Danvers Boys Cagers Pop Peabody 65-51; Zero in on Tuesday Showdown at (11-1) Lynn English

Signs improved Friday night that the unbeaten Danvers High Falcons would be ready to take on their toughest test of the season Tuesday night at 11-1 Lynn English, the Northeastern Conference South leader and potential Division 1 North champion come tourney time.

With Devan Harris pouring in 27 points, Vinny Clifford bombing in three three-pointers and Tre Crittendon and Mike Nestor providing solid play off the bench, the 11-0 Falcons took care of Peabody Friday night in the DHS field house

The only negative? Another shaky start in which Peabody (6-6) jumped out to a 7-2 lead and the Falcons committed four early turnovers before igniting their jets and taking control. Danvers led, 16-10, after once quarter, 30-16 at halftime and remained in relative control the rest of the easy, though the Tanners whittled an 18-point deficit to within 42-33 late in the third.

Another plus for the Falcons was a more effective man-to-man defense, one in which they have made their reputation and amazing record the last four years. The Falcons are now 89-19 in coach John Walsh’s historic five-year tenure.

Lynn English (7 p.m. in the LEHS field house) now looms as the ultimate regular season test. If each of the the solid starting five plays up to his potential individually and as a teammate, and if Crittendon and Nestor can provide steady help off the bench, the Falcons have a chance. But they surely enter the game as a five- to seven-point underdog. English won last year’s meeting, 71-65, at DHS.

Could/should be a doozie.

A few other observations:

  • Steve Avigian, coach of the¬†powerhouse DHS golf team, must be the best basketball P.A.¬†announcer on the North Shore.
  • The DHS band adds a great deal of atmosphere to the proceedings.
  • Belated congrats to DHS AD Andy St. Pierre and his wife on the birth of their second child, and first daughter, regular attendees at home games with their son Wade and grampy, prominent North Shore orthopedic surgeon Dave St. Pierre.
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