Tag Archives: Adrian Torres

Newburyport rallies to defeat Dracut 67-57 in D3 North First Round

Parker McLaren (23 points) in the lane

Adrian Torres (10 points) for Dracut

(Newburyport MA) “I was getting flashbacks from last year in the first half,” said Newburyport coach Dave Clay afterwards.

And he probably wasn’t the only one.

Dracut, last year, came to Newburyport and stunned the higher seeded Clippers. The Middies would go on to stun a few other teams and win the Division 3 North title.

But that was last year. This time around, the Clippers turned things around offensively and defensively in the second half and defeated Dracut, 67-57, on Monday night in a D3 North First Round game.

Parker McLaren (23 points) and Jake Robertson (21 points) led Newburyport.

Jake Robertson (21 points)

Tyler Guerriero (19 points) and JC Santiago (14 points) paced Dracut.

The Clippers (16-5) were in front early, 12-6, and then fell apart defensively. The Middies whacked Newburyport with a 25-point second quarter and were in front, 35-29, at halftime.

“The tone at halftime was that we had to be the tougher team in the second half,” said Jake Robertson.

“We needed more effort defensively,” said Coach Clay. “We needed to help earlier and be tougher with our on-ball defense.”

The Clippers may have been doing those things to start the second half but for four minutes the scoreboard told a different story.

Tyler Guerriero (19 points)

Dracut was up, 45-38, with four minutes to play in the third quarter. The Middies were making tough shots against the taller Clippers.

Was Newburyport on its way to another shocking loss to Dracut?

Not tonight.

The #3 seed Clippers overwhelmed Dracut (8-14) on both ends of the court for the next 5 ½ minutes of playing time.

The tightened NHS defense didn’t allow a single point while the offense rolled up an unstopped fourteen straight points.

That 45-38 score turned into 52-45 one minute into the final quarter.

Parker McLaren and Jake Robertson each had 3’s during the scoring surge. There were also two well-run backdoor cuts that led to layups for Jack Fehlner and Trevor Ward.

Coach Brian Myers watches Adrian Torres and Jack Fehlner

Jack Fehlner did a nice job defending sophomore Adrian Torres. Adrian (10 points) was the one last year who nailed the game-deciding three in the last minute.

“Coach (Clay) told me to stay in front of him,” explained Jack. “He a great player. Very shifty. I just held my ground on defense.”

Adrian had four 3’s last year but none this time around. Jack added ten points tonight including seven in the comebacking third quarter.

The Middies were still within striking range (54-50) with 4 ½ minutes to play. Then junior Jake Robertson took over.

The next nine Newburyport points came from Jake hitting a three, finishing twice at the rim, and making two free throws.

“Jake is not one-dimensional,” said Coach Clay.

“In the second half, guys did a good job of pushing the ball up the court and I got some easy looks because of it,” explained Jake.

Parker McLaren to the hoop

“He (Jake) came up super clutch in the fourth quarter,” said Parker McLaren. “We were able to get out and run and he was found open on the wing. We know he’s going to knock those down every time.”

Jake’s run of nine points boosted the Clippers advantage to, 63-52, with two minutes left. Dracut didn’t have the time, or long-range shooting, to duplicate last year’s finish.

“We guarded for the first half,” said Dracut coach Brian Myers. “In the second half we got away from it. That’s been us all year. We haven’t been able to guard a unit for an entire game.”

It certainly helped the Clippers to have Parker McLaren stay out of foul trouble.

“It was a focus of mine going in,” said Parker. “I knew that they were going to attack me and try to get me into foul trouble. As it turned out, I had fouls I could use in the second half.”

“Parker is a physical presence,” said Coach Clay. “He’s huge. They did a good job of collapsing on him and taking away his driving angle. He hit some three’s to stretch out the defense.”

Scramble in the corner

Coach Myers: “Newburyport played with a greater sense of urgency in the 3rd and 4th quarters. They are a good team. They get the right guys the ball. You help a little bit and they make you pay.”

Jake Robertson: “It kind of felt like that Dracut game last year in the first half. We needed to play better help defense.”

Last year against Dracut the Clippers missed fifteen free throws. “We tried as a team to learn from our mistake of missing free throws,” added Coach Clay. “The team spent a lot of time in the off-season practicing pressure free throws.”

Parker was sure that his brother Casey, who was in the crowd, enjoyed the win over Dracut. “They ended his career last year.”

The Middies lost nine of the last eleven games.

The Clippers have now won six of seven games. They play again at home on Wednesday night.

The Middies play in the Merrimack Valley Conference.

Newburyport box

Dracut box

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

Adrian Torres

Farai Zuvaradoka

Jack Fehlner tries to get off a shot

Jake Robertson ended the first at the foul line

JC Santiago (14 points)

Loose ball coming my way

Max Gagnon

Parker McLaren rebounds

Ronan Brown on the move

Tyler Guerriero

 

 

 

 

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Late triple by Dracut knocks Newburyport out 57-54

Dracut celebrates the win

Mitch Monette’s pass led to the winning basket

(Newburyport MA) Freshman Adrian Torres delivered the shot Dracut needed to advance to the Division 3 North semifinals.

