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1/16 Games - Oyster River vs. Portsmouth

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1/16 Games - Oyster River vs. Portsmouth Empty 1/16 Games - Oyster River vs. Portsmouth

Post  EBlessNHSP on Thu Jan 14, 2010 11:21 pm

Portsmouth went in to Oyster River and gutted out a 38-37 victory tonight. Write up to follow - OR led for over 20 minutes of this game.

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1/16 Games - Oyster River vs. Portsmouth Empty Re: 1/16 Games - Oyster River vs. Portsmouth

Post  EBlessNHSP on Fri Jan 15, 2010 1:27 am

Pretty good game in Durham tonight, a little slow....but defensive I suppose.

My write up for NHSportsPage.com...

The American Heritage Dictionary figuratively defines momentum as the “tendency of a person or group to repeat recent success”. Thursday night, Portsmouth walked into Durham to face Oyster River, 10 short months after ending the then #3 seeded Bobcats run at a Class I title. Portsmouth would go on to win last seasons championship, and on this night they would weather a first quarter injury to starting guard Billy Lane, and several last second shot attempts, to again beat the Bobcats, 38-37.

For the majority of this Class I matchup, the basketball was disjointed, scrappy and gritty at best. Neither team has a dangerous outside shooter, or a player who gets to the rim at will. What they do have is players who make plays when their needed the most. When Portsmouths Lane went down with an ankle injury 3 minutes into the game, the ball-handling duties fell solely to the capable shoulders of lounge member Mike Barton. There would be no help on this night bringing the ball up the court, but Barton would lead Portsmouth through a turbulent game that ended with Portsmouth exerting their will to win a game that nobody seemed to want to win for 20 minutes of game-time.

Bobcat Point Guard and lounge member Tommy McDonnell would have his way getting by the first wave of defenders all night long, and in the first quarter he was able to direct the offense to the tune of an 9-5 lead. The lead could easily have been 15-5 if several of the passes McDonnell was able to put on the money to his forwards and centers were converted at the rim, but simply put, they couldn’t buy a “bunny”. Fortunately for Oyster River, Portsmouth had lost a key member of their starting lineup, and while they scrapped together a few buckets in the first quarter, their offense looked lost, running sets without purpose and forcing shots that just weren’t there.

The second period would begin with Oyster River continuing its mini-run going up 13-5 on a layup by Adam Goodwin. Portsmouth looked defeated, but Barton would bring his club back starting with a elbow jumper, a driving layup and finishing a Clipper 8-0 run by hitting Kyle Dicesare on a backdoor cut for two of his game high 16 points. The Oyster River strategy of pressuring the ball and 1st pass option had Portsmouth on their heels early in this one, but eventually the Clippers and Barton began to anticipate the defensive strategy to their benefit by utilizing the backdoor pass. In a flurry of action late in the 2nd quarter, the lead would change hands 5 times and include 2 ties, all in the last 3 minutes. Eventually, Oyster River would regain the lead and go into the break up 20-19.

Both teams came out of the break playing much like they did the first, playing hard, but not effectively per se. McDonnell would pass over the defense to a wide open Donovan Kelley who sank a corner 3 pointer that gave the Bobcats a 4 point cushion right off the bat, 23-19. Barton would answer the call connecting on a mid-range jumpshot before the defense could converge on him. A steal of Portsmouth on the next possession would lead to a layup for Jack Nadeau who lead Oyster River with 13 points, and was really the only Bobcat who was able to get anything going offensively all night long. A three-pointer by Greg Tsougranis (does that last name ring a bell?) cut the lead to 2, before a Bobcat 3 pointer and layup off a steal would push it back to 32-25.

With just over 3 minutes to play in the third holding the ball with a 7 point lead and Portsmouth sitting back in a 2/3 zone, Bobcat Coach Stuart Mitchell would instruct McDonnell to dribble out the clock at the halfcourt line. A shot was eventually put up around the 1:45 mark, which missed and Barton efficiently took the ball down the court and nailed a jumper with 1:20 to go. McDonnell again, would dribble the clock out with no pressure coming from Mulveys kids, a cat and mouse game he was willing to play. Oyster River would not make a shot before the end of the quarter and it ended with the Bobcats still holding on to a 32-27. There was a sense in the crowd judging by the shifting fans and low murmur that the two LONG empty possessions might have been better utilized.

The final quarter began with Portsmouths Mike Montville nailing a contested (and ill-advised had it not gone in) 3-pointer to bring the game back within reach. Nadeau would clean up a missed shot for a 34-30 lead but two free throws for Dicesare closed the gap to a single possession. With the game within a single hoop, both defenses appeared to take It up a notch, and each team being very careful with each valuable possession.

