SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

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March 5, 2013

Danvers prepared for a battle with Whittier

The Danvers High boys basketball team has won its first two tournament games by an average of 39 points this postseason.

Falcons’ coach John Walsh expects a very different outcome when his team battles Whittier Tech tonight in a Division 3 North semifinal at Triton Regional (7 p.m.).

It’s not that Walsh doesn’t believe Danvers (20-2) can win, but at this point the blowout victories should be a thing of the past.

Whittier, the No. 3 seed, enters with a 20-2 record and a starting five that Walsh finds really impressive.

The Wildcats feature an extremely dangerous duo in senior point guard Ryan Grant and senior forward Justin Reyes. Grant and Reyes were named co-MVPs for the Commonwealth Athletic Conference Large division this winter.

“You just gotta know where they are at all times. Reyes is one of the better players I’ve seen. You have to limit his touches and even that’s not easy,” Walsh said. “Grant is as good as they come at point guard. They’ve all been together since freshman year and their coach (Tom Sipsey) is a really good coach. You’ll know they’ll be prepared.”

The Reyes-Grant duo combined for 43 of Whittier’s 55 points in its quarterfinal win over Newburyport last week.

Grant is the point guard that makes the Wildcats go, and Reyes is an extremely athletic player who can go inside or out.

“They’re awesome,” Walsh said. “It’s going to be a really, really tough game. I think their starting five is as good as anybody’s in the whole state.”

Grant and Reyes are joined in the starting lineup by fellow CAC all-stars Nate Frangilo and Andrew Wells. Jaylin Deveau also starts for the Wildcats, who lack a little in depth.

Whittier only played its starting five against Newburyport.

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