On the evening highlighted by the unveiling of their 2015 Division 2 state championship banner, the Danvers High boys basketball team got some of their mojo back, pounding Winthrop, 70-37, in the DHS field house.
In improving to 6-3 overall, 5-2 in the Northeastern Conference, the Falcons, coming off a gallantly played 69-63 setback at Salem, left no prisoners in this one, surging to an 11-2 first quarter lead. It only got worse for the visiting Vikings after that. It was 37-11 at halftime, the margin being that close only because the Falcons shot an ice cold 3-for-22 from three-point land.
At the same time the Falcons asserted their defensive superiority all over the floor, their jersey-on-jersey man defense leading to 15 Winthrop turnovers to Danvers’s two by the half. A balanced offensive attack helped as well, with Rashad Francois scoring 11 of his 13 points by the break and Devonn Allen adding 10. Allen finished with 18, Francois 13, Tre Crittendon and sophomore Justin Roberto (3-for-4 in threes) each with 11.
Allen did not show the effects of a bandaged thumb, but everyone, Allen included, needs to improve their three-point accuracy as the Falcons dig into the midsection of their regular season schedule. They have a great chance to fatten up their record over the next five games before Lynn English comes to town February 2.
The one major surprise in this one was Roberto coming off the bench and hitting three straight three-pointers, an asset the Falcons surely could use in future games.
Next up — Friday at Saugus, followed by Marblehead here Tuesday and at Marblehead next Friday.
Olivia Perez delivered a beautiful national anthem solo.
In a brief pre-game ceremony, your truly was honored to emcee a brief event marking the unveiling of the 2015 state championship banner, the third such banner to be hung on the fieldhouse wall in four years. Last year’s three captains, Devon Harris, Vinny Clifford and Peter Merry did the honors along with Coach John Walsh, with all members of last year’s team at the wall as well.