Category Archives: Danvers

Winchester starts fast and wins D2 North title 3-1 over Danvers

Winchester captains Delaney Markham, Augusta Burhans, Grace Casey, and Shelley Blusack with D2 North trophy

Winchester celebrated two goals in the first three minutes

(Lynn MA) It figured to be a close match.

#4 Danvers was the defending D2 state champ while #2 Winchester had lost only once.

But it didn’t turn out that way.

The Warriors (21-1) jumped on the Falcons (18-3-1) from the get-go with two goals in the first three minutes and another one in the first half.

Danvers would get a second-half PK score, but Winchester had separation early and took the D2 North title, 3-1, on Monday afternoon at Manning Field in Lynn.

The Warriors will vie for the D2 state title on Saturday (12:30PM) against Hopkinton at Xaverian High School.

“It was a dream start,” said Winchester coach Rick Emanuel post-game.  “We wanted to establish our style of play which is an attacking style of play.  We wanted to go out as quickly as we can and luckily a couple of our early shots went in.”

Winchester poured into the Danvers end on their first possession.  Ella Ross sent sophomore Ally Murphy deep into the Danvers end.  Ally was able to get almost on top of the Danvers GK before releasing a shot past her.  That took all of thirty-seven seconds!

Ally Murphy (15) scores the first Winchester goal

“When a goal happens there’s usually another one coming soon,” said Danvers coach Jim Hinchion.  “We hoped it would be us, but it wasn’t.”

Instead it was Winchester’s Hannah Curtin running the right side, turning the corner and driving in the second goal only ninety-four seconds after the first one.

“We definitely weren’t expecting to be able to score that quickly,” said Hannah Curtin afterwards.

“We felt that we would have opportunities wide,” said Coach Emanuel.

Lauren Clement shoots

The Falcons called timeout after the second goal.  They began to apply pressure.  “At no point did we think this game was out of reach for Danvers,” added Coach Emanuel.  “They are a strong, fast, skilled team that could get those goals.  I saw them do it against Masco.”

Lauren Clement, Arianna Bezanson, and Madison Capezzuto had shots on net for the Falcons during their attempts to get back into the game.

But then the D2 Player-of-the-Year (Hannah Curtin) went to work.  With exceptional speed and dribbling skills, she got past two defenders and drew the attention of other Falcons.  The extra defenders dealing with Hannah left space in the middle unoccupied.  That’s when Hannah sent a pass across the goal that teammate Jordan Weinberg was ready for at the far post.

“I turned away from the second defender,” recalled Hannah, “and crossed it to the second six.  Jordan (Weinberg) was there to finish.”

Jordan Weinberg (5) scores the 3rd Winchester goal

The third goal happened at 18:21.

Hannah Curtin and Abbi Clickstein

“We knew that they loved to go to 24 (Hannah Curtin),” said Coach Hinchion. “She’s the player-of-the-year.  When she brings it down the sideline it can open things up in the middle.  You talk about not losing sight of those marks but you’re also trying to see what 24 will do with the ball.”

The three-goal lead made life easier for the Winchester defense. “Having the lead lessens the nerves a little bit,” explained defender Hannah Markham.  “You play with a little more composure.”

“They were a really fast team, so we needed to get to the ball first,” added Hannah.  “There wasn’t a lot of time to dribble out of the back.  We kind of had to play kick-and-run but our forwards are really fast so it works.”

The Falcons trailed 3-0 at the half.

“We’ve been down before and come back but against a team like Winchester that defends so well, it was a lot to ask,” explained Coach Hinchion.

Danvers had several chances early in the second half.  On one of them, Riley DiGilio made a nice run down the left side.  On another, a corner kick ended up on the ground in the box, but Jessica Pelletier couldn’t get a foot on it.

At 22:18 Hannah Markham was whistled for knocking down a Falcon in the box.  Riley Baker converted the penalty kick.

Riley Baker penalty kick

“I didn’t think it was a penalty,” explained Hannah.  “The girl literally hit my body and fell.”

