Haverhill Hillies Boys Basketball '09-'10

Sun, Jan 10, 2010 12:30 PM @ Haverhill
Team 1 2 3 4 Final
Pentucket 17 11 14 14 56
Haverhill 16 12 20 15 63

More experienced Haverhill defeats Pentucket

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Sunday, January, 10 By Jeff Hamrick

HAVERHILL — Playing at full strength for the first time in the still young basketball season, Haverhill ran away from Pentucket yesterday in a 63-56 victory.

Forced to play the first five games without suspended seniors Dennis Driftmeyer and Andrew Connolly, Haverhill lost four times, including a 44-point drubbing earlier in the week at Lawrence. But after watching Driftmeyer lead the Hillies down the stretch against Pentucket (4-5), the Hillies appear ready to make some noise in the Merrimack Valley Conference.

Playing in this league, the hardest thing you can do is play without a point guard,” Haverhill coach Mike Travato said. “We’d been using (freshman) Noah (Vonleh) at the point ... We’ve been using makeshift point guards all year, and turnovers have been killing us. But now we’ve got a point guard who can handle (the ball).”

Against the Sachems, it was Driftmeyer who controlled action late in the game. With a 15-2 run midway through the second half, Pentucket took a 51-50 lead with 6 minutes remaining on a field goal by Corey McNamara, who scored a game-high 23 points. After a free throw by Vonleh tied the game, Driftmeyer kept the ball in his hands scoring six of Haverhill’s final 12 points and adding an assist in the final 5 minutes. The Hillies had no turnovers in the crucial final period and five after intermission, when the teams were tied at 28.

“It was pretty tough watching because I thought I could make a difference if I was out there,” said Driftmeyer, a conference all star last year. “Now that I know I can come back run the point and still lead the team, it’s much better. But everyone is still learning, so hopefully we’re going to get better as we go.”

Driftmeyer scored a team-high 14 points while freshman Vonleh and Parker Rogers added 10 each. Rogers scored eight of his team’s 12 second-quarter points to keep Haverhill close. Connolly only scored 2 points, but played a big role in the Hillies strong second-half defensive effort.

“They are ready to go,” Travato said of Driftmeyer and Connolly returning to the lineup following their suspension. “They were a little rusty playing, and we had to change some people and their positions, but we’ll take any win we can. Everyone is just happy to have them back so we can move on.”

Pentucket, which had an early six-point lead, appeared to take control midway through the second period, but turnovers on seven of its next nine possessions allowed the Hillies new life. Not only did the Sachems convert only 11 of their 33 field-goal attempts after intermission, they also allowed seven offensive rebounds.

“They are a quick team, and they are athletic,” Pentucket coach Leo Parent said of Haverhill. “But I thought we hung with them pretty well. We played well defensively at times, but when push came to shove, we didn’t clear the defensive glass. We gave up too many points in the second half on second-chance (baskets).”

Game Statistics:

Pentucket (56): Taylor Beaton 0 4-6 4, Mike Brennan 2 0-0 4, Nolan Dragon 3 0-2 6, Brandon Lozier 2 3-4 7, Cameron Spofford 1 0-0 2, Mike Doud 0 1-2 1, Corey McNamara 8 1-2 23, Willie Angelini 0 0-0 0, C.J. Lataille 2 0-0 5, Nick Giannino 2 0-0 4. Totals 20 9-16 56.

Haverhill (63): Dante Perella 2 0-0 5, Blaine Joia 1 2-2 4, Nathan Bresnahan 3 1-2 7, Noah Vonleh 4 2-8 10, Dennis Driftmeyer 6 2-5 14, Parker Rogers 4 1-3 10, Stephen Allen 3 0-0 6, Eric Jones 2 0-0 5, Andrew Connolly 1 0-0 2. Totals 26 8-20 63.

3-pointers: P — McNamara 6, Lataille; H — Perella, Rogers, Jones.

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