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Strong second half lifts boys to win

Three Timber Wolves score in double figures in opening night victory

ADAM NAVARRO lofts a shot over a White Mountains defender Friday night. Kathy Sutherland. (click for larger version)
December 13, 2010
ALTON — For a team without a lot of experienced big men in the middle of the paint, the Prospect Mountain boys' hoop squad controlled the glass in Friday night's opener and in doing so, picked up a 51-39 win over White Mountains.

"The first thing I told them was that we won that game by rebounding," coach Rob Carpenter said. "They got a lot of second chances in the first half, but once we started holding them to one shot, that was the key."

The Timber Wolves struggled to control the Spartans in the paint in the first half, which allowed the visitors to take a slight lead at the break. However, Carpenter's troops picked it up in the second half and took away the second chances the Spartans converted on in the first 16 minutes.

The two teams were as even as they could be in the first quarter, as Zack Drouin scored Prospect's first points of the season on a drive to the hoop almost three minutes in, tying the game at two.

A pair of Austin Perrin free throws tied the game again at four and a Pat Cassidy hoop tied the game for a third time, this time at six.

White Mountains went ahead 8-6, but a Drouin free throw made it 8-7. The Spartans then hit another shot for a 10-7 lead, but Ben Couch drained a three-pointer with 20 seconds left in the first quarter to send the two teams to the first break tied at 10.

The Spartans hit a three right out of the gate in the second quarter, but Anthony Frangione answered with a three for Prospect to tie the game at 13. Ethan Henderson hit a free throw after a Spartan hit from the charity stripe, tying the game at 14.

However, the visitors hit the next two hoops for an 18-14 lead. Cassidy responded with a three-pointer to cut the lead to one, but the Spartans got another hoop to push the lead to three. A Drouin free throw made it 20-18, but another White Mountains hoop pushed the lead back to four at 22-18.

Drouin hit a hoop to cut the lead to two and with two minutes to play in the half, Cassidy sank a three-pointer to give Prospect Mountain its first lead of the game at 23-22.

However, the Spartans got the final hoop of the half and took a 24-23 lead to the locker rooms.

Frangione drilled a bucket coming out of the halftime break, giving Prospect a 25-24 lead, but the Spartans hit three hoops in a row and took a 30-25 lead.

Cassidy cut the lead to two with a three-pointer, but the Spartans pushed it back to four with another hoop. Drouin drove to the basket for two points and a three-pointer from Couch with 1:20 to play in the third quarter gave the Timber Wolves a 33-32 lead.

Drouin then sunk a three-pointer with 10 seconds left in the quarter, upping the Prospect lead to 36-32 after three quarters of play.

The Spartans opened the fourth quarter scoring with a free throw, but the Timber Wolves held them scoreless for over three minutes after that. In that time, Frangione hit three free throws and Drouin drove to the hoop for two and Prospect had a 41-33 lead.

White Mountains got on the board with a three-pointer to cut the lead to five, but a rebound and hoop from Cassidy and a steal and hoop from Drouin pushed the lead back to 45-36 before the Spartans hit a free throw.

Drouin sank a free throw and Logan Roberts netted his first two varsity points with a pair from the line. The Spartans hit a field goal to make it 48-39, but Frangione hit two from the line and Cassidy added another and the Timber Wolves had the 51-39 win.

Carpenter noted that one of the keys to the game, in addition to the rebounding, was being able to keep the score close even when the shots weren't falling in the first half.

"We have to be able to control things on the defensive end," Carpenter said. "If we're not playing good defense and were struggling on offense, there's going to be some big holes to dig out of."

He praised his team for keeping the game close in the opening half, which allowed the second half comeback to occur.

"I thought we were able to keep it close enough and were able to turn the game back to our directions once the shots started falling," Carpenter stated.

The Timber Wolf coach praised his squad for a hard-fought game and singled out the kids seeing their first varsity action.

"We're still a young team and we're still learning," he said. "It's a totally different game stepping on the floor in a varsity game for the first time."

For the game, Drouin led the way with 16 points, while Cassidy chipped in 14 and Frangione added 10.

The boys will be in action again on Friday, Dec. 17, when they head to Farmington to meet up with former Prospect JV coach Tom Bourdeau, now the head varsity coach for the Tigers. Game time is 7 p.m. The boys return home for their final game before the holidays, as Gilford visits on Tuesday, Dec. 21, for a 6:30 p.m. game.

Martin Lord Osman
Varney Smith
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