Hannah Markham

There was time for the Falcons but the Winchester defense, including Hannah Markham, used more long clearances to wear down Danvers and limit their time to attack.

The win by Winchester avenges a 1-0 loss to Danvers in last season’s D2 North title game.  “We never really talked about last year,” said Coach Emanuel.

Hannah Markham confessed that she was “still a little bitter over last year’s loss.”

Winchester is from the Middlesex League while Danvers is in the Northeastern Conference.

Danvers is 38-5-2 over the last two seasons.

Winchester, with one game to play, is 38-3-2.

We’re talking about two awfully good programs!

Winchester has now won eighteen straight games.  Only loss?  Notre Dame of Hingham.

Hannah Curtin (24) looks and dribbles

When asked about Hannah Curtin’s play today, Coach Emanuel answered the question with a question, “How about Hannah Curtin today and all season?”

“Hannah has been an important part of our success,” he added, “but she would be the first to tell you that she doesn’t do it alone.”

I take plenty of soccer pictures hoping to find action and the ball.  Usually when players are dribbling, they have their heads down.  In this game I caught Hannah dribbling and at the same time looking toward the middle for teammates to pass to.  Just a sophomore!

College plans? Hannah Markham: “I am going to go to Trinity (Hartford Ct) to play soccer.  I will probably major in business.”

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

Action around the Winchester goal

Ally Murphy scored the first Winchester goal

Danvers captains Jessica Pelletier, Lauren Clement, Madison Pesce, Erica Blanch, and Riley Baker with the D2 North finalist trophy

Georgia Lawrence

Hannah Curtin (24) speeds into space

Madison Pesce

Riley Baker (19) avoids Augusta Burhans (17)

Riley DiGilio shoots

Winchester team with trophy

Jordan Weinberg

Loose ball in the box

 

 

 

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Devan Harris (35 points) leads Danvers past Belmont 62-59 in D2 North semi-finals

Devan Harris (35 points) made shots in close all night long.

Devan Harris (35 points) made shots in close all night long.

Devan Harris draws contact in the lane

Devan Harris draws contact in the lane

(Beverly MA) Danvers made only one shot from the outside, missed ten free throws, and didn’t take good care of the ball (eighteen turnovers) but they still found a way to win.

How?  The Falcons (20-3) totally dominated on the inside.  Control of the interior enabled Danvers to edge Belmont, 62-59, on Tuesday night to reach the Division 2 North finals on Saturday at the Tsongas Arena (3:45PM).

Junior Devan Harris (35 points) was unstoppable inside gathering rebounds and converting seven caroms into put-back baskets.

Peter Merry (6-8) had six blocks (by my count) and discouraged the Marauders a number of times from even taking shots close to the basket.

This was a game in which leads were short-lived.  There were eighteen lead changes and the final one came with twenty-three seconds left.

Keith Burns lines up a shot

Keith Burns lines up a shot

#6 Belmont (18-7) jumped ahead, 59-58, on a three by senior Keith Burns assisted by Matt Kerans with fifty seconds left in the game.

After a Belmont timeout, Devan Harris tried an outside shot and missed but Kieran Beck came up with the offensive rebound and was fouled.

Kieran connected on both pressure shots giving the Falcons the lead, 60-59, with twenty-three seconds remaining.

Matt Kerans tried a 3-pointer from straight away which rimmed out.  Devan Harris rebounded and was fouled.

Devan made one of two giving Danvers a 61-59, edge with twelve seconds left.

Matt Kerans went for another three, with Kieran Beck defending, and missed again with 1.4 seconds to go.  Freshman Devon Allen got this rebound, was fouled, and made one of two attempts.

Matt Kerans fires a three in the closing seconds

Matt Kerans fires a three in the closing seconds

Belmont ended up with less than a second to try for a three.  Kieran Beck intercepted the pass in and the celebrating began.

