Danvers High’s Fabulous Falcons’ Date With Destiny Draws Near

Random thoughts as Danvers High’s Fabulous Falcons continue preparations for their “Date With Destiny” Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m. in the DCU Center, Worcester, against 21-3 Marlborough. At stake: The MIAA Division 2 state championship.

  • The one player most apparently standing in the way of the Falcons’ first-ever perfect season (27-0) and third state title in four years is Marlborough freshman center Chris Doherty. The 6-6 pivotman had 33 points (13 from the foul line) and 15 rebounds in his team’s 65-58 victory over South Hadley in their Central/Western Mass. state semifinal in Springfield. Doherty poses the sternest test Danvers’s 6-10 Peter Merry has faced all season. I doubt those 33 points and 15 rebounds came against anyone with the size, defensive and shot-blocking talents of Merry, who will be playing his final game as a Falcon. The Doherty-Merry matchup looms as a fascinating storyline, but I like Merry’s cha nces of gaining the upper hand early and keeping it against the young Mr. Doherty.
  • The other two double-figure scorers for Marlborough against South Hadley were brothers, Owen (12) and Joe (10) Cappadona.
  • Marlborough’s three losses came to St. Bernard’s, 63-60, Westborough, 55-38, and St. John’s of Shrewsbury, 71-60.
  • Marlborough’s defense is a force. It has held nine teams to 40 points or less. Winner of the Midland B League with an 11-1 mark, it brings a seven-game win streak into the game while averaging 56.1 points per game and allowing an average of 45.7.
  • Nothing could have been finer, after Danvers’ 51-40 victory over Bp. Feehan in the TD Garden Tuesday night, than to see the thermometer hit the mid-50s the next afternoon.
  • It is understandable that Danvers fans are experiencing a glorious high these days, following nail-biting tourney wins over Brighton, Arlington and Bp. Feehan. How can the Falcons lose Game 27 after winning the first 26, they ask. Well, teams in the exact same circumstance have been defeated before in the DCU Center, crushing their hopes of a perfect season. The Falcons have no intention of being such a victim.
  • Vinny Clifford and Devan Harris join Merry as DHS seniors playing their final game for the Royal Blue and White.
  • There is no reason to believe that the “Big Three,” along with sophomore point guard Devonn Allen, junior off guard Mike Nestor and sixth man Rashad Francois won’t embrace this game with devastating efficiency at both ends of the floor. I won’t be surprised in the least if they play the most total game they’ve played all year.
  • Head coach John Walsh gives the Falcons a major advantage on the bench, as he has shown throughout the playoffs.
  • All these Danvers players, with the exception of Harris, who was playing in Hingham, got a taste of what it feels like to win a championship as observers in 2012 and 2013. Now it’s their turn to reach the summit.
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