Defense and free throws were key for the Dover-Sherborn Raiders, who held Westwood to a season low 15 first-half points and connected on 10-12 chances at the line in the final two minutes Friday night at Westwood High School.
Westwood (3-6) battled back from a lead as large as 14 against the Raiders (6-4), but struggled to score in the final minutes, giving D-S the 47-38 road victory.
“The free throws were huge for us late,” said Dover-Sherborn head coach Rick Grady. “You need to convert those when you get the chance, especially when you can tell Westwood was feeling it offensively.”
The Wolverines trailed by as many as 14 midway through the third quarter and brought the lead all the way back to two with just under two minutes remaining.
Seconds later, Westwood senior Macson Maccow stole the ball and called a timeout with a chance to tie or take the lead. That’s when the D-S defense stepped up most, however, and continuously prevented drives to the basket and forced contested outside shots.
“We did a great job cutting off penetration and we were always in great position to help,” said Grady. “Chris Flight did a great job on Maccow all day and Oliver Kelly stayed in position and had some big blocks and rebounds for us.”
Maccow had six points in the final two minutes but wasn’t getting much help from his teammates; the rest of the Wolverine squad had just five points in the final quarter.
The 10-1 free throw differential in the final minutes, including six from sophomore Ned Linehan, was too much for Westwood to overcome.
Westwood struggled all evening to get into rhythm offensively despite the near comeback. The team managed just five first-half field goals and faced difficulties getting open looks. Part of it might have been due in part to the change in lineup for the Wolverines but head coach Steve St. Martin said it’s more inconsistency and mistakes.
“We didn’t play hard offensively in the first half and we did in the second and we just have to put it together consistently," St. Martin said. "It was also some little things like setting screens for an area rather than for a person or forgetting who to screen for and when you have those breakdowns, bad things are going to happen and that’s just the nature of any game.”
Seniors Dave Von Euw, Nick Post and Shayan Salam all played major minutes, taking time away from recent late-game performers Joe Lally and Eric Tanery who didn’t see a single minute in the second half. St. Martin said the lineups have nothing to do with past performances, but rather who has been playing the best at the moment.
“We just go with who’s the best at that time,” St. Martin said. “It’s always easy to second guess but we did something right to come all the way back.”
Post hit two three’s and finished with six points, while Salam had two points and played lock-down defense, which included two steals and Von Euw finished with four points. Maccow lead the Wolverines with nine points.
Junior Nate Jenkins had a game-high 17 points and six rebounds for D-S. Captain Glen Krebs chipped in with 10 points and Oliver Kelley had four points, seven rebounds and four blocks.
D-S looks to win its third straight Monday afternoon against Hopkinton and Westwood hopes to end its four-game losing streak Tuesday against Medway.