Adrian (16 points) took an excellent feed from Mitch Monette and swished a 3-pointer in the closing seconds from in front of the Middies crowd to give #12 Dracut a 57-54 upset win over #4 Newburyport on Friday night.

The Clippers (18-4) nearly got even in those closing seconds but Ryan Archie’s triple rimmed out.

George Coryell (11 points) defends Adrian Torres (16 points)

“Adrian shoots like that every day in practice,” said senior Mitch Monette afterwards. “I was confident that he would make it.”

The Middies (12-10) will face either Arlington Catholic or St. Mary’s in the next round.

Newburyport had a nine-point lead in the first half while Dracut was ahead by four in the second half.  But those leads didn’t hold up.

The Clippers led 12-10 after one period.  At halftime, the teams were even, 27-27. The third quarter ended with Newburyport in front, 40-39.  In the final quarter, the scored was tied, 54-54, with 1 ½ minutes remaining.

Neither team could gain separation.  The Middies were hurt by foul trouble while the Clippers missed fifteen free throws.

It came down to the final ninety seconds and the five possessions that filled them.

Newburyport sought the perfect shot and ended up with a shot-clock violation.

Ryan Archie guarded by Tyler Guerriero

Ryan Archie’s tight defense forced a bad Dracut pass.

George Coryell missed a shot.  Jake Robertson got the rebound but traveled.

This was the lead-in to Adrian’s game winner.  Mitch Monette (12 points) had been able to get to the basket, so when he looked to be about to come down the lane the Clippers defense sagged in to stop it.  But instead of shooting, Mitch tossed a jump-pass to his left to a wide-open Adrian Torres who didn’t miss.

“That freshman, he’s something else,” said senior Cam McCullough.  “I’m not surprised he made it because he does it every day in practice even when I’m guarding him!”

“We wanted to spread the court and see what turned up,” said Dracut coach Brian Myers about his team’s last possession.

Ball on the floor

The Clippers did have a chance to tie the game and came close. George Coryell tossed a full-court pass to Jake Robertson, who was fouled.  I suspect that the plan was for Jake to make the first shot and then miss the second hoping a rebound could produce a 2-point play for the tie.  Instead, Jake missed the first one.  The second shot was then missed intentionally and Harry Bovee was able to flip the rebound out to Ryan Archie, beyond the arc.  Against Swampscott, Ryan hit that shot.  Not tonight and the celebrating began for the Middies.

Coach Brian Myers said that playing in the tough Merrimack Valley Conference helped them.  “We play tight games like tonight’s every game in that league.”

The gymnasium was packed.  Many ended up standing around the perimeter.

Casey McLaren (21 points) chased by Jean Carlos Santiago

Casey McLaren (21 points) became Newburyport’s all-time leading scorer.  He passed Rachel Wile tonight to do it.

Casey scored all fifteen of Newburyport’s points in the second quarter.

Casey got those 15 points in the first six minutes of the second quarter giving NHS a 27-20 lead.  However, the last two minutes belonged to the visitors.  A layup be Cam McCullough and a triple and two free throws by Adrian Torres earned Dracut a halftime tie.

“Coming back from the nine-point deficit was key,” said Coach Myers.  “We showed that we could stay with them.”

After Dracut took a 3-point lead on Will Peters’ layup with 2:18 left in the game it was the Clippers’ turn to rally back.  A rebound conversion by Ryan Archie and a Casey McLaren free throw knotted things at 54.

Will Peters shoots against Parker McLaren

George Coryell & Parker McLaren each collected eleven points for NHS.

Mitch Monette added twelve points for Dracut.

That Dracut is even in the tournament is a story in and of itself.  The Middies had 1-19 seasons the last two years.  They were not only defeated a lot but often defeated by lopsided scores.  But along came Coach Brian Myers.  Brian said afterwards that he’s “a Dracut guy.”  After coaching successfully at Lowell, Brian opted to come back to coach the school he attended.  He said that he “saw potential.”

“It takes a group of kids buying into a system.  We work hard every day.”

Despite the team’s lack of size, they were able to hold their own against larger Casey McLaren and his brother Parker.  Casey had only three points in the second half.

Cam McCullough was in awe of the setting: “It was the loudest environment I’ve ever played in.  It was a great game to be part of.”

Newburyport box

Dracut box

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

Adrian Torres (16 points)

Cam McCullough

Casey McLaren chases a loose ball

Casey McLaren shoots a free throw

Discussing how to defend their 3-point lead

Dracut coach Brian Myers checks on his bench

Farai Zuvarokoka and Jake Robertson

Jake Robertson from the corner

Jean Carlos Santiago shoots a floater over Harry Bovee

Mitch Monette and Trevor Ward

Season ends for the Clippers

 

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