Belmont was clearly at a size disadvantage from the get-go.  Adam Kleckner (6-4) was their tallest player and he fouled out at the end of the third quarter.  Adam had a quiet six points in this game.  In the Belmont win over Salem in the D2 North quarterfinals, Adam had twenty-one points.  Earlier in the season, in a win over Lexington, the Belmont junior put up thirty-six points and collected fifteen rebounds.  No question the Marauders missed Adam at both ends of the court in the final quarter.

Kieran Beck looks to pass

Kieran Beck looks to pass

It’s hard for me to imagine a team winning a game in which all their field goals (twenty), but one (Kieran Beck three), are scored in the paint.

Belmont connected seven times from long range.  They came very close twice to an eighth 3-pointer in final twenty seconds that could have given them the victory.

The Marauders trailed 12-10 in the first quarter before running off eight straight points.  The points came from Adam Kleckner with four and Justin Wagner and Jalyn Hinton two each.

Trailing, 18-12, it was #2 Danvers’ turn to run consecutive points.  The Falcons put together a steak of nine unanswered.  It was Devan Harris scoring on his own miss and following that up with a layup on a nice pass from Mark McCarthy.  Kieran Beck did the rest with the lone Danvers outside score and two free throws.

Peter Merry gets a rebound

Peter Merry gets a rebound

Belmont hit two 3’s late in the second quarter (Keith Burns and Matt Kerans) to erase a Danvers five-point lead.  Danvers led, 29-28, at halftime.

Devan Harris erased a four-point Belmont lead (39-35) in the third quarter with two layups and two free throws.

The Marauders broke a 43-43 tie with a seven-point run stretching into the final quarter.  A layup and two free throws by Matt Kerans were followed by a long one from Keith Burns.

The resulting 50-43 spread with 7 1/2 minutes left looked like the beginning of the end for the Falcons but they came back with three inside scores (layups Devan Harris and Rashad Francois plus a converted rebound by Devan) and cut the Belmont lead to one (50-49) six minutes left.

There were five lead changes the rest of the way and plenty to cheer about for both fan bases.

Adam Kleckner saves a ball going out of bounds

Adam Kleckner saves a ball going out of bounds

Former Falcon point guard Eric Martin was in the house.  No question Coach John Walsh would have found a spot for him on the floor especially in the second half when Danvers had thirteen turnovers.

But despite the deficiencies the Falcons found a way to win and extend their improbably season.  No one imagined such a successful season for a team losing four starters and Vinny Clifford.

Kieran Beck and Peter Merry each had ten points for Danvers.

Ben Lazenby (16) and Keith Burns (14) had double figures for Belmont.

Belmont is out of the Middlesex League while Danvers plays in the Northeast Conference.

There was certainly a good crowd on hand but the noise and numbers hardly compared to the reported 3,500 in attendance for the St. John’s/Central Catholic game the night before.

Danvers box

Belmont box

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

Adam Kleckner defends Mark McCarthy

Adam Kleckner defends Mark McCarthy

Kieran Beck gets a late-game offensive rebound

Kieran Beck gets a late-game offensive rebound

Ben Lazenby, Peter Merry, Justin Wagner

Ben Lazenby, Peter Merry, Justin Wagner

Falcons celebrate

Falcons celebrate

Devan Harris shoots over Justin Wagner

Devan Harris shoots over Justin Wagner

Aaron Croce goes for the block

Aaron Croce goes for the block

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Fred Hogan reaches 1000 and leads Lynn English past Danvers 71-66

Fred Hogan afterwards with family and friends

Fred Hogan afterwards with family and friends

Fred Hogan splits Mark McCarthy and Devon Allen to reach 1000 points

Fred Hogan splits Mark McCarthy and Devon Allen to reach 1000 points

(Danvers MA) A huge second half by Fred Hogan enabled Lynn English to defeat Danvers, 71-66, on Tuesday night in Northeast Conference action.

The 5-11 Bulldogs senior had a 21-point second half and reached the 1000-point plateau in the process.

Fred gained his 1000th point on a drive to the basket in the fourth quarter with 3 1/2 minutes left.  The basket was not only cause for stoppage in play but it also gave the Bulldogs their first lead (62-60) of the night.

