Mashpee High’s recipe for success this season has been a rather simple one. Each night the Falcons look to play tough, physical defense and get transition baskets. When they’re not running and gunning, they look for either Nakia or Cody Hendricks to score. It’s a simple, to the point plan, and more than often it works.
It worked very well on Tuesday night at East Bridgewater. Playing their straight forward, but effective, style, the Falcons got out to an early lead and cruised to a 72-59 victory over EBHS to improve to 12-3 on the season. The win was a bounce-back victory for MHS, which lost on Friday night at Carver. Mashpee has now played six straight road games and will once again be on the road tonight. Mashpee plays its final contest of a seven-game road trip in Abington before finally coming back for a game at the Bock Gymnasium on February 5 against Hull.
After a few minutes of give-and-take, the Falcons went into straight take mode, as in taking the ball away from the Vikings, and taking it in for baskets. What was a 4-4 tie in the early going quickly became a one-sided affair as Mashpee closed out the first quarter with a 16-2 run, taking a 20-6 lead by the end of the first stanza. The lead ballooned to 20 points by halftime. East Bridgewater shaved away a bit of the deficit in the third quarter, getting as close as 10, but Mashpee pushed it back up to an 18-point led at the end of three and cruised from that point.
Nakia Hendrick was the focal point of the Falcons offensive potency on Tuesday against the Vikings. The post player, who is drawing interest from several college scouts, went for 29 points and 11 rebounds in the game. Justin McCartney-Peters had a strong outing for Mashpee, hitting for 13, and Cody Hendricks scored 10 in the victory. Scott Matoian added 8 points for the Falcons.
“We had control of the game the whole way. We jumped out on them early and came out really hungry,” Head Coach Rick Boulrisse said.
The victory came on the heels of a tough defeat at the hands of Carver earlier in the week, an 83-74 contest on the road that saw Tony Pires explode in the second half to lead the Bulldogs to victory. Pires scored a game-high 39 points against the Falcons, with 26 coming after halftime. He had seven 3-pointers in the game, six in the second half.
“The kid just lit it up, we couldn’t stop him,” Boulrisse said. “I don’t remember him even hitting the rim. We had guys running at him, tried all kinds of stuff to stop him, but some nights good players just win the game. It happens, it’s basketball.”
Pires was the difference in the game, but the owner of the single game scoring record at CHS -- Pires set the mark with a 41-point night against East Bridgewater in December -- had help. Aidan Ryan had 19 in the victory for the Bulldgogs and DeVon King also scored 18.
“We scored 74 points. Most nights, if we do that, we’re going to win the game,” Boulrisse said.
Coach Boulrisse and the Falcons are readying for the home stretch of the season. With three-quarters of the season behind them, MHS is hoping to keep winning games and improve its seeding for the state tournament, which is about four weeks away.
With five remaining regular season games, Boulrisse said that the toughest part of the schedule lays ahead. “There’s no rest for us. We’ve got the toughest part of the league in front us,” he said. “I’m very happy to be 12-3, but the last five games are all D3 and D4 playoff teams. There isn’t an easy game left on the schedule.”