(Danvers) Danvers (7-0) put together a thirty point third quarter and defeated Lynn English (4-4), 90-70, on Wednesday night at Danvers in Northeastern Conference action.
This game was fast-paced from beginning to end as both teams applied full-court pressure. That pressure produced more fastbreaks than it did turnovers. On this night, the Falcons were better finishers, often making an extra pass to get an open layup.
The defending Division 3 state champs, if anything, look stronger than last year. So far they have won every game by at least twenty points.
All five starters for Danvers reached double figures with Nick McKenna leading the way with twenty-three.
The twenty-point spread at the end was a bit misleading because the Bulldogs only trailed by four (42-38) at halftime.
The possibility of the Bulldogs going on in the second half to pull the upset vanished as the Falcons exploded during a four-minute segment of their thirty-point third quarter.
With 5 ½ minutes left in the third quarter, the Falcon lead was just five (49-44). During the next four minutes the game got away from the Bulldogs as Danvers outscored them, 19-4, to race to a twenty-point lead (68-48).
This game ended with a twenty-point difference so the two teams were even on the scoreboard over the remaining nine minutes of playing time.
During the crucial run, Vinny Clifford (16 points) collected eight points including a pair of 3’s. Teammate Dan Connors (20 points) also added eight points getting his from in close.
The Falcons had the long-ball going (they made eight 3’s) and they also had plenty of assisted baskets. I had point guard Eric Martin down for eight assists. Eric had the knack of drawing the defense to him and then feeding to open players lining up 3’s. Nick McKenna had five long ones.
It is easy to go on and on raving about Danvers but undersized Lynn English never quit no matter what the score was. Their speed was impressive and their willingness to go at the Falcons led to some acrobatic shots. Unfortunately, the visitors missed a ton of layups or this game could have been closer.
Fred Hogan (21), Erick Rosario (15), and Johnny Hilaire (12) led the Bulldogs in scoring.
LE got down 29-14 early in the second quarter but Erick Rosario put five points into seven straight Bulldog points to close that gap. The Bulldogs finished the final 2:22 of the half with a 10-1 segment as Fred Hogan cashed seven points including a last-second three to pull LE to 42-38 at the half.
In the fourth quarter the Bulldogs had every reason to lose heart down 77-54 with seven minutes left. Instead LE put up twelve unanswered points getting four each from Erik Rosario and Johnny Hilaire over the next 3+ minutes and the difference between the two teams was eleven (77-66).
But Danvers is so explosive that one minute later they had put together seven consecutive points (Nick Bates had three of them) and an eleven point lead quickly jumped back to eighteen, 84-66.
The next game for Lynn English will be at Winthrop on Friday night (7PM). Danvers will be hosting Salem at the same time on the same night.
I suspect that it will be a standing-room only crowd at that Danvers/Salem game. One side of the court still doesn’t have the wooden bleachers in place.
Johnny Hilaire took a Falcon turnover (they had thirteen) in for a dunk in the fourth quarter.
Dan Connors found plenty of openings in close.
Nick Bates went coast-to-coast after getting a rebound in the last two minutes of the game.
This was my first time seeing Danvers play since March 17, 2012 at the Worcester Centrum when they defeated St. Joseph’s of Pittsfield, 59-47, to win the D3 state title.
It is not hard to imagine the Falcons being the number one seed in Division 3 North come tournament time. I know, there are a lot of regular season games left! Just sayin’.
(All of the pictures above and below enlarge considerably if you click on them.)