHUA – When things are going well for the Alvirne High School basketball team, the Broncos are rebounding and getting into transition, and when they aren’t, they’re playing a patient halfcourt game.

There were stretches Thursday when Alvirne coach Seth Garon thought his team did all of those things well, and stretches when the Broncos didn’t.

Fortunately, for Garon and Alvirne, they did it well enough in the fourth quarter to comeback and beat Nashua High School North 65-59 in the first day of action at the Chick-fil-A Holiday Basketball Tournament at Nashua South.

Both teams return to action at the tournament on Friday, as Alvirne will play Souhegan at 6 p.m. in the winners’ bracket, while North will face Milford at 3 p.m. Also in the winners’ bracket Friday, South will face Thornton Academy, of Saco, Maine, at 7:30 p.m., while Hollis Brookline will face Goffstown at 4:30 p.m.

Alex Wetmore had 19 points and Tyler Brown added 18 to lead the Broncos back from an eight-point deficit in the first half and from seven points down at the start of the final quarter.

“We came back from two deficits, which was good,” Garon said. “We didn’t pack it in. We started distributing the ball better and being more patient and getting up and down the floor when we could.”

Alvirne also withstood a stellar night from North’s Jordan Lates, who had a game-high 23 points, including 14 in the third quarter.

North led by one, 23-22, at halftime and had a 27-25 lead 90 seconds into the third, but Alvirne went on a 12-0 run to take a 10-point lead.

“We rebounded the ball better, which got us out in transition,” Garon said. “I think when we were in a halfcourt set, we were a little more patient. That was good to see. We were very impatient in the first half.”

But the Titans answered, closing the quarter on an 18-1 to go up 45-38 at the end of the third. Lates scored five straight points to cut Alvirne’s lead to 37-32, and after a Broncos’ free throw, the North senior scored nine of the Titans’ final 13 points of the quarter.

“He had a good quarter,” North coach Steve Lane said. “He ran out of gas in a little bit in the fourth and took some suspect shots. He’s your best player and you want him to have the ball, you want him to score.”

North pushed the lead up to nine points, 49-40, on a layup by Drew Sheridan with 6:04 left in the game, but Alvirne answered with a 14-5 run to tie it at 54 with a little more than three minutes to play.

The Broncos went ahead for good on two free throws by Wetmore and went up five on a 3 by Brett Richardson with 1:22 to play.

A 3 by North’s Ashea Bittle made it a two-point game in the final minute, but two baskets by Wetmore put the game out of reach.

at Nashua

ALVIRNE (65)

Alex Wetmore 6-5-19, Tyler Brown 6-5-18, George Notini 5-0-10, Sam Bonney-Liles 3-0-7, Evan Hunt 2-1-5, Brett Richardson 1-0-3, Danny Tucci 1-0-3. Totals: 24-11-65.

NASHUA NORTH (59)

Jordan Lates 8-4-23, Drew Sheridan 4-1-9, Brennan Kastens 3-1-7, Jefry Almonte 3-0-6, Ashea Bittle 2-0-5, Matt LaVallee 1-2-4, Brendan Barrett 0-2-2, Demitri Jackson 0-2-2, Brandon Rodriguez 0-1-1. Totals: 21-13-59.

Alvirne 9 13 16 27 – 65

North 15 8 22 14 – 59

3-pointers: A-Wetmore 2, Richardson, Brown, Tucci, Bonney-Liles; N-Lates 3, Bittle. Next game: Alvirne plays Friday at 6 p.m.; North plays at 3 p.m.