SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Sports

January 15, 2013

In the Paint: Hitting their stride: Young Generals starting to put wins together

(Continued)

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Danvers passed a couple of Northeastern Conference tests last week and did so with such ease that it begs the question: Will anyone in the conference knock the defending Division 3 state champs off this season?

The way the Falcons are playing right now — after wins over Lynn English and Salem last week — it’s hard to imagine them taking a loss in conference.

Obviously, any team can have a bad night and suffer a setback to an inferior team, but Danvers is winning by an average of more than 26 points per game.

The Falcons’ 20-point win over Lynn English was impressive because they beat the Bulldogs at their own game. Most teams would try to slow the pace against English, but Danvers stuck to its fullcourt man-to-man defense and ran the Bulldogs out of the building. The Falcons basically did it using only six players.

Conditioning is clearly a factor for the Falcons.

“It’s huge. We’re blessed with Eric (Martin) because he’s a soccer player that can run for, legitimately, forever. I mean forever,” Danvers coach John Walsh said. “Our other kids are just used to a philosophy I have ... and it’s due to a lack of good coaching. I’m focusing on the game, I don’t think I have the mind capacity to go past six guys. It’s a fault, but that’s it.”

In Martin’s case, his ability to run forever goes beyond being in shape. It takes a great deal of mental fortitude to continue pushing forward.

Martin, Danvers’ point guard, was asked to handle the ball against English’s fullcourt defense, then defend the Bulldogs’ best guard, in this case mostly junior Fred Hogan and sometimes sophomore Erick Rosario. He did so, successfully, without leaving the court.

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