Boston High School: Nick Salmon

D1 South: Needham 58, Durfee 40

February, 27, 2014
Feb 27
NEEDHAM, Mass. -– Sometimes a square peg fits in a round hole.

With the game tied at 11 after the first quarter, and Durfee's zone providing his offense fits, Needham coach Paul Liner changed up his offense: he ran his man-to-man offensive sets. The audible worked as the Rockets outscored the Hilltoppers 14-4 in the second quarter and cruised to a 58-40 win in a Division 1 South first round game.

“We just couldn't get the movement that we liked, and we were settling for outside shots,” Liner said. “We just liked similar man sets to swing the ball side to side, reverse the ball, and look for gaps, and it seemed to present more openings for us.”

The Rockets used their size and length inside, they outrebounded Durfee 36-27, to keep possessions alive and have multiple cracks at a bucket. The biggest beneficiary of this was Ryan Charter.

Charter pumped in seven threes and scored a game-high 27 points, including 11 in the fourth quarter to close the show. Charter accounted for 27.5 percent of all the scoring in the game.

“We played with a ton of confidence tonight,” Charter said. “We pride ourselves on being the best defensive team in the state, in our eyes, and I think we showed that especially in the first half.”

The Rockets defense wasn't able to stop Durfee's Tyree Robinson from adding to his highlight reel, but they were able to contain him. Robinson, who was in and out of the game after suffering a leg injury in the first quarter and aggravating it late in the game, had 14 points, nine rebounds, and four blocks.

Robinson had a highlight sequence in the first quarter when he poked away a steal and finished on the other end with a 360 dunk. He followed that with a volleyball spike of a block on the other end.

Despite racking up the moments, Robinson and the Durfee offense were checked by Needham's precise zone for much of the game.

“The most they can do in one play is score two points or three points; they can't score 10 points at a time regardless of how he dunks it or whatever,” Charter said. “That was our mindset going in: just move on and whatever happens happens.”

Needham played some form of a zone the entire game and pressed as far out as it could every time. Durfee's guards were unable to get going and start an offense for much of the game.

“They had a nice 1-2-2 zone; they extended it pretty far out,” Durfee coach Jameson Guimond said. “They're big. They probably start four guys over 6-foot-2, so when you have that type of length they played a great zone. We tried different guys at different spots on the floor, but I didn't put them in good enough position to make plays tonight.”

Nine different Rockets scored and the players it seemed that Liner was rotating players in at a hockey-like pace.

Durfee kept the game within striking distance until the fourth quarter. A lot of that was due to a strong performance by freshman Nick Salmon. Salmon scored nine points, including a stretch in the third quarter when he scored seven and to be Durfee's entire offense.

Salmon's success underscored something bigger: Durfee will be back.

“The good news is we return just about everyone on the team,” Guimond said. “We have three seniors who did a lot of the program and played hard for four years, but we return just about everybody. I look forward to the future.

“I give the season a B. We won games that we were supposed to win, but I think that we exceeded some expectations. This is a program that has been down for the past few years and the kids won 13 games, won the Big 3 championship, won a state tournament game. I'm proud of them; I think they did excellent.”

Robinson said that, looking towards the future, there is no reason to be angry about the past.

“We can work hard and we can win a lot of games,” Robinson said. “We can shock a lot of people. People didn't think we could come this far but we did. I'm proud for that and I'm proud of my team. I can't do anything else but be happy.”

Much of Needham's success on the glass was due to the play seniors Mike Elcock and Jack Winston. The pair combined for nine rebounds and 11 points, but more than that they used their size, both are north of 6-foot-4, to trap Durfee's smaller guards in the paint.

“They're so tough underneath and they box [out] first which is really important and crash hard for rebounds,” Liner said. “We're able to go play zone with Mikey up top, and he's 6-foot-4 and able to play the top of the zone and get back and box out. Jack Winston is 6-foot-5; they did a great job controlling the glass.”

