Too busy celebrating to write more than this about the Danvers High boys’ historic 59-47 victory over St. Joseph’s of Pittsfield earlier today at the DCU Center for the State Division 3 basketball championship.
The mark of true championship teams is their ability to adjust to adversity. The Falcons did it in their first tourney game against Pentucket when pivot George Merry got in foul trouble in the first period and they broke the game open without him.
They did it in the Division North semifinal against Wayland, overcoming a 10-point deficit with less than two minutes remaining (thank you, Joe Scarfo) to force overtime and win it then.
They did it in the North final when their defense held Saugus to three fourth quarter points.
They did it in the Eastern Mass. final at TD Garden against 24-0 Wareham when, after giving up ten straight points and falling behind, 32-30, the Falcons responded with a 22-2 run to turn the game into a rout.
And, they did it again today in the ultimate test — the state title game — when, trailing 37-31 late in the third quarter, scored the last seven points in the quarter and pulled away in crunch time, the fourth quarter, once again. This time sixth man Nick McKenna carried the Falcons the second half with 15 of his game-high 18 points.
The young man from rich and deep basketball roots (his grandfather is the late great Ipswich and St. John’s Prep coach Bob McKenna) has come a long way after transferring from the Prep last year, dealing with knee surgery, then missing some playing time earlier in the season this go-round because of a bad shoulder.
Everyone did his job, including Merry (11 points, 6 blocks), as the Falcons finish 21-4 (the best record in school history) and enjoy the remarkable fruits of their labor, guided in extraordinary fashion by second-year coach John Walsh.
Next up: a celebration worthy of the state champions, hopefully featuring a first-class banquet. Stay tuned. Congrats, team, from a former DHS cager who never thought he’d see the day. Well, I have.
Back to celebrating!!!!!!!!!!