Lavin, Baptiste Pace Falmouth Hoops Past Plymouth South
By: Rich Maclone
With a solid 1-2 punch the Falmouth High School boys’ basketball team was able to knock out visiting Plymouth South High School convincingly on Tuesday night at the Antonucci Field House. Falmouth pounded the ball inside against the Panthers to junior center John Lavin and bombed away from the perimeter with junior guard Nelson Baptiste, as the visitors could do nothing but watch as the FHS lead grew throughout the game.
In the end the tandem of Lavin and Baptiste accumulated a little more than half of the FHS points in the game in a 60-39 victory. Falmouth is now 5-1 overall and improved to 2-0 in Atlantic Coast League action.
Lavin dominated South on the interior early in the game as he put up 13 points. Baptiste also did most of his damage during the first half, hitting for 18, along with four assists.
Baptiste’s exploits from beyond the three-point line, where he knocked down three bombs in the game, keyed the decisive stretch in the game as Falmouth accumulated 12 straight points to close out the first half and open up a 17-point halftime advantage.
South hung tough through the first 11 minutes, and found themselves down just five points, 19-14, after a pull-up jumper Kevin Kelley with 4:31 left to go. The two teams then traded a couple of empty trips before Falmouth went for a dozen in a row over the final three minutes of the second quarter.
The key run began when senior Trevor Andrews (6 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists) was hacked on a shot and hit both free throws to extend the lead to 21-14. FHS then went into a halfcourt trap as Baptiste and freshman guard Andrew McGill teamed up on Kelley and forced the him into a turnover.
The Clippers made the Panthers pay for that miscue as senior DK Johnson found Baptiste in the corner for a wide-open 3-pointer that made it a 10-point game. After a South miss, Falmouth did the trick again as this time Andrews aggressively drove the baseline and skipped it to Baptiste for another uncontested trifecta, pushing the lead to 13, 27-14, with 1:26 to go in the half.
Andrews then pilfered the ball away from South on defense and was rewarded on the other end for his hard work when David Kent found him for a baseline jumper with 55 seconds to go. FHS then forced one last South miss on defense before Baptiste pushed the ball into Lavin for a lay-up 11 seconds before the horn for a 31-14 lead.
The rest of the game saw Falmouth’s lead hover around 20 points the whole way. South opened the third quarter with a 7-2 run to cut the lead down to 12, after a pair of Kevin Brown free throws, with 5:40 to go, but then FHS responded with the knockout blow, a 7-0 run to extend the lead to 20 points.
A free throw by Baptiste started the run and then the junior guard fed it inside for Lavin for a lay-up on the next rip. After a stop on defense Baptiste hooked up Andrews down low for an easy bucket. A block by Andrews on the next defensive stand led to a 3-pointer by Baptiste with 3:30 left in the third that gave Falmouth a 41-21 lead.
The FHS lead never dropped under 17 points the rest of the way. In the fourth quarter the reserves kept things going and were able to finish off the game strongly. Forward Mackie Joyce, who broke his jaw during soccer season, returned to competitive action for the first time and was very active, hitting his first varsity bucket. Cody Smith, who was also involved earlier in the game, hit a late 3-pointer, as did McGill, who closed the game out with a long-range shot with three seconds left in the game.
The Clippers return to action Tuesday night. On that evening the team will square off against their rivals from Marshfield, a team that some of the Clippers certainly feel that they have a score to settle with.
Lavin, Dillon Mansfield, Damien Reid, Baptiste, Andrews and Johnson all played varsity football for Falmouth High this year. The only team that the Clippers lost to during the season was Marshfield High School, which cost FHS a chance at the ACL title and a trip to the Super Bowl. Those Clippers would like nothing more than a chance to exact a little revenge.
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