Pelham Pythons Boys Basketball '19-'20

Mon, Mar 09, 2020 07:00 PM @ Pelham
Team 1 2 3 4 Final
Sanborn 7 7 11 16 41
Pelham 18 13 21 15 67

Brown's dunk highlights Pelham

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PELHAM — This game was special for Pelham senior Drew Brown.

It wasn't his game-high 21 points Monday night that made it memorable, however, or the fact that the No. 3 seed Pythons breezed past Sanborn 67-41 in the first round of the Division 2 state tournament.

It all revolved around one shot midway through the fourth quarter when the 6-foot-2 guard zoomed down the court on a breakaway following a steal and threw down an impressive dunk, electrifying the vocal Pelham fan section.

It was the first dunk in a game by a Pelham player since Ryan Cloutier in 2016 and it was the fulfillment of one of Brown's biggest goals, which is probably why he raised his arms in a victory sign as soon as the ball went down.

"I'll never forget this game because of it (the dunk)," said Brown. "It's something I've always wanted to do in a game. I practice it a lot and I tried one in our last two games but didn't do it.

"I'm really happy I got the opportunity and was able to take advantage of it."

Pelham coach Mike Larson was almost as enthused as Brown, coming up to a reporter after the game and exclaiming "How about that dunk!"

Larson could probably focus a bit on Brown's dunk because he had few concerns with what else transpired on the court. The Pythons (18-7, 17-5 in NH), who defeated Sanborn soundly twice during the regular season, including 82-59 just last week, were in control from the start.

With some good defense, Pelham sprinted to an 18-7 lead in the first quarter and was up by a commanding 31-14 at halftime only to extend its lead even more in the third quarter.

Other than Brown, who is averaging 17.7 points a game, no other Python reached double figures but nine different players scored with Derek Crowley (16.7) next on line with nine points.

"I think that's what makes us difficult to play," said Larson. "We have a lot of guys who can score. I'm not worried about our offense."

Larson didn't have much concern on defense, either. With Matt Crowley guarding him, Sanborn high scorer Dylan Khalil (18.6) was held to eight points. It wasn't until younger brother Jared got hot in the second half that the Indians got much going offensively.

Jared Khalil sank two 3-pointers, showed some good moves and scored all of his 14 points in the last two quarters.

"You never want to take anything for granted, and I was a little nervous after last year (losing in the first round on a buzzer-beater) but it helped us just having played them," said Larson. "We pretty much knew what we had to do."

The Pythons will have a tougher test in Friday's quarterfinals when they host No. 6 seed Lebanon at 7 p.m. Pelham lost at Lebanon, 61-49, back on Feb. 22.

"That'll be a tough game, and we'll practicing hard for it, but we're a different team now," said Brown. "I think we're locked in for the playoffs."

Game Statistics:

N.H. Divison 2 First Round
Sanborn (41):
Thornton 1-0-2, Bush 1-3-5, D.Khalil 3-0-8, Lovely 4-4-12, Pugh 0-0-0, J.Khalil 6-0-14. Totals 15-7-41

Pelham (67): Herrling 0-0-0, M.Crowley 3-0-8, McGlinchey 0-0-0, Brown 9-1-21, Travis 1-2-4, Garrett 1-0-2, D.Crowley 4-0-9, Paul 3-0-6, Jones 2-1-5, Dumont 4-0-9, Hamel 0-0-0, Strout 1-0-3. Totals 28-4-67 

3-pointers: S — D. Khalil, J.Khalil 2; P — M.Crowley 2, Brown 2, D.Crowley, Dumont, Strout

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