Tag Archives: Dan Connors

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

Leave a comment

Filed under Danvers, Wayland

Danvers defeats Lynn English 90-70 to remain undefeated after seven games in boys basketball

Nick McKenna (23 points) gets two

Nick McKenna (23 points) gets two

Dan Connors (20 points) heads for the hoop

Dan Connors (20 points) heads for the hoop

(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.

Fred Hogan (21 points) gets a three at the buzzer

Fred Hogan (21 points) gets a three at the buzzer

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.

Eric Martin (13 points and 8 assists) and Stevie Collins (6 points)

Eric Martin (13 points and 8 assists) and Stevie Collins (6 points)

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.

Erick Rosario (15 points) goes for two

Erick Rosario (15 points) goes for two

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 (14 points) takes a three over Anthony Silfa (11)

Nick Bates (14 points) takes a three over Anthony Silfa (11)

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’.

Danvers boxscoreLynn English boxscore

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

Danny Lukanda blocks

Danny Lukanda blocks

Danvers cheerleaders

Danvers cheerleaders

Brian Redondo goes for the fake

Brian Redondo goes for the fake

Erick Rosario

Erick Rosario

Fred Hogan shoots

Fred Hogan shoots

Ben Bowden (11 points)

Ben Bowden (11 points)

Leave a comment

Filed under Danvers, Lynn English

Danvers rallies from late 10-point deficit in regulation and defeats Wayland (70-67) in overtime in D3 North semis

Jaleel Bell (36 points) defended by George Merry (23 points) in the closing seconds of regulation.

Danvers celebration

(Lawrence) Danvers 70 Wayland 67

Where do you start with this one?  I did see a full moon on the way to the game!

Danvers (#2 seed) trailed 22-11 midway through the second period.  They rallied all the way back to tie the score at 37-37 at the end of the third quarter.  2+ minutes into the final quarter they were behind by ten (49-39) and later 57-47 with 1:28 left in regulation.

I thought I heard the fat lady warming up. Bad idea on her part.  Danvers miraculously came all the way back to a 61-61 tie and forced overtime.

George Merry made all the Danvers points in overtime including five free throws.

The frenzied crowd (on both sides) saw five lead changes in the four-minute overtime before George Merry’s layup and two free throws in the last 1 ½ minutes gave the Falcons a remarkable 70-67 win.

Danvers (18-4) will now face either Saugus or Arlington Catholic in the Division 3 North finals at the Tsongas Center on Saturday.

Wayland (16-6) went out in the quarter-finals to Danvers last year (50-46) but I doubt that that loss could have even come close to the anguish this one surely caused the team and their fans.

Not only did Wayland squander a ten-point lead in the closing 1 ½ minutes but they still had a chance in regulation for the win.  However, Jaleel Bell (36 points) was heavily defended by George Merry in the lane and couldn’t finish as time ran out.

That George Merry was still available to apply that game-saving defense was pretty remarkable since he picked up his 4th foul twenty seconds into the final quarter.  But DHS coach John Walsh rolled the dice and 6-7 George was there to save the day defensively.

In overtime George was there to save the day offensively as he collected all of the Falcon’s nine points including five-for-six from the foul line.  He finished with twenty-three points, totaling fifteen in the final quarter and overtime.

Jaleel Bell

The startling loss took some of the glow off of junior guard Jaleel Bell’s thirty-six points.  You talk about a go-to guy.  I believe that Jaleel may have handled the ball on every possession.  He didn’t fire from long range (the Warriors didn’t make any 3’s) but he could get open for good-look jumpers and layups.  He took the ball at Falcon shot blockers fearlessly and had sixteen of his points in the final quarter.

Because Jaleel had the ball so much, Danvers was forced, in the last 1 ½ minutes of regulation to foul him.  It was hardly their preference since he had already made six-of-six.  But they had to do it and it worked perfectly.  Jaleel went to the line eight times the rest of regulation and made only four shots.

The missed freebies opened the door for the crowd-driven Danvers comeback.  Layups by Nick McKenna (off a turnover) and George Merry (pass from Eric Martin) and two season-in-the-balance triples (Nick McKenna and Mike Scarfo) earned Danvers the tie.  And when George Merry defended Jaleel into a miss on his regulation-ending layup, the Falcons extended their season by four minutes.

Danvers had six of their seven three’s in the second half.

Eric Martin, Jon Amico, Nick McKenna, Dan Connors, George Merry

George Merry (23), Dan Connors (17), and Nick McKenna (10) led the Falcon scorers.

Jaleel had thirty-six and Mark Bonner fourteen for the Warriors.

Jaleel fouled out with eleven seconds left.  Almost certainly he would have attempted the game-tying triple if he had been available.

Danvers fans rushing the court afterwards prevented the two teams from the ceremonial handshake afterwards.

Danvers boxscore

Wayland boxscore

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

Harry Leavitt layup

Nick McKenna shoots triple in front of Danvers crowd

Eric Martin steals from Harry Leavitt

Robert Williams looks for the final shot

Jaleel Bell (#2) fouled out

Eric Martin defends

Leave a comment

Filed under Danvers, Wayland