(Beverly) No question, Lynn English (14-0) is good.
They defeated Beverly (8-6) 86-56 at Beverly on Tuesday night at Beverly to complete a sweep of the Panthers.
I have now seen the Big Three of Division One – St. John’s, Central Catholic, and now Lynn English. St. John’s took their first loss tonight (Catholic Memorial) while both Central Catholic and LE continued undefeated. CC beat Andover.
The Bulldogs weren’t really tested by Beverly so I can’t do a comparison with the other two teams.
That’s not to take anything away from the Beverly effort – there was plenty of it. Before the game, however, I already suspected that they were in trouble when I saw Co-captain Mike Clayton out of uniform. Not many underdogs can do much minus their primary ball handler and his 14 points per game against what Lynn English throws at you.
With LE they got pressure, turnovers, and points in bunches against them. LE pressure led to turnovers (16 for Beverly in the first half).
The Panthers didn’t fold immediately, in fact, trailed just 12-10 with 3 ½ to go in the first period. The beginning of the downhill slide kicked in over the next 5 ½ minutes, however, as good LE fullcourt, trapping defense turned into easy offense with a 14-2 run for the Bulldogs. The LE points came on nothing but layups and free throws. Ryan Woumn (29 points) had four of those layups.
Curtis Manuel (24 points) responded with five in a row, partly on free throws, thanks partially to Travone Berry-Rogers’ unappreciated evaluation of a referee.
The rest of the second quarter, I saw other parts to LE’s offense that make them more of a headache to defend. Irving Vizciano (17 points) and Paradise Hogan (6 points) hit three’s.
Just when I thought LE was all about layups and long-range basketball, they started the third quarter with interior passes to sophomore Keandre Stanton (6’6”). He had a collection of moves that got him to the basket and he knew how to finish.
I was disappointed not being able to see 6’5” LE senior Jarell Byrd (6’5”) play. He warmed up but never saw any action. I learned afterwards that he had hurt his ankle versus Marblehead. During warm-ups, he looked ready to play but there never was a need against Beverly.
Jarell didn’t play so I couldn’t get a read on him. Ryan Woumn (6’3” – senior) did play and was also hard to read. He had 29 points but most of them were on breakaway layups and free throws. He did take the ball into traffic to draw fouls.
No question LE has plenty of weapons. With five games left, I like their chances of going undefeated although Brockton (Feb 7th) might have something to say about that.
Looking ahead, wouldn’t it be great to see LE in the MIAA D1 North tournament get into a dream matchup with Central Catholic with both teams entering the game undefeated. Last year the Bulldogs upset CC in the tournament.
( All stats are unofficial. )