Recap: No. 14 Bishop Feehan 72, Durfee 54

February, 8, 2014
Feb 8
ATTLEBORO, Mass. – Where do you start when analyzing Bishop Feehan’s 72-54 non-league romp over Durfee on Friday night?

One could start with the fact that the Shamrocks (15-1), who began the game ranked 14th in the latest ESPN Boston poll, put four players in double figures: Nicholas Botelho (20), David Carchedi (15), Frank Oftring (12) and Mike Nelson (10).

One also could underscore the fact Feehan shot a scalding 90.5 percent (19-of-21) from the free throw line.

But the most appropriate place to start is in the first half when Feehan’s man-to-man defense grabbed the Hilltoppers (9-7) by their collective necks and never let go.

“We’ve scouted them and seen a lot of teams play Durfee,” Feehan coach Matt Freeman said after his team won its 10th consecutive game. “A lot of teams have been playing zones against them. We just said ‘You know what? We’re going to play these guys man-to-man and make them have to earn it.'

“In the two times we played them (Feehan prevailed, 61-47, at Durfee on January 14), that caused them some problems – having to use post moves and run a set, structured offense and score out of it.

“I think we showed them we could hold them in check,” Freeman added. “So, I really was proud of the defensive effort. It set the tone.”

How true.

Blazing start: Before an SRO crowd at Feehan, the Shamrocks went on a 20-2 run in the first half which increased a 10-7 lead to 30-9 lead with 4:09 left in the half.

Altogether, Feehan forced Durfee into 12 first-half turnovers and scored nine points off those miscues. But as Freeman alluded to, the Shamrocks’ tenacious, man-to-man defense took the Hilltoppers completely out of their offense as Feehan led 36-15 at intermission.

“I think they were a little bit bewildered when they realized they realized they were down 20 at the break,” Freeman said. “I definitely was very pleased.”

Freeman had mixed feelings once Durfee mounted a mini-rally and sliced its deficit to 15 points (53-38) late in the third quarter. But during one stretch, Botelho tipped in a missed shot; Carchedi blew through Durfee’s zone defense for an easy layup; and Botelho buried a 3-point shot.

Altogether Botelho, a sophomore forward, scored 11 of his points in the second half.

“The third quarter is what we’re going to use as fodder moving forward because we gave up as many points in the third quarter (25) as we gave up basically in the other three quarters combined, minus the three (by Yamgel Rivera) right at the end,” Freeman said. “We’re always looking for cannon fodder to get on our guys.

“They broke us down off the dribble too many times for our liking. Luckily, we were keeping pace with them scoring-wise. But once it gets down to, 13, 14 or 15 it gets a little dicey. I think we hit a couple of bombs at that point (one was a trey by Stephen Gagnier with 33 seconds left in the third). And I think a couple of their guys lost a little bit of their composure and we took advantage of that at the foul line and made our free throws.”

Free throw city: The sequence Freeman referred to commenced at the start of the fourth quarter when Durfee was whistled for a flagrant foul which resulted in two freebies, each of which was buried by Austin Burlone.

Before the final period ended, Durfee was slapped with two technical fouls. Burlone converted both ends of the first while Nelson (who was 8-for-8 at the stripe) sank both ends of the second.

Two Hilltoppers did reach double figures, Nick Salmon and Chris Farmington with 13 points apiece. But one notable absentee from the double-figure column was Tyree Robinson, who torched Dartmouth for 34 points during a 77-64 victory last Tuesday.

In this game, Feehan held Robinson to a microscopic six points.

“We know how talented and dynamic a player Tyree is,” Freeman said. “Nick Botelho is a talented sophomore and we wanted him to play (Robinson) physically, fairly and hard. We challenged him again tonight.

“I don’t think Tyree ever was on the verge of taking over the game.”

