Sunday, November 22, 2009

Dover Punches Ticket to UNH

3/14/10
The #6 seed Green Wave defeats #14 seed Exeter last night 63-60. Exeter battled hard, and made it a lot closer than it should have been.


How it Went Down
This was definitely a game of runs. It was back and forth in the beginning but then Exeter made a run late first quarter and early second. The Blue Hawks led 21-11 early on in the second quarter and it looked like we might see not one but two 14 seeds make it to the semi-finals (White Mountains was the other in boys Class M). Exeter was able to slow the pace of the game down and make it a grind it out game, which is in the favor. They pounded the ball down low to Tucker Munro (13 points, 9 rebounds) and Brad Holler was hitting three's (7 treys in his last 2 games).

But then Dover scored 16 straight points and went on a 26-4 run. They continued the run into the third quarter, building their largest lead of the game at 44-26. During this run everything was going Dover's way and everything was going wrong for Exeter. Dover was hitting three balls left and right from Alex Burt (18 points), Kenaan Al-Darraji (19 points) and Rory Duffy.

Then it was Exeter's turn to once again make a run. You might figure that since it was a 44-26 game in the second half that it was over. But there was no quit in these Blue Hawks. They battled back from 18 down in the second half, and with 5.4 seconds left they had a chance to tie the game and send it to overtime. James Holler's last second three point attempt was no good and Dover escaped with a 3 point win when they should have won by at least 10.

The comeback was a team effort for Exeter, but most of the damage was done by senior guard Louie Vigars and senior forward Mike Fecteau. Vigars scored 11 of his team-high 13 points in the second half. The Blue Hawks also got some very good defense in the second half by both of the Holler brothers. And defense was definitely key to their run. They started pressing Dover full court, really getting in the face of the Green Wave players and getting into passing lanes. The defensive pressure of Exeter forced 16 second half turnovers by Dover. This allowed Coach Holmes' team to crawl back in the ballgame. Exeter kept turning those turnovers into quick baskets on the other end from Vigars, Fecteau and the rest of the crew.

Of course in the end it was too little too late for Exeter, as Dover held on for the in. The Green Wave made most of their free throws down the stretch (although Burt did miss 2 in a row which was surprising to see).


The Difference Was...
Offensive rebounding for Dover. I'm not going to beat around the bush or dance around it. Offensive rebounding for Dover is why they won this game. The Green Wave had over 25 offensive rebounds on the game, which is simply a staggering number. Exeter did not do a good enough job of boxing out defensively. And Dover did a very good job of getting after it on the offensive boards. They wanted the ball more than Exeter did. Duffy, Morgan Faustino and Justin Dube were all over the place, hustling for every loose ball and rebound. Of course it does help that Dover takes so many outside shots, which lead to long rebounds, which are easier for the offense to recover. But still 25 offensive rebounds in a 32 minute basketball game is just crazy. Not only was Dover getting all of these offensive rebounds, but they were were turning those offensive rebounds into quick baskets. They would either go right back up with a shot in the paint or kick the ball out to Burt, Al-Darraji or Duffy for a three. Dover getting offensive rebounds and taking advantage of them by converting them into scores was the reason they won this game.


Al-Darraji Quietly Becoming a Star
Everyone knows who Alex Burt is. Burt gets a lot of recognition, and deservedly so. But 6'0" guard Kenaan Al-Darraji is the silent assassin for Dover. He is quietly having an amazing junior season. Al-Darraji had led the team with 19 points last night and he had 21 in the prelims against North. I also saw him have huge games earlier in the year vs. Trinity and Winnacunnet, both wins for the Green Wave. This kid is shooting the ball with a ton of confidence right now, and he is also showing that if you play up on him too much to try and take away the three he'll go by you off the dribble.

"When Burt and Al-Darraji are both on at the same time they can beat anybody" said Winnacunent coach Jay McKenna, after his team got thrashed by Dover a few weeks ago.