The score was tied (64-64) going into the last minute of regulation.  This was where Fred Hogan really took over.  He assisted on Danny Lukanda’s layup and followed that with a fast-break layup of his own to get LE up by four (68-64).  After Mark McCarthy’s drive brought Danvers to within two (68-66) with twenty-four seconds left, Fred took the inbounds pass, was fouled, and made both ends of a one-and-one to get the Lynn English lead back to four.  Solid Bulldogs defense forced a wild Falcons’ shot and then Danny Lukanda made a free throw with ten seconds remaining to close out the scoring.

Mark McCarthy (17 points) finds an open look

Mark McCarthy (17 points) finds an open look

Those of us on hand watching the first half would never have dreamed that Fred Hogan would have a chance to get the sixteen points he needed to reach 1000.  In a two-point first half, Fred saw few opening and plenty of freshman defender Devon Allen.

The entire LE team was unimpressive in the first half.  They came in having lost three of their last four.  They were quickly down 7-2 and then 14-6 one minute into the second period.  The Falcons put a 12-2 run on LE later in the second period and had a nice 30-14 led with 1 1/2 minutes left in the half.

The Bulldogs trailed 33-22 at halftime.

But what a difference the second half was.  The Bulldogs took control of the tempo and the steals and breakin’s began to add up.

LE got within three (40-37) midway into the third period but credit Danvers they had a rebound putback by impressive Devan Harris (22 points), and a three of the bench by Mike Nestor to keep the lead.  The Bulldogs had free throws by Erick Rosario (15 points) and a layup by Fred Hogan to end the quarter trailing by just two (49-47).

Fred Hogan floats in for two

Fred Hogan floats in for two

The last quarter featured six ties before Fred Hogan took over the final minutes and led the visitors to an important win.

No question Danvers (10-2) missed inside presence 6-8 Peter Merry.  Peter has a hip injury but should return soon.  The Bulldogs’ guards took the ball to the basket with a lot less concern with Peter Merry sitting on the Danvers bench and not in uniform.

No question the backcourt pressure created by LE took a toll on the Falcons in the second half.  The Bulldogs also had the luxury of having shot-blocker Johnny Hilaire (6-6) as the final defender when Danvers broke through the pressure.

The next game for Danvers will be hosting Billerica (2PM) on Super Bowl Sunday.

Lynn English matches up with Salem away on Friday night (7PM).

Danvers box

Lynn English box

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

Devan Harris (#25) had 22 points for Danvers

Devan Harris (#25) had 22 points for Danvers

Johnny Hilaire defends Devan Harris

Johnny Hilaire defends Devan Harris

Erick Rosario (15 points) gets a breakaway

Erick Rosario (15 points) gets a breakaway

Fred Hogan uses his left hand to get a layup against defender Devon Allen

Fred Hogan uses his left hand to get a layup against defender Devon Allen

loose ball

loose ball

Fred Hogan hits in the lane

Fred Hogan hits in the lane

Johnny Hilaire (15 points) finishes a dunk

Johnny Hilaire (15 points) finishes a dunk

Erick Rosario and Stevie Collins double-team Mark McCarthy

Erick Rosario and Stevie Collins double-team Mark McCarthy

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Salem holds off previously undefeated Danvers 41-38

Jamie Dominguez (11 points) hit clutch free throws vs Danvers

Jamie Dominguez (11 points) hit clutch free throws vs Danvers

Devan Harris lines up the last shot of the game

Devan Harris lines up the last shot of the game

(Salem MA) It wasn’t pretty but it was plenty exciting!

Salem held off formerly undefeated Danvers, 41-38, before an excellent weekday crowd on Tuesday night.

Danver’s Devan Harris took the last shot…….a three from the right corner that rimmed out with a second left.  If that goes the game would have gone into overtime, but instead Rashad Keys of Salem secured the rebound and the Witches had the win.

This game was low in scoring but abundant in miscues.  Bad passing decisions caused many of the forty-one turnovers (21 Danvers, 20 Salem) that I unofficially totaled.

