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MV boys open with exciting win
Falcon Collin Merrill does an upfake against a pair of Rambler defenders, looking for an opportunity for a baseline jumper. (Times photo by Bruce Farrin)
Milo Jodrey wrestles with teammate Ryan Nicols as the Falcons tear down this defensive rebound from the Ramblers. (Times photo by Bruce Farrin)
RUMFORD -- It turned into a battle, however, the Mountain Valley boys' basketball team proved it had in enough composure down the stretch.
Ryan Nicols picked it up by scoring nine of his team-high 14 points in the fourth quarter and the Falcons made the most of their opportunities to hold on for a 50-43 triumph against Winthrop at Puiia Gymnasium. The game was the nightcap of a doubleheader and it certainly proved to be exciting.
The lead changed early in fourth quarter. A pair of Nicols free throws gave the Falcons a lead, but the Ramblers responded with a Dakota Carter basket for a 38-37 lead. The teams traded turnovers before Nicols made a driving layup. Colin Merrill followed with a short jumper from the baseline.
“We needed to switch up our defense down the stretch,” said Mountain Valley coach Tom Danylik, who recorded his first-ever varsity win. Winthrop was finding holes in our zone defense. They have a very disciplined point guard (Taylor Morang, game-high 15 points). But we were able to make a few stops and made our free throws down the stretch when it counted.”
Morang had pulled the Ramblers to within a point, but on the ensuing possession, Sean Murphy drew a foul and calmed drained a pair of free throws. The Falcons made seven of 10 free throws in fourth quarter, 13 of 19 in the game, while Winthrop was 14 of 25 from charity stripe.
“We've still got things to work on,” said Murphy. “We made some mistakes and it cost us at times, but we was also able to settle down and stop them when we needed to.”
The Falcons made five of nine shots in the fourth quarter, but the Ramblers missed their last four shots in the game.
“Falcon senior Jake Theriault had scored 10 points before leaving with a twisted ankle early in the fourth quarter.
"The kids really stepped it up after Jake went out," said Danylik. "That was some adversity, but give Winthrop credit because they hustle and are well coached.”
Mountain Valley received big baskets by Milo Jodrey, Adam Volkernick and Ryan Stickney. The Falcons made 17 of 45 shots and committed 24 turnovers in the game.
“We were a little nervous coming in, with this being the season opener,” said Nicols. “But we had trouble against their trapping defense until we settled down.”