Mashpee Boys' Basketball Off To A Resounding Start
By: Rich Maclone
South Shore League foes have been put on notice by the Mashpee High School boys’ basketball team. The Falcons are not going to make life easy for anyone this season and have ill intentions for any club that matches up against them.
Mashpee showed just how much it means business on Tuesday night as they went on the road to play under some of the most difficult regular season circumstances. The club was playing for the second straight night, and went out on the road to play at one of the toughest road destinations in the SSL, Abington.
None of that mattered though. With five players scoring in double figures, the Falcons overcame the Green Wave and their raucous crowd as they prevailed, 79-71. It was just the second time ever that the Falcons have beaten Abington with the first coming five years ago, also on the road.
“It was a good win,” Coach Matt Triveri said. “Our kids came to play and they made plays all night long.”
Mashpee played with the lead throughout the game, but Abington would not go away. Led by shooting guard Damien Wilson (18 points) the Green Wave kept close all night long, but the Falcons would not wilt under the pressure and never lost their advantage.
Abington began to make a run in the fourth quarter and a Wilson basket cut the deficit to six points with about five minutes to go, but that’s when MHS point guard Zak Orcutt delivered a huge 3-pointer to get the lead back to nine. Abington never got closer than six the rest of the night, and Mashpee held on by doing the job at the free throw line.
Big man Niko Hendricks led the way for Mashpee with one of the best games of his young career. The sophomore, who stands six feet, five inches, dropped in 17 points and pulled down 14 rebounds (7 offensive) to pace the Falcons. Newcomer Jason Farias and center Zack Dauksz each hit for 16 points in the game. Farias had three 3-pointers and six assists and Dauksz pulled down six rebounds.
Coach Triveri said that what really made him happy about his team’s performance was its approach to the game. The Falcons had the lead throughout, but they never sat on it; instead they did everything they could to extend it. “Guys were attacking and I couldn’t be happier about that,” he said.
The other double-digit scorers in the game for the Falcons were Orcutt and Eric Lopes. Each guard hit for 10 points in the game. Orcutt also had eight assists and just three turnovers. Nathan Sprague added eight points, all in the second quarter, and played some high-energy defense against Wilson to help keep the sharpshooter in check.
The night before, on Monday, Mashpee opened up its season with a solid win over Chatham at home, 69-58. Orcutt led the way with 18 points in the game and Hendricks hit for 15. Farias had 12.
The final score was much closer than the game actually was. With just 3:25 to go, the Falcons used an 11-0 run to open up a 23-point lead. Chatham then made a bit of a comeback when Triveri took all of his starters out after that surge.
MHS had a secure lead the whole way. They opened up a good deal of breathing room in the second quarter. Leading by four, 21-17, the Falcons went on a run to get it into double figures. It began with a 3-point play underneath by Farias, who then hit a 3-pointer. A free throw by Dauksz made it 27-17 and then Orcutt hit a put-back to get the lead to 12. A steal by Farias that he took coast-to-coast ballooned the lead further, and then Orcutt drained a three out of the corner to push the advantage up to 17 points with 2:06 left in the half. Mashpee took a 16-point bulge into the break, up 37-21.
When things still mattered, Chatham never got closer than 12 points the rest of the way.
“I didn’t like our defense at times, but overall it was good to get the game under our belt and start with a win,” Triveri said.
The Falcons hit the road tonight for a tough contest against the SSL favorites, Rockland High School. Game time is 6:30 PM. “They’re tough. They play tough, in-your-face defense and they’ve got good athletes,” the coach said.
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