Blue Hawk Seniors Have Nothing to Hang their Heads About
Dover moves on to UNH, but for Exeter this is the end of the road for a very good senior class. I said a few days ago that Merrimack had the best senior class in the state. But the Blue Hawks are definitely not far behind. James Holler, Tucker Munro, Louie Vigars, Mike Fecteau and Dan Driscoll. That's Exeter's whole starting lineup, and it's a heck of a senior class. They're 5 scrappy players who play the game hard and they play it the right way. All 5 will be sorely missed by head coach Jeff Holmes next season.


Looking Ahead to Dover vs. Pinkerton
I'm sure when most people look at this match-up their first reaction will be to say that Pinkerton has the advantage inside and on the boards while Dover has the advantage on the perimeter and shooting the basketball. But anyone who was at the Dover vs. Exeter game last night knows better. Folks who were there saw Dover get 25 offensive rebounds, and dominate the glass on both ends. Now granted, Pinkerton has much more size down low than Exeter does. But still, if the Green Wave hit the boards the way they did last night they will DEFINITELY hold their own in that department against Mathieu, Proulx and Patrikis on Wednesday night.

Also the bigger gym favors Dover, because they're a quicker team. They can spread the floor offensively, and move the ball for some easy shots while the slower Pinkerton players try to defend the larger playing surface.

Where I could see Dover struggling when they get to UNH is with their shooting and handling the ball against defensive pressure, both against a press or just in the half court. Because Lundholm Gymnasium is such a bigger gym than these high school teams are used to playing in, their depth perception will be way off, and it will be tougher for anyone to hit outside shots in Durham. And where Dover is a team that relies so much on the three ball it could definitely hurt them. And against the press Dover really struggled last night. Not only breaking the press but also getting into an offense and running a half court set against the in your face pressure of the Blue Hawks. This won't be as much of a factor vs. Pinkerton because they're not a pressing team. But if Dover does advance to the title game, they will face either BG or Winnacunet. Both of those teams press full court virtually all game long. Dover will have to work on beating the defensive pressure if they hope to defeate either of those teams. And they'll have to get used to shooting the ball at Lundholm in a hurry if they want to beat Pinkerton.

Is it Wednesday yet?!?!

49 comments:

  1. BG over Londonderry by 25. Talk about a game that wasn't close.

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  2. Dover vs. Pinkerton will be an intriguing match-up. Dover being loaded with shooters and guards, Pinkerton with their strong suit being the play of Mathieu and Proulx. If Dover is hitting their shots and keeping the game at a high pace, they should have no trouble moving on to the championship.

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  3. Dover looked very good last night except for a shaky ending

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  4. how did u feel about the crowd at this game, i thought both teams had good fans and dovers student section was very loud

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  5. Considering how many people were there it was quiet. At one point I looked around the gym and I was in awe of just how many people were there. Ollie Adams is one of the larger gyms in Class L, and it was standing room only. There were folks lined up in the corner entrances and along the baselines, not a seat to be found, it was PACKED. Given the huge attendance, it really didn't get too loud until the fourth quarter when Exeter was making their late run. I suppose that's understandable. When it's a 10-15 point game most of the way it's not going to be as loud as if it is neck and neck for the full 32 minutes.

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  6. What was the atmosphere at BG?

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  7. BG was crazy
    40 minutes before the game all the londenderry kids filled up their section
    BG section had a good turnout too. Some BG kids started chanting "howd you get here" because it was just an absolute blowout. Guertin is so deep, if they keep it up their gonna blow everyone out

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  8. the BG crowd was great. very entertaining.not necessarily the loudest all the time. but very creative and fun. check them out and you'll see.
    saturday especially was a blast

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  9. The 'Splash Zone' (for Luke "Splash" Lavash) was a real hit. Lavash went 3-3 from deep, it was wonderful.

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  10. The fans were great. My favorite was "how'd you get here" when BG was up by around 25 and it was clear they did not belong that deep in the playoffs

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  11. with or without watson there is no way merrimack should have lost to londonderry.

