|Dimon Carrigan led Cambridge with 20 points and 20 rebounds in a dominant win over New Mission|
By Nate Weitzer (@Nweitzer7)
LAWRENCE, Mass. - The defending Division 1 and Division 2 state champions met in a marquee affair on Sunday evening at Central Catholic High.
And when the dust had settled, top-ranked Cambridge (19-0) proved to be head and shoulders above the sixth-ranked Titans of New Mission (15-6).
Cambridge used a notable size advantage and implemented a full-court press to spark a 23-6 run in the second quarter with Titans stars Charles and Charlie Mitchell on the bench due to foul trouble, and the Falcons ran away in the second half on their way to a 91-52 victory.
Now the Falcons will advance to face host Central Catholic in the finals of the Round Ball Classic on Monday evening at 7 p.m.
“For us, this is a weekend of getting prepared for what hopefully will be a good run in the tournament,” said Cambridge head coach Lance Dottin.
As per usual, Cambridge leaned on the dynamic duo of 6-foot-8 center Dimon Carrigan (20 points, 20 rebounds, 4 blocks) and point guard Jakigh Dottin (16 points, 6 rebounds, 10 assists) to dominate the paint and perimeter from the opening tip.
Carrigan was a particular problem for undersized New Mission, although Kevin Nunez (14 points) and Trahe Qualls (13 points, 2 blocks) did what they could to slow him down, they simply could not match up with the lengthy big man.
DC also sparked several fast breaks with his four first-half rejections and deterred the Titans from attacking the paint, opening up the Falcons transition offense even more.
“It was huge,” Dottin said about the size advantage. “We have to take advantage on the inside. When you have guys who are that big, you have to get them touches on the offensive end because they’re working so hard on defense, especially Dimon [Carrigan]. He’s down there at the back of the defense, blocking shots, saving people, so we want to reward him on the other end.”
With both Mitchell twins sitting throughout the second quarter, Cambridge unleashed a 23-7 run to take a commanding 43-25 lead into the half, punctuated by Carrigan’s put back dunk right before the buzzer.
Cambridge carried that momentum into the second half by feeding sharpshooter Malik Correia (17 points), who promptly knocked down a trio of three-pointers in a 70-second span to make it 63-35 midway through the third quarter.
“What we really want to do is share the basketball,” said Dottin, “And tonight I think we took advantage of some of the things that New Mission was trying to do to us, which is exactly what we prepared for.”
The defending state champions have not lost a game against in-state competition in over two full seasons and they’ve now won 14 consecutive games against Massachusetts teams by at least 20 points, but they remain focused on the ultimate prize of back-to-back state titles.
“We just played our game, the Cambridge way,” said Carrigan. “It was all about executing on the offensive end and playing strong defense.”
So far, The Cambridge Way has been too much for any team in the state to withstand.
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DC block leads to Jakigh layup and a 15-14 Cambridge lead. Stop me if you've heard this before... pic.twitter.com/1WjC6akiIc— Nate Weitzer (@nweitzer7) February 19, 2017
Delarosa hits a tough jumper to make it 35-25, but New Mission struggling with Mitchell twins sitting all of Q2 pic.twitter.com/5b4yKMyPVs— Nate Weitzer (@nweitzer7) February 19, 2017
Jakigh Dottin with 10 pts, 6 reb, 5 ast and Cambridge leads 41-25 late Q2 pic.twitter.com/hbYUNaH20i— Nate Weitzer (@nweitzer7) February 19, 2017
Octavien 3 and a jumper from Correia quickly has Cambridge up 52-27 early Q3 pic.twitter.com/gO9bFuRQ7R— Nate Weitzer (@nweitzer7) February 19, 2017
Correia nails a 3 and Cambridge firmly in control up 55-32 mid Q3 pic.twitter.com/nDCYjVDJmi— Nate Weitzer (@nweitzer7) February 19, 2017