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Mounties pound T-Wolves in opener

Season gets off to a slow start for Prospect Mountain boys

ZACK DROUIN drives to the basket looking for a hoop during action at Berlin on Dec. 11. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
December 14, 2009
BERLIN — If game number one is any indication, the road back to the Final Four is going to be a long uphill battle for the Prospect Mountain boys' basketball team.

The Timber Wolves, in their first game since falling in last year's finals and losing the entire starting lineup (plus) to graduation, struggled on the defensive end and never got going on the offensive end, falling to the Berlin Mountaineers 81-45 on Friday, Dec. 11.

The temperatures outside Berlin High School hovered in the mid-teens and the wind chill made the air closer to zero, but inside, the Mounties were plenty hot, tearing out to an 18-5 lead midway through the first quarter on their way to the big win.

"They're a top four type of contender," said Prospect coach Rob Carpenter. "We knew coming in that we'd have trouble matching up with them."

The Timber Wolves scored the game's first points, as sophomore Zack Drouin drilled a three-pointer for a 3-0 lead, but the hosts came back and scored 11 points in a row to take the lead quickly before a Brian Jones hoop stopped the 11-point run, making it 11-5.

The Mounties answered Jones' hoop and Carpenter quickly called timeout with 4:02 remaining in the first quarter, looking to regroup his troops.

However, Berlin came out of the timeout and scored five more points to up the lead to 18-5 before LA Thomas hit a pair of free throws to make it 18-7.

After another Berlin hoop, Anthony Frangione drilled a three-pointer to cut the lead to 20-10, but the hosts hit two free throws to make it a 12-point game. Patrick Cassidy drained a three-pointer to cut the lead to 22-13 at the end of the first quarter.

Frangione hit his second three-pointer of the game to open the second quarter and the Timber Wolves had the lead down to just six at 22-16, but Berlin came back with a three-pointer and a field goal to up the lead to 11 at 27-16.

Austin Perrin sank the first basket of his high school career and after a Berlin hoop, made a free throw to make it a 10-point game at 29-19.

A pair of buckets from Jones, the second coming on a nice feed from Cassidy, kept the Timber Wolves' deficit at just 10, but the hosts hit the final two hoops of the first half and took a 37-23 lead to the break.

The Timber Wolf stats for the first half revealed only eight of 30 shooting, with four of those shots falling from beyond the arc and four from inside.

Berlin came out of the break and hit the first two baskets of the second half to up the lead to 41-23. After Perrin hit for two, Berlin answered with a three-pointer. Drouin hit another from beyond the arc, but a field goal from Berlin kept their lead at 18, 46-28.

Perrin hit another hoop and after a Berlin bucket hit a free throw to make it 48-31. After another Mountie hoop, Jones drained a three-pointer to make it 50-34.

However, from there, Berlin went on a run, scoring 11 points in a row, including five from the free throw line, upping the lead to 61-34.

A Cassidy free throw and a Ben Couch bucket made it 61-37, but the hosts hit for seven more points (three from the line) to take a 68-37 lead after three quarters of play.

Jones opened the fourth quarter with a bucket to put him in double figures, but Berlin answered. Adam Navarro finished off his own steal with his first hoop of the night to make it 70-41, but Berlin hit two more hoops to keep the lead at more than 30.

Free throws from Adam Cheney and Perrin made it 74-43 before the hosts hit seven points in a row to up the lead to 81-43. Perrin hit a pair of free throws to put him in double digits and round out the night's scoring.

"We didn't do a good job of containing and we weren't pressuring the ball with any consistency at all," said Carpenter. "And they shot the ball very well."

The Timber Wolf coach knew coming into the season that his team's game was going to be different than last year's, but in the opening action, a key component of that game was a bit off.

"We knew part of our game this year was the outside shot," he said. "And certainly we didn't do a good enough job shooting tonight.

"We don't have the size, so a lot of our game is perimeter-based," he continued. "We have to shoot the ball better than we did."

Carpenter also couldn't remember one of his teams giving up 81 points in a contest in a number of years.

"We didn't do a good enough job defensively," he noted. "We've got to learn to play a little bit tougher."

Perrin and Jones each had 11 points to lead the Timber Wolves. Frangione and Drouin added six apiece.

The Timber Wolves had a week after their opening game to work on changes and will head to Raymond to take on the Rams on Friday, Dec. 18, at 7 p.m. On Tuesday, Dec. 22, the boys will head to Gilford for a 6:30 p.m. game, the final regular season contest of the calendar year.

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