Recap: New Bedford 40, Silver Lake 21

September, 17, 2011

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. – The question coming into this season was whether New Bedford football would be able to parlay the momentum from last year’s Big Three co-championship and playoff appearance into big things this year.

So far so good as the Whalers put up 40-plus points for the second week while rolling to a 41-20 win over Silver Lake on Saturday afternoon.

Even though it was a non-league matchup, it was an important early season marker for New Bedford, as the Lakers have held the upper hand in the teams’ recent meetings.

New Bedford (2-0) ran out to a 26-0 halftime lead, outgaining the Lakers with 205 yards of offense compared to Silver Lake’s 11 yards gained. Whalers quarterback Myles Medeiros threw for 164 yards and two touchdowns by the half, giving way to Mike Rapoza in the third quarter as the Whalers continued racking up points.

Whalers running back Marcel DePina also got into the act with a rushing touchdown in the first quarter before returning a punt 82 yards for a score, giving New Bedford a 20-0 lead in the second.

“Marcel has the ability to change directions very quickly,” Whalers head coach Dennis Golden said. “He’s got great vision as a back. “

Medeiros added his third touchdown pass of the game to Jaraud Wood, a 13-yard completion in the third quarter.

Xavier Barros capped New Bedford’s scoring in a 2-yard touchdown run with 5:27 remaining in the third.

Silver Lake (0-2 ) finally got on the board inside of two minutes remaining in the third with a 35-yard touchdown pass from Dana Nemes to John Hurley.

Matthew Pinnetti and Jeffrey Reynolds added late rushing touchdowns for the Lakers in the fourth.

New Bedford now eyes next week’s challenge against No. 2 Duxbury. While everyone is anticipating the Whalers’ eventual date with Brockton, Golden’s team has their attention fixed on a worthy opponent.

“Duxbury’s one of the best teams in the state, everybody knows that,” Golden said. “They haven’t lost in a long time and we have our work cut out for us.”

The talk of the offseason was how New Bedford would be able to replace their talented bookends on the line from last season in Lance Burlingame and Janny DosReis. Two weeks in, the Whalers are building an identity as capable pass protectors and run blockers, led by returning starter Darian Sousa-Bizarro. Not to mention, the defensive line has been downright dominant, evidenced by a three-sack day for Carl Santos, two sacks by Servulo Pires and a fumble forced by Ricky Moraes. Throw in an impressive junior in end Tyler Arena and New Bedford once again has the makings of a D-line that can hang with the Boxers. “They’re doing well,” Golden said of the group. “Coach [Nick] Salmon and Coach [Marc] Hayes are doing a great job with them every day. They’re giving a good effort in practice. The kids are coming and playing hard consistently. It’s a good thing, it’s a good situation.”


Medeiros stepped into the starting quarterback role midway through last season and hasn’t looked back. He’s become more comfortable in the Whalers’ offense and stated his experience as a prime factor. “Especially with the O-line, they’re giving me great time to throw,” said Medeiros, who has eight touchdown passes through two games. “I’m making good reads, the receivers are where they need to be. Our practices have been good. Everything’s going good this year, everything’s falling into place.” Medeiros is a long, lanky passer with the ability to pull the ball down and take off running. However, his pocket presence has improved, has good arm strength and showed good touch on the ball in his 27-yard touchdown pass to Wood in the second, coming on a fade route to the near side pylon. It also helps having a weapon like Wood, a tall 6-foot receiver with the ability to separate himself from defenders with a long reach.

DePina takes over as the feature back in New Bedford’s offense this year, following talented track star Phito Gondre. However, the Whalers’ aren’t loosing much in terms of speed with DePina, a good athlete in his own regard as a member of New Bedford’s basketball team. Although he’s listed at 5-foot-6, DePina’s not afraid to run inside, but it’s in the open field where his value is found. Consider the 82-yard punt return he fielded on one hop, juking his way past two Laker defenders and then streaking down unabated down the left sideline as evidence.