Danvers (8-1) started fast getting the game’s first seven points and later building a 19-10 advantage with 4 1/2 minutes left in the second quarter.

Bryan Martinez-Rodriguez (10 points) and David Kazadi (10 points)

Bryan Martinez-Rodriguez (10 points) and David Kazadi (10 points)

The Falcons had five turnovers and one point to show for the rest of the second quarter.  Salem (5-1) took flawless care of the ball and put ten points together (three layups Bryan Martinez-Rodriguez, jump shot David Kazadi, 3-pointer Jamie Dominguez) and had a 21-20 halftime lead.

That one-point lead held up through the third quarter.  Jamie Dominguez (11 points) and Mark McCarthy (12 points) both had two 3’s in the period.  Jamie’s first one was three straight free throws.

Danvers regained the lead (34-33) early in the final quarter as Peter Merry (14 points) converted his own rebound.

Salem scored all the points in the next 3 1/2 minutes on outside shots by Rashad Keys, Kelven Perpetuo, and David Kazadi (10 points) and Danvers never recovered from the 39-34 deficit.  They certainly came close!

Peter Merry (14 points) gets a rebound

Peter Merry (14 points) gets a rebound

Inside scores by Peter Merry at 1:27 and :26 had the visitors within one.

The Falcons gave two fouls and then got Jamie Dominguez to the free throw line shooting 1-and-1 with ten seconds left.  Jamie calmly sank both tries boosting the lead to three.

The Falcons executed their tying attempt perfectly.  The ball was on one side and Devan Harris, who had been in close to the basket all night long, drifted to the weakside corner.  A long diagonal pass (from Kashad Francois) found the Hingham transfer with a great look.  But his shot rimmed out to deny overtime.

A scary moment for Salem was when Rashad Keys went out with a leg injury early in the second quarter.  The newcomer from Mississippi, however, did return in the second half.

Good crowd on hand from both schools.  There was plenty to cheer and groan about in this one.

halftime cancer awareness speakers

halftime cancer awareness speakers

At halftime there was an excellent presentation on cancer awareness.  Both teams were wearing shirts for the event.

Next for Salem is home versus Revere on Friday night.

Danvers will travel to Swampscott on the same night.

Salem box

Danvers box

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

Salem shot blockers

Salem shot blockers

Jamie Dominguez drives on Devonn Allen

Jamie Dominguez drives on Devonn Allen

sportsmanship

sportsmanship

fancy pass

fancy pass

Rashad Keys goes for the block on Kieran Beck

Rashad Keys goes for the block on Kieran Beck

Devan Harris in heavy traffic

Devan Harris in heavy traffic

Mark McCarthy (12 points)

Mark McCarthy (12 points)

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Danvers downs Smith Academy 66-50 to get second straight Division 3 title

Danvers - 2012-13 Division 3 champs

Danvers – 2012-13 Division 3 champs

Mat Sulda, Derek McMahon, Coach Matt Zerneri, Seaver Rickert

Mat Sulda, Derek McMahon, Coach Matt Zerneri, Seaver Rickert

(Worcester) No last-minute heroics needed by Danvers this time.

After coming dangerously close to exiting from the tournament in the D3 North finals (Wayland) and the state semifinals (Martha’s Vineyard), Danvers pulled ahead of Smith Academy by double figures for good early in the final quarter and won the state title, 66-50, on Saturday afternoon at the DCU Center in Worcester.

This was Danvers (24-2) second straight Division 3 title.

(Both teams are the Falcons.)

DHS was hot during the first nine minutes against the SA zone burning the visitors from Hatfield with five three’s (Nick McKenna 3, Nick Bates and Eric Martin 1 each) and getting a 22-6 spread.  Was this going to be a blowout?  Hardly.

You live by the three, you can also die by it.  Danvers cooled off in the second quarter and Smith rattled off thirteen unanswered points.  While Danvers was pointless for nearly seven minutes SA closed to 22-19 before a Nick Bates layup in the last three seconds.

