Haverhill Hillies Boys Basketball '08-'09

Tue, Dec 30, 2008 07:30 PM @ Haverhill
Team 1 2 3 4 Final
Pentucket 6 12 9 6 33
Haverhill 13 14 10 15 52

Haverhill repels stubborn Pentucket

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Tuesday, December, 30 By Chuck Frye
Staff writer

HAVERHILL — The result wasn’t a surprise, but the road to it opened some eyes.

Pentucket, from the suburban Cape Ann League, wasn’t given much of a shot last night against a Haverhill team battle-tested in the rugged Merrimack Valley Conference. Besides, the Sachems already had a Greater Haverhill Christmas Tourney loss to Timberlane, which was annihilated by the Hillies Monday night.

But Pentucket countered a young but athletic opponent with senior discipline and a blanketing defense, never leading but never out of the contest. As late at the 3:49 mark of the third quarter, on a fall-away 3-pointer from Jordan Silva set up by Harry Shea’s crunching pick, the Sachems were within striking distance at 31-27.

Joe Casey led Pentucket with eight points with Silva adding seven and freshman Nolan Dragon six points.

But the Sachems’ offense then collapsed. A debilitating nine-minute scoreless run ensued that Haverhill, behind this year’s Most Valuable Player Dennis Driftmeyer and last year’s MVP Charlie Roche, seized upon to run away with a somewhat deceptive 52-33 victory, two straight wins and a tourney title.

"It was fun — ugly, but fun," Pentucket head coach Leo Parent said. "We saw a little of Haverhill/Timberlane and (the Hillies) like to press and run you out of the gym. We got back defensively and did well, especially in the first half. We battled hard and got it down to four but then we kind of ran out of steam."

"Leo Parent’s group plays extremely hard," Haverhill head coach Mike Trovato said. "I think obviously we’re more talented, but in high school a team that plays hard has an advantage and they played harder than us."

Haverhill hammered the boards, holding a 53-24 rebounding edge, and earned 16 more shot attempts from that work. But Pentucket’s defensive hustle created issues that challenged the Hillies and held them to just 33 percent shooting (24 of 72). Also, Haverhill got into foul trouble as Roche (11 points and 14 rebounds), Andrew Connolly and Devon Alvarado (six points) all picked up four fouls.

But after a Hillie timeout when the lead fell to four, quick buckets from Jake Jarosz and Driftmeyer (game-high 18 points and nine boards) made the lead safe. And while Pentucket was winding down a tough 12 of 56 shooting night (21 percent), hoops from Javier Bristol (12 points, 13 rebounds, 4 steals and 3 blocks) and Alvarado locked down the Hillie victory.

"Having less experienced players, anytime you play two games in a row is tough," Trovato said. "You desperately need that practice in between.

"But the kids have to learn that it’s high school basketball and anyone can win on any given night. We’re looking for 10 wins (and a state tourney berth) and it doesn’t matter if it’s Pentucket or Central Catholic, we want 10 wins."

"We have to work on the little things," Parent concluded. "In the third quarter, we missed some free throws and layups. In a game like this, we could have been up by three points instead of trailing and changed the tone of the game. If we’re going to anything in the CAL, we’ll have to beat teams that are better than us. Little things like foul shots and layups could do that."

Game Statistics:

Pentucket (33): Joe Casey 3 0-0 8, Jordan Silva 3 0-3 7, Nolan Dragon 2 2-4 6, Connor Harrison 1 1-2 3, Mike Brennan 0 2-2 2, Chris Modlish 1 0-2 2, Corey Fisher 1 0-0 2, Dan Rowett 1 0-1 2, Taylor Beaton 0 1-2 1, Harry Shea 0 0-0 0, John Piccolomini 0 0-0 0, Cam Spofford 0 0-0 0. Totals 12 6-16 33 

Haverhill (52): Dennis Driftmeyer 8 1-2 18, Javier Bristol 6 0-2 12, Charlie Roche 5 0-2 11, Devon Alvarado 3 0-0 6, Josh Munoz 1 0-0 3, Jake Jarosz 1 0-0 2, Chris Lantagne 0 0-0 0, Joshua Messonette 0 0-0 0, Kelvin Valdez 0 0-0 0, Andrew Connolly 0 0-0 0, Eric Jones 0 0-0 0. Totals 24 1-6 52 

3-pointers: P — Casey 2, Silva; H — Roche, Driftmeyer, Munoz

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