Down 34-32 with just 3:29 to play, a loose ball scramble in front of the Portsmouth bench allowed coach Jim Mulvey to take an opportune timeout once his player gained possession. The timeout would prove to be the turning point, when Barton took a pass down the lane for an uncontested layup, likely just as Mulvey drew it up in the huddle. The next trip down, Barton would fire a 24’ chest pass to a streaking, backdoor cutting Dicesare for two, which give the Clippers their first lead since late in the second quarter. A turnover by McDonnell led Dicesare rebound and layup on the subsequent Portsmouth posession giving them a 38-34 lead. McDonnell would beat his defender off the dribble with a minute to go, and although he missed his initial layup attempt, he got his own rebound and connected for 2.

A missed shot gave the Bobcats a possession to tie with about 45 seconds to play. Again, McDonnell would beat his defender, this time feeding the ball to Goodwin who was fouled and would make 1 of 2 free throws. With the ball up one with 20 seconds to play Mulvey would draw up another play to get an easy hoop, which had Dicesare streaking the length of the court, catching a pass from Barton, but missing the layup. Oyster River would have their chance, and Walker took an out of bounds pass at halfcourt pass his defender on the baseline for an excellent look at the rim that just rolled off. A scramble would ensue that led to an out of bounds play in front of the Bobcat bench with 4 seconds to play. Nadeau would inbound to Walker who returned the pass to Nadeau who again, had a clean, open look at a 3 as time expired that would rim out.

When Oyster River goes back and looks at the film, they’ll notice an easy 20 points they left on the floor from missed layups and errant free throws. The decision to slow the game late in the third quarter and early in the fourth was a bit questionable in a game with over 10 minutes of time left and only a 7 point lead. Portsmouth was able to take advantage of the now relaxed Oyster River players and really win a game they should have lost. Next week, Oyster River gets an improved Kingswood squad and a Pelham team that beat Portsmouth by 10 earlier in the season.

The Clippers can take solace in the fact that they were able to respond when a teamate went down, and faced with a 7 point deficit late in the contest. Barton and the Clippers took what Oyster River gave them, and took control of a game that struggled to have an identity the entire night. They’ve got a big matchup vs. Milford on their homecourt on Tuesday before traveling to Kennett Friday. They’ll need to play a solid defensive game, and not turn the ball over to have a chance against the run-n-gun of Milford.


If you're interested in the final 17 seconds of the game, here's a video I took:



Note: I draw the line at video editing when it comes to technology, maybe I can hire you ChiKid?


Oyster River

12 Donovan Kelley 8 PTS 0/0 FT
15 Chris Walker 4 1/2
20 Adam Goodwin 8 4/9
23 Tommy McDonnell 4 0/0
24 Jack Nadeau 13 1/2

Portsmouth

12 Billy Lane – Injured 1st Quarter – No Stats
22 Greg Tsougranis 3 0/0
23 Mike Montville 4 1/2
30 Kyle Dicesare 16 4/4
32 Riley McCarthy 0 0/2
33 Mike Barton 13 1/2
34 Mike Pearson 2 0/0


Last edited by The Assistant on Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:43 am; edited 1 time in total

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1/16 Games - Oyster River vs. Portsmouth Empty I can be hired!

Post  chicagokid43 on Fri Jan 15, 2010 1:46 am

I work for a seat and a standing spot in Milford so if you can beat that deal with cash incentives please call me. lol

Interesting that McDonnell was able to dribble penetrate against Portsmouth. Even without Lane I figured he would struggle creating. I hope the Lane kid is ok and the Portsmouth game will be a good one on Tuesday. As you know dribble penetration is the cornerstone of the boys from Milford. Should be fun.

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Post  EBlessNHSP on Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:20 am

It was interesting because he was able to get by his defender pretty easily with the crossover, but he made poor decisions at that point either forcing a shot or an errant pass. There were also about 7 opportunities for his bigs to finish layups after their man filled the lane to block McDonnell that they missed. Story of the night for OR was lost opportunities.

The Lane injury looked serious, from my eagles perch on the top row looked as if they were inspecting the high ankle area, but I could be wrong. He hobbled off and showed up in street clothes for the second half. Not looking good but he's a kid who's scored about 7 or 8 points a game for them, and brings speed and athleticism to the backcourt.

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1/16 Games - Oyster River vs. Portsmouth Empty Not good for Portsmouth

Post  chicagokid43 on Fri Jan 15, 2010 6:13 pm

With Milford and the three guards coming to Portsmouth on Tuesday the injury to Lane could be a big issue for them.

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