Tag Archives: Joe Connelly

Beaver Country Day School overwhelms Pingree 64-36 in Eastern Independent League boys basketball

Jherson Colon (12 points) covered by John Spears (10 points)

Jherson Colon (12 points) covered by John Spears (10 points)

Mo Taylor above the crowd

Mo Taylor above the crowd

(Hamilton)  Beaver Country Day School (12-3) made easy work of Pingree, 64-36, on Wednesday night in Eastern Independent League action.

Even without top star Jacquil Taylor (foot surgery out six months), Beaver still had too much of just about everything for the outmatched but game Highlanders.

Right away it was evident that the visitors would run at every opportunity and had the jets to beat Pingree (11-5) in transition.

It also became quite clear that if necessary Beaver could run organized offense and get good shots out of it.

BCDS bolted out to a 20-5 lead in the first seven minutes and never were threatened thereafter.  Jordan Scurry (11 points), Joe Connelly (14 points), and Jeff Spellman (7 points) connected long range in the fast start.

Beaver hit Pingree with another big splash of points later in the first half.  This time is was twelve unanswered points in two minutes and the Pingree deficit of thirteen (25-12) suddenly was twenty-five (37-12) with four minutes left in the first half.

Breakaway jam by Jeff Spellman

Breakaway jam by Jeff Spellman

The damage doers for Beaver in this run were Jordan Scurry (layup and a three), Jherson Colon (layup and an old-fashioned three), and Jeff Spellman with a steal and a breakaway jam.

Pingree put together their best offense of the day in the rest of the half getting all nine points scored in the final four minutes to trail at halftime, 37-21.

Nino Leone tallied two layups and two free throws in this segment and John Spears cashed a three.

Joe Connelly dashed any Pingree hopes early in the second half by personally outscoring the Highlanders 11-2 over the first 3 ½ minutes.  Three of his scores were well-setup, long range shots.

Joe Connelly scored the first eleven points for Beaver in the second half

Joe Connelly scored the first eleven points for Beaver in the second half

Joe’s scoring tear pushed Pingree back to a 48-23 deficit and the rest of the game was heavily influenced by the reserves from both squads.

Beaver is still undefeated in the EIL (8-0) and likely to stay that way the rest of the way.  They have won the league three straight seasons.

Pingree was ahead by a point last year at halftime in the game with Beaver played at Pingree but had an atrocious second half and lost, 54-36.

Minus Jacquil Taylor I thought maybe Pingree could make things interesting but it never happened.

Jacquil’s brother, 6-6 Mo (North Carolina A&T) was a force on the defensive end and had moves inside and outside on the other end.

Heavily recruited Jeff Spellman was very content to develop his point-guard skills seldom forcing his offense.  He was efficient at penetrating the Pingree defense and then finding teammates open along the three-point line.

Jherson Colon

Jherson Colon

The player that caught my attention was Jherson Colon (12 points).  I have seen Pingree’s John Spears (10 points) several times and he is certainly very fast.  However, matched up with Jherson it was hard to tell which one was quicker.

Pingree (7-1) picks up its first loss in the EIL and will have to face Beaver again at Beaver on February 13th.

The team from Brookline has the enrollment to be  Division B while Pingree is Division C when it comes to the post-season NEPSAC tournaments.

Pingree’s next game is at Concord Academy on February 1st.  Beaver visits Lexington Christian Academy on the same day.

Beaver boxscore

Pingree boxscore

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

Mo Taylor goes at Connor Reardon

Mo Taylor goes at Connor Reardon

Jordan Scurry and Connor Reardon reach for a loose ball

Jordan Scurry and Connor Reardon reach for a loose ball

Mo Taylor will attend North Carolina A&T

Mo Taylor will attend North Carolina A&T

Justin Assad breaks through for two

Justin Assad breaks through for two

Leo Connelly

Leo Connelly

Nino Leone

Nino Leone

looking for a rebound

looking for a rebound

Jeff Spellman

Jeff Spellman

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Strong second half gets Beaver past Pingree (54-36) in EIL boys basketball

John Spears (14 points) caught in the air with 6-8 defender Jacquil Taylor looking to block.

