By: Tuesday and Friday
The Spartan 1 – 2 scoring punch of Kafani Williams and Patrick Welch combined for 45 points to send Pembroke into the D2 Boy’s state title game against Pembroke. The Spartans will get a chance to avenge their only loss of the season which came at the hands of the Clippers.
There was no doubt what the game plan was for Pembroke to start this game. It was going to be Mr Inside, Kafani Williams and Mr Outside, Patrick Welch. The duo scored all 16 points for Pembroke as they took a 16 to 7 lead at the end of the first. The second quarter was another healthy dose of W & W for Pembroke. It seemed Pelham had no one that could guard either of the All State seniors of Pembroke. Williams slashed to the rack with athletic power finishing one drive after another as the Pythons searched for defensive answers. W & W combined for 27 of Pembroke’s 31 points as the Spartans took a 31 to 17 lead into the break.
Any chance Pelham had of making a comeback was thwarted by W & W again in the 3rd quarter. A Williams 3 footer put Pembroke up 33 to 17 20 seconds into the 2nd half. Pelham continued an offensive drought for the first 3 and a half minutes of the 3rd quarter. A Welch 3 with 4:30 remaining in the 3rd quarter gave Pembroke a 36 to 17 lead. A Connor Boucher 3 put Pembroke up by 20 at 39 to 19 with 3:20 left in the 3rd. From this point on Pelham never really put a serious run together. All that was left for Pembroke to do was to stay healthy and get ready to Play Portsmouth for the Title at 3:00 pm on Saturday.
In the 4th quarter Pelham senior Jake Vaiknoras scored his 1000th point and received a nice rousing acknowledgement from the spirited Python student body. The Pythons were led by Vaiknoras with 12 and sophomore Keith Brown with 10. This was Pelham’s last game in Division 2 as they move to Division 3 next season.
Pembroke looked prepared and ready to play tonight. Patrick Welch was quick, fast and his shot looked good. Kafani Williams made some very nice drive finishes in this game. Welch will surely win the POY in D2 boys this season. It wouldn’t surprise me if Kafani Williams finishes 2nd in the D2 POY voting. His season has been that good. Williams is the best rebounder in D2. He has improved his offensive game immensely from last season. He is a great defender also. If Welch is 1 in D2 then Williams is 1A.
There couldn’t be a more fitting matchup for the D2 crown than to have Pembroke and Portsmouth play for it. The Clippers handed the Spartans their only loss of the season on the Pembroke court. The game was a physical and hard fought game from tap off to buzzer. Portsmouth’s game plan was to muscle and be physical with Welch from the get go. It worked because Welch received a technical in the first 20 seconds of the game and his offensive game was off for the rest of the night. Pembroke launched too many 3’s in the loss to Portsmouth.
If Pembroke is to win their 2nd Championship in a row Kafani Williams must dominate the paint like he did tonight against Pelham. Dominic Timbas must be a factor down low also if the Spartans want to hoist the plaque. I’m sure Coach Mulvey and his Clippers will have some defensive surprises for Pembroke tomorrow. This game will be one that will have momentum swings. The fact that a 3 man crew will be officiating this game will work to Pembroke’s advantage. Portsmouth is the team that has to lean, grab and clutch Pembroke if they want the W. An added official might negate this strategy for the Clippers. Who gets fouled and when they get fouled will bear watching. This will be the key to this great matchup.
Something tells me both coaches are salivating to get this game tapped off. Coach Alosa wants redemption for their one loss this season. Coach Mulvey wants to confirm what Dave Haley says on a weekly basis: That Coach Mulvey is one of the best, if not THE best coach in the state. The 2 best teams will play for the D2 Ship at 3:00 pm. I can’t wait for the tap.