Pelham Pythons Boys Basketball '14-'15

Wed, Mar 11, 2015 08:00 PM @ Pelham
Team 1 2 3 4 Final
Campbell 10 17 4 8 39
Pelham 14 12 10 4 40

Pelham barely hangs on in semis

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HOOKSETT, N.H. — Pelham outscored its 18 New Hampshire regular-season opponents by an average of 28 points.

So how unexpected yet appropriate that the top-seeded Pythons squeaked out a 40-39 victory over fifth-seeded Campbell here in the Division 3 semifinals at Southern New Hampshire University on Wednesday.

Campbell took possession on a Pelham turnover with 1:23 left, then missed two 3-pointers in the next 33 seconds but secured the rebound on both misses before calling a timeout with 47 seconds remaining.

Campbell ran the clock down to 1 second before taking a final shot, a missed 3-pointer from the corner. Kyle Shaw attempted the shot and Pelham’s Ryan Cloutier grabbed the rebound as time expired.

Pelham sprinted toward its bench in excitement ... and also major relief.

“We always prepare for it in practice, but there’s nothing like the game with the crowd and everything,” Pelham’s Ryan Rondeau said. “I was surprised they didn’t go (to the basket) around 10 (seconds). I thought they would’ve went a little bit earlier just in case of the tip-in maybe or to give themselves 5 seconds if we got the rebound and they fouled us.”

Nope, Campbell went for the win and lost.

“I thought that last possession they played defense the way they should have played defense the whole game,” Pythons coach Matt Regan said. “The help was good. The rotations were good. I thought with Shaw hitting the 3s in the first half, if they (Campbell) rotate the ball enough they’re going to get you out of position.”

The Pythons had beaten Campbell by 11 points at home Dec. 16, then by 21 points on the road Feb. 24.

But this one was much closer thanks to Campbell shooting 58.8 percent from the floor in the first half. 

The second half was much different as Pelham held Campbell to just 12 points total and 18.8 percent shooting.

Still, Pelham couldn’t pull away because of its own offensive woes. Dylan Silvestri was limited to just 15 minutes because of foul trouble and Pelham shot just 29.4 percent during the second half.

Every point mattered. Kyle Frank delivered two massive points with 42 seconds remaining in the third.

Frank grabbed the rebound off a Rondeau failed 3-pointer from the corner. The 5-7 sophomore drove up and scored in traffic to give Pelham a 36-31 edge heading into the fourth quarter.

It marked Frank’s lone basket of the game.

“That was a huge momentum swing,” Rondeau said. “Not a lot of shots were falling. We didn’t get a lot of offensive boards and for Kyle to come in like that and to grab that and put it back up (was huge). He was in for one of our big men (Silvestri) and he’s a point guard.”

Rondeau led all Pythons with 12 points. High-scoring Keith Brown was held to 11 points, about half his average, and eight rebounds. Cloutier netted 10 points.

Championship Preview

The Pythons beat just one Division 3 foe (Conant) by fewer than double-digits. It was 40-34 on Jan. 19 after shellacking the Orioles 62-45 on Dec. 19.

How appropriate then that Pelham will face No. 3 Conant in Saturday’s title game (3 p.m. at Southern New Hampshire.)

Third-seeded Conant won easily, 52-43 over second-seeded Berlin in the other semifinal here, impressively holding Berlin to 0 points during the third quarter.

Conant played without its leading scorer, 5-11 guard Josh DeGrenier who is averaging about 15 points per game.

DeGrenier was suspended for one game after he received a technical and ejection in the quarterfinals because of an altercation with a Mascenic player.

The junior will be back Saturday.

“I told him (DeGrenier) he should kiss every guy (on his team) because now he has a chance to play in the finals,” Saucier said, jokingly.

Saucier is impressed how the Pythons play seven deep.

“They’ve got Keith Brown, Ryan Cloutier, Dylan Silvestri — you go down the line,” Saucier said. “You’ve got Frank coming off the bench. They all can play basketball. ... We don’t fear them. We know they’re really good. And it’s going to take everything we have to beat them.”

Conant is 12-1 since that Jan. 19 loss to Pelham.

“It’s a whole new ballgame,” Saucier said. “And on the big floor, they (Pelham) have got a lot of seniors. They’ve got a lot seniors that lost last year (as juniors).”

Game Statistics:

Campbell (39): Kyle Shaw 3-2-11, Christian Kamacho 0-0-0, Harrison Vedrani 6-4-16, Kyle Manning 0-0-0, Zachary Bergeon 2-2-7, Andrew Smarse 2-0-5, Justin DiBenedetto 0-0-0, Tyler Brennen 0-0-0, Michael Gray 0-0-0. Totals 13-8-39

Pelham (40): Kyle Frank 1-0-2, Dylan Silvestri 0-0-0, Ryan Rondeau 3-4-12, Keith Brown 4-2-11, David Rogers 1-0-3, Cam Deloreto 1-0-2 , Ryan Cloutier 5-0-10. Totals 15-6-40

3-pointers: C — Shaw 3, Bergeron, Smarse; P — Rondeau 2, Brown, Rogers 

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