Joe Connelly (14 points) shoots over John Spears

(Hamilton) The Pingree boys played a terrific half of basketball against Beaver Country Day School.  Unfortunately, for the Highlanders, there was the other half.

Beaver defeated Pingree, 54-36, on Wednesday afternoon in Eastern Independent League boys basketball action.

This was a one point game at halftime (27-26) with the final outcome far from certain.  Beaver had beaten Pingree (65-41 on February 1st) so you figured that they might get stronger in the second half.

Tied at 30-30, the visitors from Chestnut Hill displayed why they came in 18-2 and undefeated (11-0) in the EIL.  They  went on an impressive 13-0 run over the next 7 1/2 minutes and Pingree never recovered.

The Beaver 2-3 zone, with 6-6 Maurice Taylor and his 6-8 brother Jacquil on the inside, limited Pingree to long range attempts.   That defense was less of a problem in the first half when Pingree connected on four triples.  During the six minute drought the long ones weren’t falling.

Kyle Lentini (8 points) leans on driving Jeff Spellman (15 points)

Meanwhile, Beaver registered points from Jacquil Taylor (dunk on a rebound), Joe Connelly (a layup and two jumpers), and Jeff Spellman (a layup and an old-fashioned 3-pont play) to pull away 43-30 and have needed separation with 8:40 left.

A Brendon Ashe triple narrowed the gap to 45-36 in the last three minutes but Beaver answered with a Jacquil hook in the lane and seven free throws to close out the scoring.

Exciting John Spears (14 points) had steals, assists, darts to the basket, and a triple and led the Highlanders to the front, 24-17, with five minutes left in the first half.  The sophomore’s knack of getting open among players much taller than he is was very entertaining to the overflow home crowd.

However, the interior of the Beaver defense did a much better job protecting the inside after halftime.  If John got by one shot blocker there was quickly another one ready to show some tall defense.  Unable to get open space to the rim, John was held to just two points in the second half.

Junior Jeff Spellman (15 points) led all scorers.  He proved to be more than capable of handling some very tight defensive pressure as the primary ball-handler for Beaver.

Joe Connelly blocks speedy John Spears in breakaway layup attempt

Joe Connelly tallied eleven of his fourteen points in the second half getting six in the surge that broke this game wide open.  The highlight I took away from his game was his hustle in running down a streaking John Spears in the second half and blocking the speedster’s layup attempt.

Maurice Taylor led Beaver with ten rebounds while Isaac Carp grabbed twelve for the Highlanders.

Beaver is now 19-2 overall and 12-0 in the EIL with two more league games left.  Don’t bet against them going undefeated.  They have won the EIL the past two seasons.  Their losses were to St. Mark’s and Brooks.  Brooks is a team they could face in the NEPSAC Division B tournament late in February.

Beaver has won nine in a row and are 10-0 on the road.  I did not see high-scoring Jherson Colon and assume that the Beaver guard re-injured himself.

Pingree is 15-6 overall and 10-2 in the EIL.  They have won nine of their last eleven games.

The Highlanders have three games left starting with a home matchup with Wheeler School (RI) on Friday.  The other two games are EIL games.

It would not surprise me to see Pingree face Beaver again in the EIL tourney final.  That tournament starts on February 25th.  After that tournament, Pingree will be competing in Division C of the NEPSAC tourney.  I’m sure that they will be happy to get away from Beaver.

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

Freshman Jordan Scurry (8 points) shoots over Connor Reardon

Beaver coach Juan Figueroa

Joe Connelly eyes shot. Connor Reardon eyes block.

Jeff Spellman gets off shot with John Spears defending.

Brendon Ashe hit two triples

Kenneth Adinkra and Jeff Spellman

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Filed under Beaver Country Day, Pingree