, Salem, MA


March 8, 2014

New Mission figures to be big challenge for Danvers in Division 2 North final

The game didn’t feature any late runs in garbage time that made the final score look deceiving. It was simply a complete and utter dismantling.

Danvers High boys basketball coach John Walsh watched it unfold from the stands. He saw New Mission jumping all over the Falcons’ Northeastern Conference foes from Lynn Classical from the outset and rolling to an impressive 70-32 victory in a Division 2 North semifinal Wednesday night.

Walsh and the Falcons now have the unenviable task of trying to find a way to slow down the Titans in today’s sectional final at Lowell’s Tsongas Center (3:45 p.m.).

“They’re just incredible,” Walsh said of New Mission. “They look great. They’re big, fast, athletic, they defend and get out and run. They’re by far the most talented team I’ve seen all year — and it’s not close. Literally, they could just roll the balls out there.”

Walsh, who has guided the Falcons to 14 consecutive postseason victories (including back-to-back Division 3 state championships), even went so far as to say that this year’s New Mission team will likely be the toughest test Danvers has faced in the past three state tournaments.

Even so, Walsh isn’t the type to just ‘roll the balls out there’ and let his team try to figure it out.

There’s a blueprint for beating every team. Walsh hopes he’s discovered it, and by his estimation it’s nothing crazy.

“We’ll have to rebound, we’ll have to defend, and we’ll have to handle pressure. If we can do those three things, maybe we’ll give ourselves a chance,” Walsh said. “If not, it’s going to be really tough. We can’t go down early, not 12-0 (like Classical) because then it’s an uphill battle against one of the best teams in the state.”

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