Falmouth Boys Dominate Dennis-Yarmouth
By: Rich Maclone
It was hardly a barn-burner, and certainly wasn’t as close as the final score might indicate. The Falmouth High School boys’ basketball team moved on in the Division II south state tournament on Wednesday night with its third win of the year over Atlantic Coast League rivals, Dennis-Yarmouth, 56-44.
The 12-point margin might as well have been double that because there never was a time when the Dolphins seemed at all capable, or all that interested, in pulling off the upset over Falmouth. D-Y did its best to slow the game’s tempo throughout, and at times made the FHS offense look a bit sluggish, but in the end the Clippers’ superior firepower won the day.
FHS, the fourth seed in the south bracket, improves to 16-5 overall on the year and now has a date with fifth-seeded Duxbury tomorrow night at 7 at the Antonucci Field House. The Dragons also sport a 16-5 record, and won their first-round game by 12 as well, beating Oliver Ames by a 72-60 count.
Against D-Y the Clippers opened up a big lead early on and enjoyed a 17-point spread in the second quarter, before a late 9-0 run by the Dolphins to close out the first half, over the final three minutes of the quarter, made it just an eight-point difference at halftime, 30-22. The Clippers played most of that time with center John Lavin on the bench with a couple of fouls, but once the big man returned to the floor for the third quarter FHS was clicking again.
Nelson Baptiste, who had five 3-pointers in the game, caught fire in the second half, scoring 12 of his 19 after the recess. He opened up the second half by canning a long trey, off a feed form David Kent (five assists), to put FHS back into a double-digit lead. It would never fall to single digits again the rest of the way. Baptiste then set up Alessio Tranchell (eight points) for an easy lay-up, after a D-Y miss, and the Clippers were riding high once more.
The third quarter would prove to be the difference for Falmouth. Quantez Franklin followed the Tranchell bucket with one of his own, but it would be the only field goal scored by the Dolphins in the period. D-Y would add just a couple of free throws by the time the eight-minute stanza ended as FHS outscored the visitors by a 15-4 margin in the third. By the time the buzzer sounded on the third Falmouth was back out to a comfortable lead, 45-26.
Baptiste added two more threes in the third period, and Tranchell and Lavin scored buckets as well.
In the first half Baptiste was ice cold from the field, missing a bunch of shots that he normally knocks down. In the second half those shots started to fall, which helped FHS pull away. “I told him to keep shooting and we took more time in our offense. In the first half we were making just one pass and shooting. In the second half we were getting like four passes in, which made for better shots for Nelly, and everyone,” Lundberg said.
The FHS lead never swelled beyond 19, but the Dolphins never made it close. Coach Paul Lundberg called the dogs off midway through the fourth quarter, with his team on top 54-35. D-Y whittled away at the difference down the stretch, but all that it affected was the eventual winning margin for the maroon and white.
Early on it looked like the Dolphins might be able to make the game competitive. Three minutes into the game FHS was up just 6-4 and the Dolphins were matching the Clippers’ pace. A 10-2 run by FHS changed the game’s complexion, though. Lavin started the surge with a couple of free throws before DK Johnson (12 points, seven rebounds, three assists) scored on an in-bound play set up brilliantly by Kent. A few moments later Johnson rebounded a miss and went coast-to-coast for a conventional three-point play, making it 13-4 in the blink of an eye. A Johnson free throw on the team’s next trip was followed by a D-Y bucket. Lavin then canned a foul line jumper to make it 16-6.
A quick run by D-Y got the lead down to four, but Baptiste drained a three-ball with 38 seconds left in the first to make it 19-12 at the end of one. FHS then opened the second quarter with an 11-1 surge to make it a 17-point game, 30-13. Trevor Andrews started the run with a three. After a D-Y free throw Lavin (10 points, five rebounds) hit a baseline teardrop and then a lay-up to make it 26-13. Johnson followed with a long jumper and then fed Baptiste on a fast break to get the lead to 17 with 3:00 left in the first half.
“(D-Y) went big, and they slowed us down, and then Lavin hurt his ankle,” Lundberg said, explaining his team’s poor close to the first half. “They slowed us down and we had to hit our shots.”
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