Falcons Start Strong, Finish Poorly in Debut; Look to Rebound at Peabody Monday Night

The Danvers High Boys Basketball Falcons got off to an inauspicious season start Friday night under new coach Jarhon “Jay” Giddings, falling at home to Lynn English, 83-59.

But there were plenty of positives to take from the defeat as they ready for their first road encounter Monday night at Peabody at 7 p.m.

“We nearly scored 60 points, which to me is usually a good offensive night,” Giddings said. “We also made 10 threes (out of 33). Maybe not a great percentage, but not bad either. I Want them to shoot the three when they have the shot because we have some good three-point shooters, obviously.”

Giddings means Sean Rooney (19 points total versus English) in particular, who hit five against English, and Justin Roberto (13), who hit three in the fourth quarter alone.

“I’ll be more upset if they pass up open threes than if they force one up,” the coach added. “Fact is we have the ability to score points inside and out. The three-point shot is an important part of our offense”

Giddings was encouraged that his kids were down only 32-28 at the half, but not happy that turnovers and transition baskets turned a close game into a bit of a rout. “We had 29 turnovers, too many,” Giddings said. “We also need a more sustained defensive effort. We played a 2-3 matchup the whole game and need to play it better at Peabody, though I felt we played it effectively until midway through the third quarter.”

Giddings was pleased with the play of Teddy Vaillancourt (10 points) in his very first start. “If we’d found him more often when he was open he could have scored plenty and kept us in the game longer,” the coach observed.

He felt sophomore guard Anthony Yebba showed enough promise, despite a shaky game, that he will help the Falcons more and more as the season progresses. He also felt inside man Kieran Moriarty had his moments but will surely raise his game week by week.

As for what it was like to serve as head coach for the Falcons for the first time, Giddings replied, “It was fun in some respects, challenging, and frustrating in others, but I’ll expect more of myself and the players Monday night. It’s different being in that first seat or standing up, rather than being one of the assistants giving suggestions. Now I’m,” he said, “receiving the suggestions and needing to make quick decisions on those suggestions. Can’t wait for the next one.”

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