Boys Hoops Ride Halik’s 33 Points To Convincing Win Over CCA

David Creed •

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It has been an up and down season for the Nantucket boys basketball team, but on Tuesday they hosted a league rival in Cape Cod Academy and walked away with a convincing 80-52 win on the back of 33 points by junior center Jack Halik, who has been fantastic for the Whalers of late averaging 19.3 points per game in his last six games and 14 points per game this season.

Head coach Willis Ferreira said this game was his team’s best performance “by far” and was a result of unselfish basketball.

“I thought defensively we were really good. I thought we were good on the boards. I thought we shared the ball. We did everything right and the ball bounced our way tonight,” Ferreira said. “We made some shots and seemed to get loose balls and kind of be everywhere. We needed that.”

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The Whalers jumped out to a quick 21-9 lead over CCA. While Halik scored nine of his 33 points in the opening frame it was junior forward Jayquan Francis, who Ferreira thought played well from beginning to end, making an impact with his passing and maturity on the court. He had three assists in the first quarter.

“I thought Jay was absolutely sensational,” Ferreira said. “Jay played the same way in the Vineyard. Just very mature and not trying to do too much. Seemed like he saw the floor so well. He and Jack, (CCA) just couldn’t guard them. They looked for each other. Jay didn’t score much (just six points) but he was so composed and made really good decisions, which we haven’t done a lot this year as a team. We didn’t turn it over much at all tonight like we usually do.”

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Carlos Aguilar, Nantucket’s junior point guard, had 14 points. Senior captain Karson Wellington had 12 points, with 10 of those 12 coming in the first half. He also made two threes while playing his usual exemplary defense. Nantucket took a 43-12 lead into halftime because of these four players, who led the way on a night where Ferreira rarely went to his bench to ensure this lead would not slip away.

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“Karson was really good and just taking the shots that were there,” Ferreira said. “Carlos made a couple threes too which helped us, but Jack has just been so good lately. He is finishing around the hoop. He was getting those shots earlier in the year but just wasn’t finishing.”

Junior guard Dwayne Martin has impressed Ferreira a lot of late with his playmaking ability, effort, and maturity. He finished with just five points, all of which came in the first half, but it has been his presence on the floor and giving Nantucket a second point guard to run the offense aside from Aguilar that has impressed Ferreira.

"I thought birthday boy, Dwayne, played pretty good. He made some shots for us. He has really come along here recently for us," Ferreira said.

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“I am really proud of that whole group. I just didn’t go to the bench much because when we had that lead, there was just no way I could let that lead go away. They started to make a little run in the beginning of that third quarter to cut it to 20 but then we were able to respond and get it back to 30.”

Entering the third quarter up 60-29, Ferreira and his group had nothing left to do but milk the final eight minutes before officially improving their record to 6-6. CCA kept battling and scored 23 points in the final quarter, but Nantucket scored another 20 of their own to give CCA very little traction and hope.

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“It has been a long year," Ferreira said, "We haven’t always played well at times, or we can’t score at times, but tonight I thought we just really put it all together from a defensive standpoint to a rebounding standpoint, just sharing the ball and passing it to the open guy. We weren’t worrying about who was getting the points. I am happy for them that they got to see it, feel it, and hopefully we can build off of it.”

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Nantucket will travel to Mashpee on Thursday to take on the Falcons at 3:30 p.m., however the weather is looking suspect which could lead to a postponement. The Whalers next game following the scheduled Mashpee game will be Saturday, January 28 when Martha’s Vineyard (11-1) comes ashore with the Whalers looking to avenge last weekend’s loss.

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