Daily Archives: March 4, 2012

Northfield Mount Hermon wins the NEPSAC AAA championship with 74-70 victory over St. Thomas More

Northfield Mount Hermon (2011-12 NEPSAC AAA champs)

Spike Albrecht (23 points and game MVP) defended by Torin Childs-Harris

(Beverly) Northfield Mount Hermon hung on to defeat St. Thomas More, 74-70, for the third time this season and won the NEPSAC AAA boys’ championship on Sunday at Endicott College.

The Hoggers (30-5) had wins over the Chancellors (26-8) in January (90-84) and February (76-70) so the teams knew each other well.

NMH took the lead for good 58-56 on a three by Sam Donahue (9 points) with 7 ½ to go.  They would build their lead up to seven three times after that with the last being (72-65) on a triple from game MVP Spike Albrecht (23 points) with thirty-six seconds left.

Thereafter things got very, very interesting.  Barrington Stevens (16 points) drained a three for STM and Spike missed the front end of a one-and-one.  Curtis Jones slashed to the basket and NMH got tied up for a jump ball turnover.  When the dust cleared on all that action, St. Thomas More had the basketball, trailed by only two (72-70), and had sixteen seconds left.

Barrington Stevens (16 points) gets a good look on the last possession

In the Chancellors last possession, the ball was in the dribble of Barrington Stevens most of the time.  He eventually broke past Spike Albrecht for a very good at about a 15-footer that missed.  Ethan O’Day (16 points) got the rebound for the Hoggers and quickly passed to Spike who was fouled.

Thirty-three seconds earlier the 6-1 senior had missed the front end of a one-and-one.  This time with three seconds left he connected on both attempts sealing the win for the team from Gill, Massachusetts.

#4 seed NMH had a marvelous tournament. Getting by undefeated #1 seed Brewster on Friday night was a significant upset.

Both St. Thomas More (Oakdale CT) and NMH had major runs in the first half.

Northfield jumped off 5-0 before STM put up ten straight.  Old-fashioned and new-fashioned three’s by Rodney Sanders (21 points) plus a converted rebound by Barrington Stevens and jumper by Ky Howard (10 points) were where the points came from.

The Chancellors were soon up 12-7 but the Hoggers responded with thirteen unanswered.  In this run Ethan O’Day (16 points) put on a show with a tip-in, a layup, and a dunk.  Evan Cummins (12 points) had a layup and a tip in and Spike put up a three-spot.  That gave NMH a 20-12 advantage.  But STM answered with two three’s and back and forth it went in the first half.

The Hoggers had a 36-35 halftime lead.

There were plenty of long ones made in this one.  St. Thomas More had ten and Northfield Mount Hermon nine but none was bigger than the one Spike Albrecht drained late in the shot clock in the last minute.  That connection turned out to be the winning basket.

Northfield Mount Hermon box score

St. Thomas More boxscore

(The pictures above and below enlarge significantly if you click on them.)

NMH celebrates

Ethan ODay (16 points)

Rodney Sanders (21 points – 14 in the first half)

Evan Cummins (12 points)

Chancellor coach Jere Quinn

tie up

Ky Howard (10 points)

Sam Donahue (9 points) and Spike Albrecht

clinching free throw

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Danvers cruises to D3 North semis with (75-45) win over Pentucket

Will Angelini (20 points) contests George Merry (13 points)

Eric Martin (23 points) including nineteen in the first half

(Danvers) The Danvers Falcons made it look way too easy as they buried Pentucket, 75-45, in the D3 North quarterfinals on Saturday night at DHS.

Danvers moves on to face Wayland in the D3 North semifinals at Wilmington High School on Tuesday (7PM).

In this one, Danvers (17-4) broke away from a 6-6 tie after four minutes and by halftime were in complete control (44-24).

Pentucket (14-8) was smothered defensively down one end and victimized down the other end by a team packed with players able to get to the rim.

Danvers scored twenty-five baskets in the first three quarters and twenty-one of them were layups or converted rebounds.  Let’s just say they turned up plenty of high percentage shots.

Junior Eric Martin (23 points) had nineteen in the first half.  Danny Connors (18 points) added twelve first half points.

Meanwhile, Pentucket had very few good looks thanks to persistent man-to-man pressure.  A big plus for Danvers was that defenders had shot-blockers beyond them closer to the basket.  There were very few easy Sachem attempts.

6-6 Will Angelini (20 points) led Pentucket scorers with nifty moves around the basket.  When he went out with his second foul with 2 ½ minutes left in the first quarter the Danvers lead was only 13-8.  The rest of the quarter the Falcons put a 10-4 run in place and took a 23-12 lead over the team from West Newbury.

Danny Connors (18 points) layup

Halfway through the second period that 11-point quarter edge had become twenty (38-18) and you knew that things were not likely to get any closer.  The Falcon advantage increased to 63-34 by the end of the third quarter.

The most exciting play of the game was in the second quarter when Will Angelini flew in from the right on a feed from Patrick Kelly and put down a rousing dunk.

When DHS coach John Walsh announced in the press that Corey McNamara was the best shooter he had seen this year,  you knew that the word would reach the Falcon defenders.  Corey has been no stranger to tight coverage this season.  That Danvers could limit the senior to eight points says something about their defenders.

One nice thing about this type of game is that the reserves get to play in front of a large crowd.  There were people turned away.

Corey McNamara (8 points) defended by Jon Amico

DHS is close to installing permanent bleachers.  The extra seating provided by those bleachers would have helped in handling a crowd estimated between 800-1000.

The students on hand were especially well behaved after school officials got within range of them.

The lights in the gym flickered with about six minutes left.  Someone quipped at the time that the lights had gone out for Pentucket quite a while earlier.

6-7 George Merry ran into foul trouble covering Will Angelini but still ended up with thirteen points.

Will Angelini and Corey McNamara have been significant players for the Sachems for a number of seasons.  There was seldom a game in which they weren’t heavily covered. They still managed to score a lot of points.  Replacing the two of them will be a huge challenge for PHS coach Leo Parent.

After watching Danvers play I left wondering how any team in D3 can beat them.  They executed so well at both ends.

Danvers is a team that plays the regular season against D2 teams and then drops down to D3 for the tournament.  Most D3 schools in that arrangement struggle to qualify for the tournament (10 wins) and often need the Sullivan Rule to get in.  Not Danvers. They won the challenging Northeast Conference (South) this season.  They could well be playing in the Worcester Centrum later this month.

Two coaches with games tomorrow were in the crowd – Tom L’Italien (Newburyport) and John McNamara (Pentucket girls).

Danvers boxscore

Pentucket boxscore

(All of the pictures above and below enlarge significantly if you click on them.)

Will Angelini

Nolan Dragon

Danny Connors and Parker Kelly

action under the basket

Will Angelini floats in

George Merry

Nick Bates looks for an opening

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