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Dove stuns Salem game story

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Post  tarrier on Wed Mar 07, 2012 1:51 am

LOVE RallyNorth.net and the Eagle Tribune's coverage...where else can you find a game story BEFORE the next morning? Besides on the NH Sports Forum anyway! Thanks to Hector Longo for this...

No. 15 Dover shocks No. 2 Salem

Tuesday, March, 06 By Hector Longo
SALEM — In the final minute of a one-point playoff game, seedings and regular-season records simply don't matter.

No. 2 Salem learned that lesson the hard way as No. 15 Dover stormed back from 16 down to stupefy the Blue Devils, 63-62, last night before about 400 fans in the New Hampshire Division 1 opening rounder.

This one was simply a case of Dover junior Mike LeBlanc (22 points) willing his team to victory. The 6-foot-4 junior put up 14 points in the fourth-quarter alone, nestling home the game-winning banker in traffic with 6.2 seconds left.

“Give them credit, they hit shots when they needed to. They adjusted, moved the ball well, made the extra pass, and defensively, we just had too many breakdowns, our help side just wasn’t there enough (on LeBlanc),” said Salem coach Rob McLaughlin.

“We survived it, but they never stopped. We weathered it right up to that last storm. And the LeBlanc kid carried them tonight.”

Down one, Salem scrambled into the offensive end, but time expired as Ben Slepian was tripped up and couldn't get a shot off.

"One night, if you’re not ready, in the playoffs, and that’s what happens,” added McLaughlin.

So much of the night went as most would have expected. The Blue Devils pounded it into Joe Dube, and the 6-foot-3 senior delivered 22 huge points, the last two coming on a drive with 20 seconds to play that put Salem up 62-61.

Down 39-25 at the half, Dover solved the Salem defensive riddle, though, and immediately cut into the margin.

"Right off the bat, those first three-to-four minutes of the third quarter were huge," said McLaughlin. "We could have pushed it to 20-22 and put some pressure on them. Instead they make their run, and it’s a ball game. They start believing. They think they can legitimately do it. And we sensed it a little bit."

Dover just kept chopping. The Wave knotted things for the first time at 53-53 with 5:49 to play.

But Jon Klecan stepped in, drilled a 15-footer and found a wide-open Dan Salvo for three. Two trips later, Michael Felix made it 60-53, but Dover and LeBlanc wouldn’t wilt.

Klecan finished his career with eight points and classmate Ben Slepian finished off his career with a 14-point night.

The loss ended an amazing season that saw Salem overachieve its way to a 14-4 mark in Division 1, something that hardly could have been expected with only one starter returning.

"This season, what they gave us, from not only what was expected of them," said McLaughlin, whose club finishes at 15-7 overall. "They believed in this locker room all year. I couldn’t be more proud of them, the sacrifices they made."

Game Statistics:

Dover (63): Josh Cote 4 0-0 12, Colin Shaughnessy 2 2-2 6, Mike Wons 4 0-0 9, Mike LeBlanc 7 8-8 22, Bully Carroll 0 2-2 2, Leonard Williams 1 1-1 3, Grant Faustino 4 1-1 9, Totals 22 14-14 63

Salem (62): Jonathan Klecan 3 2-3 8, Dan Salvo 1 1-2 4, Michael Felix 3 0-1 6, Ben Slepian 4 4-4 14, Jack Hartman 2 2-2 6, Joseph Dube 10 2-5 22, Steve Nugent 1 0-0 2, Totals 24 11-17 62

3-pointers: D — Cote 4, Wons; S — Salvo, Slepian 2


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Post  Tuesday and Friday on Wed Mar 07, 2012 1:55 am

Simply amazing that Dover was down by 16 points and came back to win this game. Easily, the biggest upset of the night and quite frankly kind of shocking.

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Post  JustinMcIsaac on Wed Mar 07, 2012 9:43 am

Tuesday and Friday wrote:Simply amazing that Dover was down by 16 points and came back to win this game. Easily, the biggest upset of the night and quite frankly kind of shocking.

5 of Dover's losses came by a combined 13 points this year- against teams like Spaulding and (wait for it....) Merrimack. Dover has 11 Juniors on the team, it's clear they have loads of talent, but I think it's taken them all season to figure out their roles.

They could shock Merrimack, and even if they don't, look out when they're all Seniors!

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Post  Tuesday and Friday on Wed Mar 07, 2012 10:11 am

But Justin, our renowned Forum member:

GNG

Just predicted on the D1 Quarterfinal thread that the score would be:

Merrimack 100 Dover 30

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Post  EBlessNHSP on Wed Mar 07, 2012 10:29 am

Tuesday and Friday wrote:But Justin, our renowned Forum member:

GNG

Just predicted on the D1 Quarterfinal thread that the score would be:

Merrimack 100 Dover 30

He also predicted a Windham victory over Hanover tonight... tongue

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Post  HaleyNHsports on Wed Mar 07, 2012 11:19 am

I've already tweeted this morning that Dover beating Salem is one of the most surprising scores I've seen in my five years of doing this. I would have bet you anything they would have won by 20 plus...amazing...1-7 on the road coming in..Dover did nothing to suggest they could do this...what a win.

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Post  JustinMcIsaac on Wed Mar 07, 2012 12:51 pm

The Assistant wrote:
Tuesday and Friday wrote:But Justin, our renowned Forum member:

GNG

Just predicted on the D1 Quarterfinal thread that the score would be:

Merrimack 100 Dover 30

He also predicted a Windham victory over Hanover tonight... tongue

AND I'M STANDING BY THAT PICK!!!!!! Basketball afro farao Basketball

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Post  SeacoastDad on Wed Mar 07, 2012 1:11 pm

JustinMcIsaac wrote:
The Assistant wrote:
Tuesday and Friday wrote:But Justin, our renowned Forum member:

GNG

Just predicted on the D1 Quarterfinal thread that the score would be:

Merrimack 100 Dover 30

He also predicted a Windham victory over Hanover tonight... tongue

AND I'M STANDING BY THAT PICK!!!!!! Basketball afro farao Basketball

I'm diggin' the Oscar Gamble emoticon!! afro

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