Boston High School: Kadeem Bailey

D1 South: Franklin 71, Barnstable 61

February, 28, 2013
BARNSTABLE, Mass. –- This has never been in doubt with Franklin’s Sam Bohmiller: When the Panthers’ senior guard is called upon to take crucial shots down the stretch, he has almost always delivered throughout his high school career.

Tonight, before a capacity crowd at Barnstable High in an MIAA Division 1 South first round matchup at Barnstable High, he put another notch on the belt. The 5-foot-9 Bohmiller scored 13 of his game-high 30 points in the final quarter of play, as the Panthers fought off a hard-charging second-half Barnstable rally.

Franklin never lost control, or the lead, never letting the Red Raiders come within five points over the final 13 minutes, as they cruised to a 71-61 victory, to set up a rubber match with archrival and district No. 1 seed Mansfield on Saturday.

“He’s pretty unselfish normally, [but] tonight he had to be a little bit more aggressive offensively,” Franklin head coach Dean O’Connor said of Bohmiller. “I mean, that’s our high scorer of the year. They’re a tough team to defend, they’ve got a couple of kids who can really take you off the bounce.

“He made the big hoops when we needed them. When we needed something, we ran something for him, a quick hit or something, create for him or someone else.”

Franklin led 39-29 at the half, but Barnstable’s Jason Eddy (25 points) came out firing to start the second half, sparking a 7-2 run to start the third quarter with two drop-step finishes through the middle of the lane. The Red Raiders cut the lead to 41-38 with a three-pointer from Tedaro France, then later in the period came up with some more craft, this time Eddy hitting a walk-up NBA-range three-pointer with a hand in the face to cut the lead again to three.

The Panthers led 50-45 headed into the final frame, and opened with a 10-3 run to extend the lead to 12. Finishing off the run was Bohmiller, with a trio of nifty plays. First, after initially getting swatted by the Raiders’ Kadeem Bailey, Bohmiller lofted a shot back up from an acute angle, and the ball seemingly blindly landed.

On the next trip down, a 2-on-1 fast break, Bohmiller hesitated in the middle of the lane, drawing a defender out, and delivered a bounce pass underneath to forward Brendan Kuzio (13 points) for a clean lay-in.

Bohmiller then finished the run with an off-balance leaner, drawing a foul in the process, for a 60-48 advantage with 4:15 to go.

“The big thing was getting stops,” Bohmiller said. “They had a lot of momentum at the end of the third going into the fourth, they hit some big shots. Eddy was going nuts toward the basket. We had to contain him, rebound the ball, and once we rebound, Coach really preaches pushing the ball upcourt. Against their big guys, we thought we could get some easy buckets in transition.”

Barnstable’s Nick Peabody (12 points, 13 rebounds) closed the lead to six with 1:24 to go, nailing his third 3-pointer of the night. But Bohmiller was able to keep the rally at bay, from the charity stripe; Bohmiller was 9-of-10 on free throws from the quarter, and 12-of-15 overall.

Chris Rodgers added 14 points for Franklin in the win. France was the only other Barnstable player in double-figures, with 10 points.

Eddy brings it: When the Franklin coaching staff went to scout Barnstable, in a win over Falmouth, they observed Eddy’s affinity for perimeter shots in that contest, including his buzzer-beater at the end to win it. But by their count, they also had Eddy down for 4-for-17 from three-point range.

Safe to say, this was not the case tonight. Eddy was particularly efficient in the second half, scoring 18 of his 25 points over the final 16 minutes, mostly on drives through the middle of Franklin’s defense. Most of the time, Franklin’s defenders ended up with fouls on the floor, pressing into his midsection in an attempt to slow him down. Eddy was 11-of-12 on free throws.

“We wanted to attack the basket,” Barnstable coach Gerry McDowell said. “I mean yeah, we shot three’s, but you’re not going to win games…There were some games where we hit a bunch of three’s this year, but we really felt that we could attack them.

“They didn’t really have a shot blocker inside –- they’re tough, and they’re aggressive inside, but they didn’t have a shot-blocker –- so we attacked the basket. And I think Jason is at his best when he’s doing that.”

