Lawrence Academy Spartans Boys Basketball '11-'12

Wed, Dec 07, 2011 04:30 PM @ Brooks
Team 1 2 Final
Lawrence Academy 25 16 41
Brooks 30 34 64

Newcomer finds his spot at Brooks

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Wednesday, December, 07 By Jeff Hamrick

NORTH ANDOVER — With four starters and another six lettermen returning from a 21-3 squad that was two wins shy of a state prep school championship, Brooks already appeared loaded for another title run.

But it turns out there was more than enough room for a talented new player.

Opening the season against the only team that defeated it during the first 20 games last year, Brooks used a ball-hawking defense to run away from Lawrence Academy in a 64-41 victory yesterday afternoon.

Doing much of the damage was Jayde Dawson-Gordon, a transfer from Montreal, Canada, who scored a game-high 24 points,

“We just needed to come out strong and play good defense,” said Dawson-Gordon after the victory over a Lawrence Academy team that had won its two previous games of the season. “We’d heard they were a good team, and we knew the weapons they had.”

Despite taking a 30-25 halftime lead, Brooks struggled at times in the first half, trailing by three on a couple of occasions. But the second half was much more smooth. And it was an opportunistic defense that led the charge.

Brooks forced turnovers on Lawrence’s first four possessions and nine of its first 12, sparking a 15-6 run that built a 45-31 lead midway through the second. Brooks turned those nine turnovers into 13 points.

“The start of the second half was the difference,” said Brooks coach John McVeigh, who had lost nine of his previous 10 games against Lawrence Academy. “We played better defense and we took care of the ball. Those were really the two things we talked about at halftime. We have a bunch of guys who can handle the ball and run court.”

Seven different players scored at least one field goal in the second half for Brooks. In addition to Dawson-Gordon, Anthony Barry scored 11 of his 17 in the first half and finished with nine rebounds and three steals while Aaron Davis had four steals and David Berroa of Lowell and Chad Rogers each had three steals.

“We’d known (Lawrence) won two games, but it’s hard to know what that means,” McVeigh said. “We just really tried to focus on us. It was our first game, and it’s not an easy way to start. Lawrence is a typical power in New England.”

But the star of the night was Dawson-Gordon. The 6-foot-1 junior converted nine of 15 shot attempts, including four of six from 3-point range and racked up 2 of the team’s 18 steals.

“I wanted a bigger opportunity for both education and more competition for basketball,” Dawson-Gordon said. “I thought coming here was the best choice for both. I came down to visit (last year) and I’d seen them play, so I knew they were competitive. This was a team I wanted to be a part of … and they’ve welcomed me.”

And McVeigh is more than happy to find room for a newcomer.

“He had a good first game,” the Brooks coach said of his transfer. “He’s got a ton of talent. It’s a challenge for someone to come in when you’ve got four starters and seven of our top eight from last year. As a kid coming into that situation, you have to find the balance between playing the way you play but also making sure you’re part of the team.”

Game Statistics:

Lawrence Academy (41):  Jaylen Myrie 5 5-6 16, Darien Myers 4 0-0 8, Sam Fradin 0 0-0 0, Daquan Sampson 20-0 4, Sean Mullaney 1 0-0 3, Kyle Howes 4 0-1 10, Brian Dolan 0 0-0 0, Rocko Daignault 0 0-0 0. Totals 16 5-7 41

Brooks (64):  Aaron Davis 1 1-2 3, Jayde Dawson-Gordon 9 2-3 24, Connor Mahoney 2 1-2 5, Anthony Barry 6 5-5 17, David Berroa 1 0-1 2, Dylan Quigley 3 0-0 6, Chad Rogers 3 1-3 7, Tucker White 0 0-0 0, James Williams 0 0-0 0, Sam Mulbury 0 0-0 0, Patrick Gordon 0 0-0 0. Totals 25 10-16 64

3-pointers:  LA — Howes 2, Myrie, Mullaney; B — Dawson-Gordon 4

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