Sandwich Boys' Basketball Beats Plymouth South, Knights Lead ACL

Senior Johnny Stanton takes the ball to the hoop in Sandwich's win over Plymouth South on Tuesday.DAN CROWLEY/ENTERPRISE - Senior Johnny Stanton takes the ball to the hoop in Sandwich's win over Plymouth South on Tuesday.

Plymouth South kept pace though the opening quarter Tuesday night, but the Blue Knights (7-6, 5-1 ACL) took control in the second quarter and never looked back as they ran away with a 65-52 victory over the visiting Panthers.

Three nice bank shots off the glass by Hank O’Brien and some hard work down low by Johnny Stanton gave Sandwich an early 13-10 lead at the end of one. Stanton then scored the next six points for the Knights to open the second quarter. Down the first-half stretch Scotty Reels stole the ball and went coast-to-coast for a lay-up, Jack Condon drained a 3-pointer from the top of the key and O’Brien stuffed back a rebound as Sandwich took a 30-20 lead at the break.

O’Brien opened the third quarter with a lay-up off a dish from Condon. Joey Downes stole the ball and drove inside for two points and Condon pulled up on the right side and drained another 3-pointer as SHS pulled out to a 37-21 lead.

Defensively the Knights went from a man-to-man to a 2-3 zone and the Panthers struggle to adjust. Andrew Galanek stole the ball and pushed it down the court to Downes, who drew a foul and sunk the free throw. For a two-minute stretch through the middle of the quarter, the Knights held Plymouth South scoreless as they went on an eight-point run.

Unable to crack the Sandwich zone, the Panthers dropped back and began to shoot 3-pointers. They hit three long balls in the final three minutes of the third quarter, but the Knights remained on top 47-30.

The Panthers opened the final eight-minute quarter with another 3-pointer, but Downes answered with two deep 3-pointers. For the first four minutes of the fourth quarter, Plymouth was unable to score from the inside. Over the next three-and-a-half minutes they knocked down another 3-pointer and had only one additional basket from the floor. Other than that it was just four points from the free-throw line and a couple of baskets in the final seconds.

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Downes hit a couple of 3-pointers in the final quarter, and Reels set up James Dillon for a lay-up and a minute later, Dillon collected a pass from Downes and drove up the middle for two more.

“We played with intensity,” coach Dennis Green said after the game. “Condon did a very nice job defensively for us and stuck a couple of shots. Will Bennett came off the bench and we didn’t lose a thing. He played well again tonight. Stanton did a nice job, he played hard, got inside and finished and Reels was outstanding. Early in the game he took their point guard, Ryan Morrissey out of his game.”

Stanton led all scorers with 21 points and Downes put up another 18. Morrissey was the high scorer for the Panthers with 13 points.

Downes is considered by many as the best pure scorer in the Atlantic Coast League, and on Friday night he showed exactly why during the second half against the Falmouth High boys. Downes exploded for 22 points in the second half, after having been held to just three during the first half, to lead the Knights to a key ACL win over the Clippers, 51-49, before a packed house at the Robert V. Antonucci Field House. Downes, who finished with a game-high 25 points, hit four 3-pointers.

FHS led throughout the first half of the game, but the Knights took over in the third quarter, riding the red hot shooting of Downes to pull ahead.

Will Bennett and Jack Condon each played well for the Knights. Stanton had 10 points and O’Brien added another six.

The Knights host Marshfield on Tuesday at 6:30 PM.

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