Next up -- Mansfield; An all too familiar opponent is on the docket for Saturday afternoon, as the Panthers travel to Mansfield for their third matchup of the season. Mansfield took the first game of the heated rivalry back in mid-December, but Franklin turned around and delivered an upset a week and a half ago to even the series.

Last season, Franklin ended Mansfield’s season early with a second-round battle at Franklin High’s field house, en route to an unexpected appearance in the D1 South semifinals.

This will mark the sixth time the two teams have squared off since the start of the 2011-12 season. The coaches are all too familiar with each other too; Mansfield’s Mike Vaughan is a former assistant of O’Connor, and the two maintain a strong friendship off the court.

“Every time we play Mansfield, it’s a battle,” Bohmiller said. “The first time, over there, they handed it to us. We stole one from them on our home court a few weeks ago, on senior night. I’m sure coach Vaughan will have them ready to go. I know we’ll be ready to go. It’s always a great showdown with them, always a great playoff atmosphere. I’m looking forward to it.”

Recap: No. 12 D-Y 28, Barnstable 27

September, 17, 2011
SOUTH YARMOUTH, Mass. -- Of all the numbers that usually get piled up when these two Cape Cod rivals square off, here's the one that ought to stick out the most: five.

Yes, just five points separate Dennis-Yarmouth and Barnstable in their last three meetings together, the latest another instant classic won in the waning minutes by D-Y, 28-27, to make it two straight in this series for the Dolphins.

It was a packed atmosphere at Dennis-Yarmouth with close to 5,000 lining the fences and bleachers for what is becoming one of the Cape's biggest rivalries. And once again, Dolphins dual-threat quarterback Matt Montalto had a flair for the dramatic in front of a big crowd. It wasn't his most well-oiled game, but he still ended up with 200 yards through the air and three touchdowns, including the go-ahead with eight minutes left in the contest.

"My line stepped up on that play, that's all I've got to say," Montalto said. "They stepped up. They gave me the three yards I needed. That was one of the biggest plays of the game, three yards [and] I reached out, saw the ball go over the goal line and knew I was in."

A botched D-Y punt return with five minutes to go in the third quarter gave Barnstable new life at the Dolphins 20, and they capitalized, with Kadeem Bailey (84 all-purpose yards) taking an option pitch from 10 yards out to give the Red Raiders a 21-20 lead late in the quarter. But the Dolphins responded with a seven-minute, 12-play, 83-yard scoring drive, aided by a late hit on fourth down deep in Raiders territory. Montalto plunged through the middle on an option keeper from five yards out, stretching across the goal line for the score, and then found Dylan Hodsdon at the near pylon on the point after for the 28-21 lead.

Folks in Hyannis will be talking about head coach Chris Whidden's decision to go for two rather than kick an extra point, after Theo France's three-yard touchdown dive with 2:11 to go. Quarterback D.J. Crook (273 passing yards, 2 TD) was stopped short of the goal line on an option keeper, and the Dolphins ran the clock out with the help of a few key first down dives from fullback Joe Furness.

For the record, Whidden said the decision had nothing to do with his kicker, who missed a 25-yard field goal earlier in the contest but was 9 for 9 on extra points in last week's 65-0 blanking of Durfee.

"We win as a team, we lose as a team," Whidden said. "I didn't want to put it on one kid's foot and have him responsible for the whole outcome. The coaches, we talked about it during the drive, and it's on the whole group, not just one kid."

He continued, "I have all the confidence in the world in him, he's a great kicker. It's just, it's a team effort, and I wanted to make sure as many people as possible felt accountable for what we did."

Said D-Y head coach Paul Funk, "I would have went for two, too."

Some other key points from the game:

Johnson on elite status: After tonight's first-half performance, we should go ahead and stitch Damion Johnson's name along with Montalto's into the ESPNBoston Mr. Football Watch List. The 6-foot-2 senior ended up with seven catches for 125 yards and scores, and has put himself into the conversation as one of the state's most talented wideouts -- if not in the very least one of the most physical at jump balls.