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  12. A "how'd you get here" chant shows a lack of class. This is typical of some schools. You don't kick a man when he is down. You pretend like you've been there before.

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  13. thats very true about merrimack. even with watson out and him being their star senior, londonderry still didnt have as much talent as merrimack had going in. merrimack just didnt bring the intensity

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  14. Wow, you need to lighten up...those types of chants are half the fun of hs basketball - doesn't matter if "you've been there before". There's absolutely nothing at all wrong with that type of student body chant - heard a lot worse. Fact of the matter is, if you're on the other side and don't want to hear the student section get on you, then you have to show up and play a little better than a 25 point blow out in the quarters. Otherwise, you need to get a little (ok - a lot) thicker skin...

    Good luck BG in Durham!

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  15. buddy listen up. the bg kids do what they can. the g adminstration is on their tails 24/7. if anything bg is one of the classiest. compared to one of the "tough" londenderry student started screaming at them basially saying come out to the back and we can fight.

    seriously they are high school teenage fans. lighten up

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  16. 2:37
    I am a Central Catholic (Lawrence Mass) Alum and fan. If you want to see how it should be done, go to those games. Central Catholic has a very classy and creative student section. I can't judge the BG student body because I was not at the game and have never seen a BG game of any sport, but it sounds like some of the things that I have seen Andover Mass do... very unclassy. If "how'd you get here" is what you consider creative and fun and not demeaning the opponent, then keep up the good work. If you were to play Central Catholic and got schooled by 40+ points, thier student body would not pick on you at all, they haven't all year , they've "been there before". Good luck the remainder of the way.

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  17. Actually I agree with 11:28 in seniors last games. In the regular season I understand maybe a little chant to annoy the other team but to me when you know it is the seniors last games you should respect them more and not try to rub their nose in the defeat.
    I was at a game in class I and when the other team started taking their seniors off the floor at the end. Both sets of fans applauded nicely on their exit off the floor. I thought that was classy.

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  18. 11:28, presumably you're from Londonderry. Let's talk about lack of class when during the Merrimack game, the Londonderry student section was making fun of the Merrimack team assistant who is mentally disabled. I'd take "how'd you get here" cheers over that any day.

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  19. 3:24
    I am not from Londonderry. I am from Salem, but a CC Alum and fan. I think that both chants that you describe are classless. Like I said, we see similar from Andover. There are many ways to support your teams without demeaning the opponent.

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  20. I am from Nashua and was there to see BG, cheered for BG and was very happy for the boys in their win. I just think that when players have spent 4 years in a sport that they love and the game is already decided you should not feel like you have to rub their nose in it. We often talk about the education that is at the NEXT LEVEL at BG. This could be something that is added to the education process at every school. No need to insult or embarrass your opponent when the game is over. That is when you respect the hard work of the seniors on both sides and maybe even cheer for the players as they have played their last game. Why isn't winning enough? It is the Lebron Dance, the gloating and the lack of respect for your competitor that is missing in todays sports. Respect the team,shake their hands and be happy that you are moving on with dignity instead of anger. You can do it, you just need to be taught that. I say the BG staff should add that to the educational process.

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  21. I was at this game. 3:24 you are wrong about Londonderry student sec. If you didn't notice they have a cheerleader who is special also. Don't throw stones to make someone else look bad it just discredits yourself.

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  22. I personally love how everyone gets all over BG about class for something as little as this when they all know almost every other school gets away with ten times worse and nobody so much as blinks at it. Any excuse for everyone to trash on BG I guess

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  23. The "splash zone" was great! Never seen anything like that elsewhere that really made my night. That is the definition of harmless, creative good fun. As for the chant, I was there it seemed fine to me. I advise everyone live a little it was nothing in bad taste

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  24. Let me analyze this for you. You are a player for Londonderry. You play against Merrimack, they are missing a player and everyone still thinks you will lose. You win the game and get a chance to move on and run into a very good BG team That team is beating you pretty bad, your a senior,it is most likely the last game you will ever play that means anything to you and here it is over already and you are still on the floor. Now you have to hear the chant that you shouldnt have even made it that far. How can that not be a slap in the face and an insult to what you accomplished?
    I would not let my fans get away with that one. It served no purpose,made others feel bad and was uncalled for. You won,cheer for your guys on the floor. That is in good taste not a shot at the team that you have already sent home.

