DANVERS — Each lopsided victory the Danvers boys basketball team piled up through the early part of its schedule seemed to validate one growing question facing the Falcons: How will they respond when challenged?
Lynn English provided that challenge in the first half last night, and Danvers proved it’s not the type of team that will wilt under pressure.
A dominating third-quarter quickly transformed a tight battle into another blowout, this time with Danvers pulling away from the Bulldogs for a 90-70 victory.
“We just started doing everything right, flashing to the ball like we were supposed to,” senior point guard Eric Martin said after scoring 13 points and handing out nine assists. “Danny Connors was open under the hoop probably five times and we were just getting it down to him and he started finishing his layups. Once we started making the little plays that we didn’t in the first half it just opened up for us.”
Martin was one of five Falcons to finish in double figures, and Connors sparked Danvers’ third-quarter run by scoring 14 of his 20 points in that period.
Danvers (7-0) kept the ball moving against English’s trapping defense and Connors found himself in good position under the hoop.
“We went to Danny and he came through big time,” Danvers coach John Walsh said. “He made some good moves on the offensive end with his back to the hoop. He also got a couple rebound put-backs and he just played really hard.”
Playing hard has been a trademark for Danvers during Walsh’s tenure, and the Falcons played with a renewed sense of focus and urgency after Lynn English used a 10-1 run to cut their lead to four (42-38) heading into halftime.
The Bulldogs actually closed within two points early in the third quarter, but Danvers tightened up defensively and outscored its guests 30-14 in the frame.