Early on, the Raiders pressed Johnson tight in man coverage (literally, you could probably stick a credit card between him and his defender) only to watch him rip through his man, charge down the sideline and pluck a high fade out of the air. When they backed off, he took advantage of the space and made a few nice catches off 10-yard curls.

In the first half, Johnson caught two such fades for touchdowns. A third one, muscled through double-coverage, set up Joe Furness' one-yard plunge that gave D-Y a 14-0 first-quarter lead.

Whidden is a defensive guy, and as one might expect the Raiders adjusted by shading the safeties and deploying double, sometimes triple coverage. Johnson had two catches in the second half, for 39 yards. But a bold statement was made tonight.

"I knew he was one of their best players, if not their best player, and I knew he was a very, very good player -- [but] I think I even underestimated him," Whidden said. "He's a phenomenal player. If I'm a college coach and I'm anywhere near Cape Cod recruiting, I'm all over Damion Johnson. He's a hell of a football player."

Crook gets rolling: Last year's meeting between these two schools was a forgettable one for Crook, who threw five picks (including one to Montalto, who didn't play any defense tonight). In his fourth and final year under center, the 6-foot-2 Crook is not yet a finished product, but gained respect from the opposition tonight, some of the players remarking, "He played a lot smarter."

At times last year, Crook seemed to rely on short passes to All-State wideout Jordan Henderson and was thought to be mechanical at times. Tonight, he distributed the ball evenly to a half-dozen receivers, including Dylan Morris (six catches, 99 yards), Tedaro France and Bailey.

Barnstable's receiving corps boasted advantages both in size and speed against the Dolphins' secondary, and Crook was able to hit them in stride, finding the most success on crossing routes. When flushed out of the pocket, he was able to turn things around and connect with one of several speedy targets for a deep pass downfield.

For those keeping score at home, Crook is now 16 touchdown passes away from the state all-time record.

Promising against the pass: At 5-foot-9 and a twig-like 150 pounds, junior Kevin Hardy doesn't look the part of a ball-hawking free safety. But he, along with fellow junior safety Ryan Litchman (also undersized at 5-foot-9 and 170 pounds), made things difficult back there. Couple that with two juniors at linebacker in Bryan Hardy and Andrew Ellis (a tri-captain and Division 1 prospect), and you have a stout defense that could be stingier come Old Colony League play.

Fleeting France: Theo France ripped off runs of 33 and 10 yards to start the second half to keep the D-Y defense honest, and finished the night with 69 yards rushing and another 23 receiving. Whidden was encouraged by his performance, which could provide the right balance to an offense that's been pass-happy the last few seasons.

"He's a tough kid," Whidden said. "He proved last week and this week that we can be a multi-dimensional team. I mean, he put a lot of work in during the offseason, and he wanted to get to the point that he's at. He's a threat. He gives us a good run game."

Slowing it down: D-Y has been known in the past few years to go with a high-octane, no huddle pace. Tonight was a different sight, Montalto getting the play in from the sidelines and reporting to a huddle.

Allow Funk to explain:

"We went no-huddle against Taunton [a 41-7 win last week]. It's hard against them [Barnstable], it's a track meet and we don't have enough kids. We will be no-huddle throughout the course of the year. We pick our shots, but there's so many kids on that team playing that it's tiring. You gotta pick your shots. We're playing everybody both ways."

BA (1-1) 0 14 7 6 --- 27
DY (2-0) 14 6 0 8 --- 28

First Quarter
D - Damion Johnson 10 pass from Matt Montalto (John Terrio kick) 8:46
D - Joe Furness 1 run (Terrio kick) 5:12

Second Quarter
B - Nick Peabody 17 pass from D.J. Crook (Tom Mullen kick) 3:38
B - Tedaro France 21 pass from Crook (Mullen kick) 1:30
D - Johnson 18 pass from Montalto (kick failed) :27

Third Quarter
B - Kadeem Bailey 1 run (Mullen kick) 7:46

Fourth Quarter
D - Montalto 5 run (Dylan Hodsdon pass from Montalto) 8:25
B - Theo France 3 run (rush failed) 2:11