Div. I Boys' Basketball Final: Clippers too tough to handle
DURHAM - After Monday's Division I boys' basketball semifinals, coach Jim Mulvey said Portsmouth needed two things to earn a title: More efficient offense and more Joey Glynn.
The Clippers got all of that and more on the way to completing their perfect championship season with Saturday's 63-40 title-game victory over Bedford at UNH's Lundholm Gymnasium. The triumph completed a second consecutive 21-0 season for Portsmouth, which made a return to the Division I ranks this season after a Division II crown a year ago.
"I knew Joe was going to play better," Mulvey said. "We got up 16-6 with about three minutes left in the first half, so we knew they were going to have trouble scoring on us. We knew if Joey kept having a good game then we'd be in good shape."
Glynn got the Clippers off and running in the first half with 12 of his 20 points on the way to a 23-15 Portsmouth lead at the break. The senior paired with fellow senior Christian Peete (21 points) to reel off 21 of Portsmouth's first-half points.
"When we played Winnacunnet (in the semifinals), they had more emphasis on guarding me and even triple-teaming me a couple times in the post. I was just getting a little rattled," Glynn said. "The last couple days of practice we worked on moving around, getting me open and running plays to get my guy. It wasn't always to open up things for me, but really for everybody."
The 6-foot-5 center, who added 10 rebounds and three blocks, continued to work in the second half and the rest of the Clippers followed his lead. Portsmouth shot a blistering 77.3 percent (17-for-22) in the second half on the way to outscoring Bedford 40-25 in the second half.
"We talked about ball movement and getting it moving from one side to the other," said Mulvey of the Clippers' second-half adjustments. "Sometimes when you have Joey, you tend to keep everything focused on one side and let him go to work. (Bedford) sent a double-team onto him and Christian ended up being the beneficiary."
Peete hit two of six second-half treys for the Clippers, who finished 9 of 17 from beyond the arc in the game. The 24-9 third quarter proved to be the icing on the cake for Portsmouth, while 14 points off turnovers and 11 second-chance points also aided the rout.
Portsmouth flourished while Bedford was left searching for an identity after losing leading scorer Troy Meservey to injury before halftime. The senior came down awkwardly on an attempted rebound with three minutes left in the second quarter and broke his leg, according to Bedford coach Mark Elmendorf. The injury stopped the game for 25 minutes while Meservey was tended to and carted off on a stretcher.
"Some guys I thought were hurt really badly (by the injury) and others kind of rallied around it," Elmendorf said. "It affected the game, but that's not why we lost. They are good and I give them all the credit in the world."
Bedford (17-4) was held to just 14-of-38 shooting by Portsmouth's stingy man-to-man defense. Liam Greene was the lone Bulldog in double digits with 13 points while the entire team failed to generate the looks it wanted while settling for highly-contested and altered shots.
"Their defense is just fabulous," Elmendorf said. "They know how to lock you down and can play serious defense. We knew that going in and couldn't buy a basket there. They just make you take a tough shot with every possession."