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  25. I wonder the same thing,how did they get there?how did they beat a team with the best senior class in nh?

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  26. Some great back and forth between the Memorial and Winny fans Sat. night. Winny student section did a very entertaining version of a "rollercoaster" and the Crusader fans countered with their own sarcastic rendition. Very funny and great hoop atmosphere down on the Seacoast

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  27. Okay look if you want to trash the BG fan section fine. Though it is uncalled for you to start talking about the Bishop Guertin Eduation and how they should teach their students to be more respectful because honestly thats just rediculous. The fan section was filled will male teenagers who want to have fun, face it they will act like any other teenager. Please do not put these students to higher expectations.

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  28. You people need to lighten up.I was at the merrimack- bg game and the merrimack fans killed the bg fans with chants.When Mike kelly{merrimack resident} walked by the merrimack section before the game he got the booing of a lifetime.Then he walked by the bg section and got a standing o,it was priceless.Merrimack chants of where's your coach, and we don't want you when merrimack residents mcclung,cuipa and remillard took the floor.I thought they were funny,but you people might think their hurtful.It was good to see the bg fans fired up,they have been lame all year.Nothing has been said about the londonderry fans who ripped the replica bg jerseys off the gym wall before the game.Now that was classless.

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  29. Nobody here has mentioned the fact that the Londonderry fans had the nerve to pull down BG's decorations, going as far as to rip one of the player's paper jerseys from the wall. That goes beyond any issue class, that is an act of vandalism and malice. Londonderry has no right to complain about BG's trivial chants when they vandalized the Bishop Guertin Gym.

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  30. I guess my point is all student sections should be taught to respect the team they are playing once the games outcome has been decided. No sense kicking someone when they are down. Heck even in a fight you need to know when the fight is over and at that point there is no reason to throw another punch. That is all I am saying. Don't taunt a beaten opponent. Don't feel you need to humiliate them on top of the defeat.

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  31. I wondered it to, but there was no reason to say it to rub salt in the wounds of the players.

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  32. hey 626 many times bg players have heard start the pickle bus.How about the nanana nanana hey hey goodbye chant,would that have been a slap in the face too.Sense of humor is a good quality to have even if you are a senior playing in your last game.

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  33. The splash zone has been at timberlane the last 2 years for Kevin Baker

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  34. 3 jerseys were ripped down at the game.that is just londonderry kids having fun,but god forbid bg kids poke a little good natured jab with a clever chant.Lock those bg kids up,quick before they get to Durham.

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  35. IS everyonee complaining about 1 BG chant!!!gosh, seriously TOJO was ontop of his game as well as the BG administrators making sure bad bad chants wouldnt happen which is one reason why BG hasnt been able to truly say anything or else they would

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  36. I would not go as far as to say Na na na na is to much, but saying you dont belong on the court with us was a little much. Once again, it was just a way to embarrass a already beaten opponent. Not saying it is a crime just not needed in what is a sad day for the losers of the game already.

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  37. This is rediculous. If you can't handle fans chanting at your game, please don't play varsity basketball.

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  38. The thing is, the BG student section is way too reigned in already. They have a small crowd because they have so few kids and aren't that loud because the seniors are the only vocal ones. They did a great job and were just a bunch of kids having a good time, nothing more. Londonderry needs to quit feeling sorry for themself. The sad thing is, Tojo and the admin are going to see this and overreact like they allways do and the kids will be forced to sit there with muzzles on because Tojo etc worry more about making themselves look good as AD and less about the kids

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  39. I agree that it isn't right to get all over the BG kids for chants, I think they were harmless enough that if they bother you, you should consider growing a set.(I apologize for that) on the other end however, it is also rediculous to say it is vandalism for the Londonderry fans to rip down a paper jersey that was taped to the wall. Who cares? It was the last game in the gym anyway.

