SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Sports

January 6, 2014

Danvers battles past Gloucester, maintains control of NEC Small

(Continued)

The reigning Division 3 state champions, who will be playing in Division 2 this season, took control of the game with an outstanding second quarter. Tied at 17 heading into the frame, Danvers began to find its groove both offensively and defensively.

While the Fishermen struggled to find open looks and high percentage shots — shooting just 33 percent in the frame quarter — Danvers began to heat up, sinking eight of its first 10 shots from the field in the frame, including a pair of big 3-pointers from Rashad Francois off the bench to open up a nine-point lead at the break, 38-27.

“They had a really good second quarter,” Cahill said. “They hit a couple of big threes and we struggled to find our rhythm against their defense and forced up a few shots. If you take away that spurt in the second, it’s an even game.”

Gloucester was still in the contest at the start of the third quarter, but the Falcons continued to roll, opening up the frame on a 7-0 run to open up a 16-point lead at 45-29. Merry imposed his will on the Fishermen in the third, dominating the glass on both ends of the floor while chipping in six of his 15 points in the quarter to help his team extend the lead to 57-40 through three.

The Fishermen showed a little life in the fourth, opening the frame on an 11-4 run to cut the lead to 10 (59-49) with five minutes to play with big buckets from Drew Muniz (team-high 16 points), Jeff Oliveira and Austin Davis (14 points). But Danvers made sure that’s as close as Gloucester would get as Harris took over scoring 10 of his 29 points over the final eight minutes to lead his team to a 76-63 win.

“We tried to enter the ball to our bigs as much as possible,” Walsh said. “And I thought both Devan and Peter had great games.”

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