New Danvers High boys basketball coach Jay Giddings is optimistic his first victory is coming soon, hopefully Tuesday night at Beverly (7pm tap) after a 0-5 start.
“We’re learning. We still have a way to go,” admits Giddings. “In some ways we’re still trying to transfer our practice effort into game effort. Not that our effort at either end has been all that much lacking in games, but it can be better.”
The Falcons have, in fact, made progress the last three games, despite two of those losses being routs. After a hard-fought 57-51 setback at Lynn Classical in which they came back from a 40-16 deficit and closed within two in the final minutes, the Falcons stumbled in the Somerville High tournament, losing 77-50 to the host Highlanders and 69-29 to Franklin.
“It took us a while to find our offensive openings at Classical and figure out how to stop them with our best defensive approach,” Giddings said. “The kids showed a lot of heart that second half. Justin Roberto scored 12 of his 16th in the fourth, Sean Rooney made a few threes and Teddy Vaillancourt played a steady game.”
Then came the problems at Somerville. “We’ve been competitive because of our defense, but not in this game,” Giddings admitted. “They scored a lot of points off our breakdowns. We had thez same problems, but worse, and could hit any shots, it seemed, against Franklin. We committed way too many turnovers. We had problems running our offense. Bottom line is we’re still learning, though Kyle White, a sophomore, has made some progress.
“We need to start games like we played the second half at Classical. Best of all, the kids keep playing hard and bouncing back whenever they hit a bad spell. Their spirits remain high. Another key will be getting the ball where Tahg Coakley can attack the basket; where we can help him put his talents to best use.”
The Danvers High girls, meanwhile, put their 4-0 record on the line at home at 7 Tuesday against the Beverly girls.