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  40. immmmmmmm laughingg so much.

    BG is the bomb and so is the student section

    please find more bad ways to try to talk about us. we love it, and we'll be at the game Wednesday!see ya there!

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  41. Honestly - "How'd you get here" - is being blown up to this? If it was directed at one player, maybe - but as far a chants go, I think that's pretty harmless. You also have to take into context when the chant was made - I was not there either, but I'm guessing it probably started at some point early in the fourth quarter and was the students' way of making sure Londonderry was not going to make a run back into it. Once a team is off balance, keep them off balance so there is no doubt of the outcome. Stranger things have happened (and if Londonderry did make a comeback, well you can bet their student section would have given it right back to BG). If it happened in the last 30 seconds, that may be a little over the top, but still not the end of the world by any stretch (certainly not much worse than the "It's all over" that you hear pretty much every student section chant in the final minutes as their team closes out a game...)

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  42. You think the student section said lets make sure they dont come back. lol You are seriously making that argument? The chant was to embarrass the team and make them even more disappointed than they were. Now where I come from if you are trying to make someone mad or embarrass someone it is wrong. Period.

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  43. is anybody gonna talk about the game here?

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  44. No kidding. Londonderry kids insult a downs syndrome kid at the Merrimack game and then rip down the replica BG Jerseys at the BG game and now they are crying about a chant in the crowd....you gotta be kidding me. My question is...where was the Londonderry AD through all this ? Everybody is bashing TOJO....what about the Londonderry guy....? Isn't he responsible for his kids and their bad behavior.

    The Londonderry kids were taunting the BG kids to come outside and fight (like the fights they caused at the Merrimack game). That isn't an insensitive chant.....that's a crime !!

    Londonderry people need to grow up.

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  45. COULDN'T AGREE WITH YOU MORE 12:11.THE LAST PEOPLE TO BE COMPLAINING AFTER HOW THEY ACTED IN MERRIMACK IS THE LONDONDERRY PEOPLE.

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  46. Note to All, I brought up that the chant was classless, not a Londonderry Fan. I am not with Londonderry or BG and I have never seen either play. It was just a comment. It can not be argued. There is nothing to compare it to. Chanting to another team "how'd you get here" is not cool or creative, it is classless is all that I am saying. "your ride is over, "see you next year", "na na na na, hey hey Good Bye", and a million others are acceptable. The one that was reported here was classless. Really thats it. MOVE ON, GET OVER IT. Bringing up things that the other teams did is pointless and does not change a thing. Tearing down posters and replica jerseys, stealing mascots, whipped creaming cars, those are things that HS kids do. (chanting at a disabled person is classless if true). Booing an opposing player because of where he is from is acceptable, chanting "We don't want you" is acceptable. Again - MOVE ON.. "how'd you get here" is classless no matter how you look at it.
    Central Catholic Raider (who really has no clue who BG even is)

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  47. I think the only Londonderry people complaining are an oversensitive parent or two who think little Johnny can't handle tame student section chanting. The players are big boys and they can deal with MUCH worse than "how'd you get here". The complainer(s) probably are insulted by "air ball" chants also - give me a break.

    Time to put this one to rest, even if the clueless Londonderry Mom replies yet AGAIN!

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  48. This is rediculous, Londonderry if you can't handle fans at away games making you feel bad, then stick to intramurals or hoops inthe drieway. Stop acting like children

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  49. Predictions for Wednesday night's semifinals and Saturday's Championship:

    BG 65 - Winnacunnet - 56
    Pinkerton 64 - Dover 60

    Championship:

    BG 62 - Pinkerton 61

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