The Danvers High girls basketball team rallied twice from significant deficits, then had a chance to take the lead with one minute left, but shot blanks, missing their last seven shots total and dropping a 47-42 Northeastern Conference decision Friday night in the MHS field house/Brad Sheridan Court, their second straight after seven wins to start the season.
“We had our chances but had to play catch-up too much of the game,” Danvers coach Pat Veilleux observed. “Besides, our effort, focus and concentration were inconsistent. Add to that we couldn’t get key stops during certain sequences, we missed a lot of good looks on three-pointers (1-for-20), including the last one, plus a couple of key defensive breakdowns late in the game and you’ve got a recipe for defeat.”
The Falcons never got totally untracked and showed on several occasions they had what it takes to notch a well deserved road victory over the Magicians (now 6-5). But they could never sustain their impressive runs. Example: they held Marblehead to two poinys the last six minutes of the second quarter, outscored the home team 13-2 during that stretch and took a 20-18 edge into the locker room at halftime.
The Falcons stumbled again to open the second half, falling behind 32-25 midway through the third quarter, but ran off eight straight points to close within 34-33. It was anyone’s game in the fourth quarter. It looked like the Falcons might take control when Sarah Unczur (12 points, 9 rebounds) scored on three consecutive inside power moves for a 41-39 lead with 4:30 remaining.
But every time they seemed to have something cooking, the home team’s Lindsay Walker (21 points) seemed to score and fire the Magicians up. The one exception was the three-pointer Hannah Garth made with 5:15 left giving MHS a 39-37 advantage.
The big problem for the Falcons in crunch time was their inability to put the ball in the hoop. That explains why they scored only one point in the last 4:30. But no one could blame the two-way performances of point guard Nicole White and the aforementioned Unczur. It also didn’t help than starting guard Siobhan Moriarty was sidelined with a sore ankle that she rolled last Friday at Saugus.
White finished with 11 assists and four points. Lili Montanari added 12 points and Elena Clifford grabbed eight rebounds. Bottom line from this vantage point was the Falcons’ inability to make any outside shots and the reliance on inside buckets to keep them in the game. Foul shooting was a killer again, too. They made 3-of-9.
The ladies now begin a four-game homestand with Groton-Barnstable Monday, Swampscott Tuesday and powerhouse Revere Friday, followed by Lynn English a week from Tuesday.
The Danvers Boys also scored 42 points in a 61-42 setback to Marblehead in the DHS field house. Justin Roberto, the hottest shooting player in the NEC, was held to 16, three in the second half. They were coming off their first win at home last Friday to Saugus.