Haverhill Hillies Boys Basketball '10-'11

Sun, Jan 23, 2011 02:00 PM @ Haverhill
Team 1 2 3 4 Final
North Andover 29 17 25 11 82
Haverhill 11 14 13 21 59

North Andover's quick start buries Haverhill

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Sunday, January, 23 By Jeff Hamrick

HAVERHILL - A basketball coach always wonders how his team will recover after a tough loss. Normally, however, he doesn't have to wait nine days to get his answer.

Following up a tough Cape Ann League defeat to Manchester Essex on Jan. 14, North Andover rebounded quite nicely yesterday afternoon, scoring 29 first-quarter points en route to an easy 82-59 nonleague road win over Haverhill yesterday before a packed house.

With Derek Collins leading the way, converting each of his first five 3-point attempts and six of his first seven, the Scarlet Knights rolled to a 24-5 advantage before the game was 5 minutes old. The Knights made 11 of their 17 field-goal attempts the first period.

North Andover (9-2) opened a 25-point lead on a layup by Colby Smith 3 minutes into the second quarter before settling for a 46-25 halftime lead.

"I've looked at them two or three times this year, and even though we've won some nice games, I told them I don't think we've played our best yet," North Andover coach Mike McVeigh said. "But I'd certainly be crazy to not tell you in that first half we couldn't have played any better than that. And that's in every facet. Eleven for 17 is very, very good, but I thought our defense was good. And I thought we changed the tempo with our defense. And we passed the ball very well to get some of those shots."

The Scarlet Knights made 18 of their 32 field-goal attempts the opening two quarters. Collins, who entered the game averaging 14 points, was 8-of-11 from the field while scoring 22 of his 29 points before intermission.

"I was feeling good and my teammates found me," said Collins, who finished 11 of 15 overall and seven of nine from 3-point range. "If the shot was there, I was going to take it. That was my mindset."

With Collins igniting the offense, leading scorer Zach Karalis was able to concentrate on defense. The 6-foot-3 junior opened both halves taking on Haverhill's 6-foot-8 Noah Vonleh. Although several other Scarlet Knights took their turns on the Hillies super sophomore, Karalis limited Vonleh to just three first-half field goals.

"Coach told me he wants me to start covering the better players," Karalis said. "And he told me this was a good challenge to start off on. Last year as a sophomore, I covered a lot of good players, and (yesterday) he told me it was a good time to start picking up my defense, and basically that happened."

North Andover, which needed four overtimes to defeat Haverhill 92-87 last year, took its biggest lead of the game with 2:33 left in the third on the last of Collins' field goals that put the Knights ahead 64-30. Not only did they shoot 59.3% from the floor (32 of 54) they also turned over the ball only seven times.

"After a loss you want to get right back onto the horse," McVeigh said. "We weren't able to (because snow postponed a game against Lynfield on Friday), but the kids worked hard these last nine days, and it showed."

Haverhill (3-8) was coming off a tough loss of its own to Central Catholic on Friday. The Hillies did outscore the Scarlet Knights 21-11 in the fourth with Vonleh scoring 15 of his game-high 32. He also had 17 rebounds and six blocked shots.

"That wasn't just us playing bad," Haverhill coach Mike Trovato said. "They're a very good team, but with our luck they came off an upset loss and didn't play for a week. With the type of coach Mike McVeigh is they were going to be fired up, hungry and ready to go.

"There's nothing you can do. The hardest thing to do is trying to deal with adversity. We're not playing bad teams. I mean the last two games with Central and North Andover, both have chances to be state champs in their divisions. The kids just have to work through it and hold everything together. This is the hard part of the season."

Game Statistics:

North Andover (82):  Colby Smith 5 2-2 12, Derek Collins 11 0-0 29, Zach Karalis 2 2-2 6, Jimmy Warden 5 1-2 11, Mike Moroney 2 0-0 4, Sean Erb 2 0-0 6, Isaiah Nelsen 2 1-1 5, John Miller 1 1-2 3, Anthony Agreste 1 0-0 2, Collin Hubbell 1 0-0 3, Axel Lougbo 0 1-6 1, Brendan McManus 0 0-0 0, Jake MacLean 0 0-0 0. Totals 32 8-15 82.

Haverhill (59):  Matt Jameson 4 0-0 10, Parker Rogers 2 0-0 4, Nate Bresnahan 2 0-0 4, Noah Vonleh 8 14-22 32, Anthony Dionne 2 0-0 4, Blaine Joia 1 0-0 3, Shain Roche 0 0-0 0, Sean Cronin 0 0-0 0, Dan Muise 0 0-0 0, Austin Johnson 1 0-0 2. Totals 20 14-22 59.

3-pointers:  NA — Collins 7, Erb 2, Hubbell; H — Jameson 2, Vonleh 2, Joia.

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