BEVERLY — With Endicott leading by five in final four minutes last night’s home opener against Lesley, the visitors decided to go back to the full court press they’d used sporadically in the second half.
It was the biggest mistake the Lynx would make. The Gulls beat the press for easy bucket after easy bucket, pulling away to win 80-70 for the club’s third straight win to start the season.
“We press a lot ourselves so we see it everyday in practice,” explained EC (3-0) head coach Phil Rowe. “I don’t think you want to press us with our back court.”
Even without its freshman stud at point guard in Kamahl Walker, the Gulls handled Lesley whenever it brought full court pressure, which it had to do late in the game to try and complete the comeback.
Max Motroni and Greg Jacques showed great ball handling skills to slip double teams and find the open guy. Center Andre Makris was the beneficiary of the ball movement, scoring six of his 15 points finishing on the break after the Lynx had cut the lead to 65-60.
Jacques (12 points) in particular had his way with whoever Lesley threw at him, weaving his way to the basket for a few tough, contested lay ups.
The best all-around player was John Henault. The junior forward led Endicott in points (16) rebounds (17) assists (seven) and minutes (38).
“He can play. He’s bound and determined to play every game to the maximum,” Rowe said of Henault. “He didn’t even shoot well but his impact was huge because of the little things. He’s emerging into one of the best players in New England.”
Endicott opened the game on a 7-0 run and kept the Lynx offense out of rhythm for the majority of the second half. The Gulls opened in a 2-3 zone but switched its defense constantly-a lot of the times in the middle of Lesley’s possession.