NHIAA Div. IV boys' basketball: Lisbon clamps down to edge Derryfield, win championship
PLYMOUTH - Hustling Derek Roberts made a trio of second half three-point field goals.
The first pulled Lisbon to within two points of the lead, 24-22. The second brought the Panthers to within one point, 31-30. The third, with 2:18 left in the game, pushed Lisbon ahead 35-33.
Fueled by Roberts' momentum-building shots, sixth-seeded Lisbon went on to upend No. 4 Derryfield School of Manchester, 38-36, and win the NHIAA Division IV boys' basketball title for the fifth time in the last nine years. The victory also gave Lisbon its eighth overall championship, tying Jaffrey's Conant for the most in division history.
"I don't think there is a player in our division who plays harder than Derek," said Lisbon coach Sam Natti. "It's tough to sit in the corner and knock those shots down, but he did it. It was a typical Derek performance. He's hit big shots in all of our playoff games. I have all the confidence in him to make those shots."
After a tightly-defended, low-scoring first half that ended tied, 15-15, Derryfield built a five-point 28-23 lead after three quarters. Max Anderson, who scored eight points in the surge, scored Derryfield's first two points of the fourth period to give the Manchester school a 30-23 lead, the largest of the game.
But Lisbon's defense regrouped, packed the passing lanes and did not allow another Derryfield field goal until there were only :20.6 seconds left in the contest. That basket left the Cougars behind by a point, 37-36.
In between, Panthers floor general Chad Knighton, who led all scorers in the game with 14 points, dropped in a pair of driving layups and two free throws, Mike Heath scored from the paint, and Roberts netted two of his trifectas.
And the Lisbon defense worked overtime.
"We knew the zone and we knew what we wanted to do (on offense)," said Derryfield coach Rob Bradley. "We were a little stagnant cutting to the basket during the first half, but I thought we had that solved. They were physical and challenged our cutters aggressively."
The physical Panthers defense was whistled for a number of late-game fouls, but Derryfield converted just three of eight one-pointers down the stretch.
"They like to run a lot of plays for (Roger) Larrivee," noted Natti, "so we knew we had to keep the ball out of the paint. We wanted to take away their back door and not let them get in a rhythm. So we packed it in and clogged the passing lanes."
Larrivee, who stands 6-feet, 6-inches and scored 21 points in the Cougars semifinal round upset over top-seeded Littleton, was held to nine points by the blanketing defense of Mike Heath.
Missed shots and turnovers plagued both teams through the first half. The teams combined to make 13 turnovers. Derryfield was guilty of nine fouls in the first half, but Lisbon failed to capitalize, making just two of seven free throws.
"Neither team played particularly well, but it was like a rock fight at the end," said Natti. "It was all effort and hard work the last couple of minutes."
Roberts finished with 11 points. Anderson topped the Derryfield scorers with 12, and Tyler Zorn netted a pair of threes.
"They executed down the stretch, and they deserved the game," said Bradley of the 2013 Division IV champs.
Division IV boys' championship game
Lisbon 38, Derryfield 36
Lisbon: Justin Quinn 2-1-6; Chad Knighton 4-6-14; Mike Heath 3-1-7; Derek Roberts 4-0-11; Cooper Bryer 0-0-0. Totals 13-8-38
Three-pointers: Quinn, Roberts 3
Derryfield: Max Anderson 6-0-12; Chris Rizos 2-0-5; Mitch Green 1-0-2; Tyler Zorn 2-0-6; Roger Larrivee 3-3-9; Josh Gilmore 1-0-2. Totals 15-3-36
Three-pointers: Rizos, Zorn 2
Lisbon (16-5) 11 4 8 15 - 38
Derryfield (17-4) 10 5 13 8 - 36