Mat Sulda (11 points) tries to get by Nick McKenna (20 points)

Mat Sulda (11 points) tries to get by Nick McKenna (20 points)

That five-point halftime lead (24-19) would shrink to two (24-22) and even one (26-25) on an old-fashioned three by Seaver Rickert (13 points) just a minute into the second half.

Nick Bates (12 points) responded with an old-fashioned three of his own and Seaver Rickert scored from in close on a pass from Derek McMahon.

At this point Danvers lead was a mere two points (29-27) with 6 ½ minutes to play in the third quarter.  This was when the pull away began for the Eastern Mass champs.

Danvers crafted two minutes of unanswered offense (seven points) getting a jump shot from Nick Bates, a free throw by Danny Connors (12 points), and two jump shots by Nick McKenna (20 points).  Suddenly, Smith Academy was down nine (36-27).

The Western Mass champs would cut the lead to six (38-32) before Vinny Clifford (11 points) struck from the corner on an inbounds play.

Vinny Clifford (11 points) guards David Longstreeth

Vinny Clifford (11 points) guards David Longstreeth

This make was crucial for Danvers because cold Vinny had now become hot Vinny.  The 6-2 sophomore had been through a disastrous first half missing every shot (including several air balls) and had a couple of turnovers.

But now Vinny was hot and he scored the next eleven Danvers points, including eight of them in the first two minutes of the final quarter.

While Vinny was making shots (a jump shot and two 3’s), SA was making only three-of-six free throws.  The result of all this activity was a 50-37 Danvers lead with six minutes to go.

Smith rallied to within ten (58-48) as David Longstreeth connected from long range and Will Halloran put in a layup with 2:19 left.

But Danvers took the “scary” out of the rest of the game by making six straight free throws and getting a Nick McKenna layup off of a steal to notch their second straight championship.

All five of the Danvers starters ended up in double figures.

Eric Martin (11 points) was at his best in the second half when Smith moved to full-court pressure in the second half.  There were very few Danvers turnovers.

Nick McKenna goes baseline

Nick McKenna goes baseline

Nick McKenna’s defense was a key to the win as he guarded Mat Sulda (11 points).  The speedy 5-10 lefty had been averaging 19.3 points per game.

Nick Bates had a double/double getting thirteen rebounds to go along with his twelve points.

This was the first state final for Smith Academy since 1992.

Mat Sulda ended up with 1579 career points.  Both his uncle and his grandfather were 1000-point scorers at Smith.

Danvers returned four starters to this year’s team but graduated was 6-7 George Merry (WPI).  The 2012-13 squad had to adjust significantly.  Gone were George’s interior defense and inside scoring.  But credit Coach John Walsh, the team adjusted well enough to win a second title.

Danvers boxscore

Smith Academy boxscore

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

Derek McMahon takes off with a turnover

Derek McMahon takes off with a turnover

loose ball

loose ball

Danny Connors (12 points) and Seaver Rickert (13 points)

Danny Connors (12 points) and Seaver Rickert (13 points)

Mat Sulda skies

Mat Sulda skies

Eric Martin, Danny Connors, Coach John Walsh, Nick McKenna, Nick Bates

Eric Martin, Danny Connors, Coach John Walsh, Nick McKenna, Nick Bates

rebound

rebound

Keith Natale and Nick Bates (12 points)

Keith Natale and Nick Bates (12 points)

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Danvers gets it done 50-47 defeating Martha’s Vineyard and reaching state D3 finals

Garden party begins

Garden party begins

Izak Browne (17 points) heads for the last shot

Izak Browne (17 points) heads for the last shot

(Boston) Until Izak Browne’s 3-point attempt from just inside half court went wide left, the outcome of the Danvers/Martha’s Vineyard game was in doubt.

But the game-tying attempt missed and Danvers had a 50-47 D3 state semi-finals win at the TD Garden on Tuesday night.

