Clippers remain afloat

By Bruce Lerch / Division 2 | Tuesday, March 9, 2010 | http://www.bostonherald.com |

If someone had told Paul Lundberg beforehand that Falmouth would score just four points in the first quarter of the Division 2 boys basketball state semifinal and still win the game, the Clippers coach would never have believed it.

But that’s exactly what happened last night.

Falmouth recovered from the poor start to win, 62-55, at the Garden and send Salem crashing back to Earth.

The Clippers overcame the first-quarter loss of floor general D.K. Johnson (ankle) and used a monstrous third quarter by John Lavin to secure the victory.

“It’s just a weird feeling, scoring four points and coming out with a win at the Garden,” said Lundberg of the comeback in Falmouth’s first semifinal appearance since 1963. “And not having your point guard, your leader out there. For us to pull it out, the kids believed in themselves.”

After an abysmal first half for both teams, Lavin took over the game in the third. Consistently flashing to the middle of Salem’s 1-2-2 zone, the 6-foot-5 junior scored 16 of his 25 points as the Clippers (20-5) emerged from the break with a 12-2 run that opened up a 26-22 lead. Lavin also pulled down 17 rebounds in a double-double effort.

“I think we just started off slow. Our shots weren’t falling, and we made stupid turnovers,” Lavin said. “We told ourselves it’s just a basketball game – five players against five players. I knew I had to get to the middle. They were playing the 1-2-2 and I just started flashing and getting the passes.”

Stepping in at point guard for the injured Johnson was 5-7 freshman Andrew McGill, who did a terrific job of feeding Lavin and senior Nelson Baptiste (25 points). McGill also held on to the ball well under pressure from the Witches (18-7).

Baptiste hit 10-of-12 free throw attempts in the fourth as Falmouth kept Salem at arm’s length.

“I’m not sure if it was a combination of wearing down and missed assignments,” Witches coach Tommy Doyle said, “but we just didn’t do the job defensively in the second half that we needed to do to win this game.”

Junior Antonio Reyes led Salem with 22 points.

Article URL: http://www.bostonherald.com/sports/high_school/general/view.bg?articleid=1238330

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