Peter Merry Follows Teammate Harris As NEC MVP

Following in brother George Merry’s footsteps on the Danvers High basketball team was one ¬†mighty challenge. George had been an All-Northeastern Conference performer and a Boston Glove all-scholastic when he led the Falcons to their first state title in 2012. But Peter Merry met the challenge and then some this season.

The play of the 6-10 senior center impressed the Northeastern Conference coaches so much¬†that they selected him as the loop’s Most Valuable Player. Rarely is a player chosen for this honor mainly because of his defensive play, but that was indeed the case with Merry, a spindly figure on there floor who blocked shoots, grabbed rebounds and defended in a fashion that would have made Bill Russell proud.

Peter had his share of double figure scoring games, his best a 36-point effort against Lynn Classical.

There was no way of knowing, though, when the season started just how far Merry had come as a player from his junior year. But it didn’t take long to find out. Merry owned the defensive paint, providing a level of intimidation that helped make the Division 2 state champion Falcons the best defensive unit in the state. Case in point: The Falcons held their final three opponents each to less than 50 points in their most important games of the year. Much of that was due to the impact Merry had in Danvers’ defensive alignment.

He made more than 100 blocks for the year, but the biggest came in the final minute of his final game against Marlborough in the state title game last Saturday at Worcester’s DCU Center.

Protecting a two-point lead, Merry got just enough of a finger on an inside shot by Marlborough’s Chris Doherty so that he misdirected the ball away from the basket.

In winning MVP honors, he followed teammate Devan Harris who earned the honor a year ago. Harris and Vinny Clifford joined Merry on the All-NEC team.

The other three teammates who rounded out the Falcons’ unbeatable six-player rotation, were named to the NEC Small Division all-stars: Devonn Allen, Rashad Francois and Mike Nestor. All return next year to make up the Danvers veteran nucleus.

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