Thursday, March 2, 2017

Hanover Gets Over the Hump Against Greater New Bedford

By Nate Rollins (@n_rollins1)

HANOVER, Mass. - It wasn't easy, but the Hanover Indians prevailed over Greater New Bedford Vocational for a 67-58 boys' basketball victory Thursday evening in the first round of the Division 3 South Sectional tournament at Edward Amaral Gymnasium.

Patriot League Fisher Division MVP Matt Delahunt led the third-seeded Indians (18-3) with a team-high 21 points, and J.P. Landry chipped in 13 in the victory. The win avenged a 49-46 loss to Norwell in the first round last season.

"We got the cobwebs out," Indians head coach Nick Hannigan said. "You could tell early on it was going to hurt both teams, but I think in the end our experience won it over."

Hanover advances to face No. 6 Bourne, which defeated Rockland, 63-48, Saturday in the Division 3 South Sectional quarterfinals.

"They can shoot it lights out too," Hannigan said of Bourne. "They're very disciplined. We've got our hands full either way. Those second-round matchups, no matter what, are going to be tough."

The first quarter featured five lead changes, with neither team pulling ahead by more than four, and eight made 3-pointers as both teams were tied at 21 at the end of the first eight minutes.

Four more lead changes ensued midway through the second frame. Tied at 29, Landry connected on a field goal to push the Indians ahead 31-29.

The make ignited an 8-3 Hanover run, capped by a Steven Simon tip-in at the buzzer. Following that surge, the Indians pulled ahead 39-32 at halftime.

"That was big," Hannigan said of the run. "Steven Simon's tip at the buzzer was a huge momentum shift."

However, No. 14 Greater New Bedford (11-10) - sparked by a pair of treys by Kevin Santiago - would answer to begin the third slicing its deficit to one, 39-38.

Unfortunately for the Bears, that was as close as they'd get. as the Indians went onto score the next six points - sparked by a Delahunt runner - to push ahead 45-38.

"It was a track meet in the first half, which we've been through before, but it's not our style of play," Hannigan said. "[Elijah] Diaz and [Jordan Rose-] Wheatley are as good it gets at scoring the ball. We kind of switched our matchups at halftime, and put JP on Diaz and put Zack [Chase] on Wheatley."

Jordan Rose-Wheatley, who scored all the Bears' 12 fourth-quarter points, sunk a 3-pointer with under six minutes remaining to make it a 55-49 game, but the Indians defense defense buckled down to secure the win.

The Bears' Rose-Wheatley led all scorers with 29 points in the loss.

For Hanover, Patrick Flynn was effective on both ends of the court, scoring 10 points and grabbing 10 boards.

"His rebounding has been a big difference maker for us all year," Hannigan said. "Obviously he was vintage Patrick tonight."

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