The exciting victory earned the Falcons (23-2) another trip to Worcester for a chance for consecutive state Division 3 titles.  Last year Danvers defeated St. Joe’s of Pittsfield in the championship match.

Game time on Saturday is 12:30PM at the DCU Center and the opponent will be Smith Academy of Hatfield (25 miles north of Springfield).

The state semi-finals put two very good teams together.  Danvers had the big-game experience but MV (18-6) had terrific athletes and could make 3’s.

Brandon Watkins chases a loose ball

Brandon Watkins chases a loose ball

There were fourteen lead changes and two ties.  That combination provided more than enough opportunities for fans from both schools to either cheer and groan.

Ultimately Danvers big-game experience made the difference…….but barely.

The Vineyard tied the score (41-41) on a three by Jack Roberts (12 points) with 3 ½ minutes left in the game.  Less than a minute later Jack connected on a short baseline floater and MV had a two-point lead (43-41) with 2:42 to go.

Kieran Beck reaches in and forces a turnover

Kieran Beck reaches in and forces a turnover

Down but not out, the Falcons were able to make good things happen on defense as they trapped dribblers and jumped passing lanes.  Three straight MV frontcourt turnovers resulted and Danvers was able to run six straight points to get up, 47-43, with forty seconds left.

The Falcons points came on two free throws each by Nick Bates and Danny Connors.  The other score was an Eric Martin basket assisted by Nick McKenna.

Danvers now in control?  No.

After a Navardo Anderson miss, Nick McKenna made one of two free throws (48-43) with twenty-seven seconds left.  Jack Roberts followed with two made free throws (48-45) while Eric Martin missed both of his with 11.8 seconds left.

Nick McKenna makes two free throws with 4.7 seconds left in the game

Nick McKenna makes two free throws with 4.7 seconds left in the game

Brandon Watkins went the length of the court (in a hurry) to reduce the Danvers margin to one (48-47) with 5.8 seconds to go.  Nick McKenna then received the inbounds pass, was immediately fouled, and sank two huge free throws with 4.7 seconds remaining.

Izak Browne (17 points) had a pretty good look at a last-second, game-tying shot but he didn’t come close to hitting it.

Both teams will surely look back at this game and think of  how much better they could have played.  Danvers missed eleven free throws in twenty-three tries including six in the final quarter.  Martha’s Vineyard did not take good care of the ball.  The team from the Eastern Athletic Conference had seventeen turnovers including six in the final quarter and three after they had a 2-point lead (43-41) in the late stages of the game.  MV also missed seven of eleven free throw attempts.

In a game with lead changes, missed free throws, and plenty at stake, the pressure on both teams was incredible.

Nick Bates (12 points), Nick McKenna (11 points), and Danny Connors (10 points) led the Falcons in scoring.

Izak Browne soars into a shot

Izak Browne soars into a shot

Izak Browne (17 points) and Jack Roberts (12 points) reached double figures for Martha’s Vineyard.

MV connected seven times from long range while Danvers had four 3-pointers.

Jake Cawlina (hero in the win over Wayland) hit a three in the second quarter.

Danvers had only six turnovers in the game.  Three of them were in the tension-filled final quarter.

The state semi-finals was the furthest Martha’s Vineyard had ever been.  They last played in the Garden in 1977.

Danvers boxscore

Martha’s Vineyard boxscore

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

Navardo Anderson drives on Nick McKenna

Navardo Anderson drives on Nick McKenna

Nick McKenna (11 points) looks for an opening

Nick McKenna (11 points) looks for an opening

Eric Martin drives

Eric Martin drives

Danvers celebrates

Danvers celebrates

Nick Bates (12 points)

Nick Bates (12 points)

Jack Roberts (12 points)

Jack Roberts (12 points)

loose ball late in the game

loose ball late in the game

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Danvers wins last-minute thriller 57-52 over Wayland to get D3 North title

Danvers celebrates last-minute win over Wayland

Danvers celebrates last-minute win over Wayland

Reserve Jake Cawlina (9 points) saved the day for the Falcons

Reserve Jake Cawlina (9 points) saved the day for the Falcons

(Lowell) If you saw last year’s game between Danvers and Wayland you knew what to expect….end of the game excitement.

