Boys Hoops Improves Record To 2-2 Following Home Win Over Dennis-Yarmouth
David Creed •
The first two games of the Nantucket boys basketball team’s season ended in heartbreaking fashion, but the Whalers have bounced back admirably and are now 2-2 this season following a 64-51 victory over the Dennis-Yarmouth Dolphins on Nantucket Tuesday evening.
Junior guard Dwayne Martin led the way with 18 points on six three-pointers. He said it felt good to see the ball go in the hoop and hopes to improve at driving to the rim as the season progresses to round out his offensive game.
“I was just shooting everything that was open,” Martin said. “I felt more energized (going into the game) with my teammates hyping me up after every shot I made and my coaches all saying shoot the open shot. (My team) relies on me to make threes as much as I rely on the bigs to get boards and putbacks.”
Both teams started out sluggish to begin the game with junior center Jack Halik scoring five of the first seven Whaler points, which forced DY to call a timeout down 7-2. But the timeout didn’t help the Dolphins very much and in fact, appeared to give Nantucket some confidence as junior point guard Carlos Aguilar and senior captain Karson Wellington each hit a three-pointer out of the stoppage to give Nantucket a double-digit lead.
“I thought we played really, really good early but then we had a little attitude late and some guys barking and chirping. We just need to clean that stuff up,” Nantucket head coach Willis Ferreira said. “I thought they played outstanding today, especially Martin. I thought he made shot after shot but that is the Martin I see every day in practice.”
The Dolphins scored a bucket to make it 15-4 as the final moments of the opening quarter began to wane, but Martin began to put his stamp on the game with his first set of back-to-back three-pointers to close out the first quarter and give Nantucket a 21-4 lead after one.
“That was the best game he has played ever,” Ferreira said of Martin. “If we can shoot the ball like that, we are tough to beat. We have trouble scoring at times but the last couple of games we have been able to knock down threes and that just opens everything else up.”
Aguilar scored a quick basket to get the scoring going in the second quarter and Martin followed him up with two more threes to bring Nantucket’s lead to 29-5. DY would go onto score nine straight points later in the quarter to make it a 34-19 game and give the Dolphins what appeared to be some momentum going into halftime.
But Nantucket senior captain Treyce Brannigan had different plans. Brannigan gained control of the ball and hit a three in the final seconds of the half to give the Whalers a 37-19 lead going into halftime.
“Brannigan had an extra step today that nobody else did,” Ferreira said. “He turned it over a couple times, but he made some really nice plays for us. He missed some easy ones for us too, but his effort is what we need. That is what he brings us. There is three minutes left and Treyce is diving on the floor, but that is just Treyce.”
The third quarter was a little more even as Nantucket only outscored DY 13-11. Junior forward Jayquan Francis began to put his mark on the game and scored six of his 12 points on the evening in that quarter.
But it was once again Martin who kept on scoring and limited how close DY was able to claw back. He made two more threes to give Nantucket a 50-30 lead going into the final quarter.
The fourth quarter is where it got messy for the Whalers. The Dolphins began to make their run, capitalizing on poor ball handling and offensive execution on the part of the Whalers. Nantucket seemed to have complete control of the game by beginning the quarter on a 9-2 run and taking a 59-32 lead, but the Dolphins went on a 15-2 run to make it a 61-47 game with four minutes remaining in the contest.
Nantucket’s offense didn’t hold off the Dolphins. Instead it was their defense, led by Brannigan, that ultimately stopped the bleeding.
After averaging just 54 points in their first two games, the Whalers have scored 75 and 64 points respectively in this two-game winning streak. They will have a few days to rest up before they host Millbury on Saturday, January 7 at 12:30 p.m.
This game will be a rematch of last year’s round of 32 matchup in the MIAA state tournament, a game that was ugly for Nantucket as they were eliminated following a 53-34 defeat.