The Falcons (22-2) broke free from a tie game in the last minute and defeated the Warriors, 57-52, to win the Division 3 North title at the Tsongas Arena on Saturday afternoon.

Danvers will face Martha’s Vineyard (17-5) in the state D3 semifinal game at the TD Bank Garden on Tuesday.  The finals are at the Worcester Centrum on Saturday.

Last time against Wayland, a 3-point shot by reserve Mike Scarfo was part of a 10-point rally that forced overtime in the Falcon’s 70-67 win.  Today it was seldom-used, senior Jake Cawlina who saved the day for Danvers.

With Dan Connors in game-long foul trouble and Vinny Clifford not as accurate as he has been recently, DHS coach John Walsh gave Jake a chance.  Nine points later Jake made the coach look like a genius.

Jake entered the game in the second quarter and nailed two 3’s as part of a ten-point run that gave Danvers its largest lead of the half, 31-20, with a minute left until halftime.

Jaleel Bell (17 points) with Eric Martin

Jaleel Bell (17 points) with Eric Martin

The Falcon advantage would grow to 35-23 two minutes into the second half but the never-say-die Warriors erased their entire deficit and had Danvers in a 52-52 tie with 1:41 left.

The Falcons extended their next possession with an offensive rebound and Jake Cawlina then hit his third 3-pointer of the game to give the Falcons a 3-point lead (55-52) with fifty-five seconds left.

But Jake was not done contributing.  On Wayland’s next possession, he and reserve Kieran Beck got Yannick Schaefer in a trap and Kieran stole the ball.

Danvers ran clock before Eric Martin fed Nick Bates cutting down the lane for the layup that sealed the deal (57-52) for the Falcons with thirteen seconds left.

Certainly a key to the Danvers win was limiting Jaleel Bell to seventeen points on 8-for-15 shooting.  Eric Martin was the primary defender.

Jaleel had 34 points/14 rebounds/9 steals in the Warriors semifinal win over North Reading.  Jaleel’s line today showed no rebounds or steals.

Nick Bates (13 points) heads for two

Nick Bates (13 points) heads for two

Nick McKenna (14 points) and Nick Bates (13 points) led the Danvers scorers.

Eric Martin had nine points and five assists plus the great defense on Jaleel Bell.

Dan Connors tallied only four points as fouls kept him on the bench more than on the floor.  He had three fouls in the first quarter and sat out the second quarter.  Thirty seconds into the third quarter he had his 4th and was benched.  Four minutes into the final quarter he was done for the game.  Dan’s inside scoring/rebounding were sorely missed.

Harry Leavitt (9 points) drove in for the layup that tied the score at 52-52.

Harry was part of 10-point run by the Warriors (19-5) in the third quarter.  He had a layup and two free throws.  Jaleel Bell, who had eleven points in the third quarter, added two layups and Greg Karpacz also had a layup.  That collection of unanswered points put Wayland within two (35-33) with four minutes left.

Eric Martin was part of quick five points in the first quarter.  He assisted on Nick McKenna’s three and then stole the inbounds pass and tallied a layup.

looking for a rebound

looking for a rebound

Wayland coach Dennis Doherty is probably wondering what this game would have looked like at the end if his team hadn’t missed eleven-of-fifteen free throws including three that were the front ends of one-and-one’s.

Danvers wasn’t too much better from the line.  They missed six-of-nine attempts including one front end of a one-and-one.

The Falcons have eliminated Wayland from the tournament three straight years.

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

All eyes on a Vinny Clifford three

All eyes on a Vinny Clifford three

foul-plagued Dan Connors

foul-plagued Dan Connors

Kieran Beck

Kieran Beck

Yannick Schaefer

Yannick Schaefer

holding

holding

Eric Martin in Wayland traffic

Eric Martin in Wayland traffic

loose ball

loose ball

D3 North champs

D3 North champs

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