Tuesday, March 11, 2014
By Greg Reid
Special to the Press Herald
YARMOUTH — A fast start made it a quick night for Yarmouth.
The Clippers went on a 14-0 run in the first quarter to take an 11-point lead and rolled to an 86-64 victory over Waynflete in a Western Maine Conference crossover boys’ basketball game Tuesday night.
David Murphy scored 29 points and had five assists, and Nate Shields-Auble had 22 points and six rebounds as Class B Yarmouth’s intensity and athleticism proved too much for Class C Waynflete (5-1).
Adam LaBrie added 13 points, including three 3-pointers, for the Clippers.
Serge Nyirikamba was a force for Waynflete, scoring 30 points and collecting 15 rebounds. Milo Belleau added 11 points, and Henry Cleaves had eight points and eight rebounds.
“They just beat us to the punch from the start and we were on our heels the rest of the way,” Waynflete Coach Rich Henry said. “This was a good reality check for our team. While I wish our execution was a little better, I can’t fault our effort. These kids are gamers, regardless of the result.”
Nyirikamba’s two free throws with 5:25 left in the first quarter pushed the Flyers ahead, 10-7. To that point, Yarmouth’s pressing defense led to early fouls and a stop-and-go tempo.
“We’re an aggressive team; we pride ourselves on that,” Murphy said. “It takes a while to get going offensively, especially against a great team like Waynflete. They’re going to attack the basket.”
Yarmouth then found its rhythm, reeling off 14 straight points, led by Murphy and LaBrie with five each, to take a 21-10 lead. The Flyers got within 28-20 after the first quarter but that was as close as they got.
“We practice at that pace, when we’re hustling after a loose ball, or after a ballhandler. I don’t want to take away from our intensity,” Yarmouth Coach Adam Smith said. “I’m not happy with the number of foul shots we let Waynflete have (16 of 33) but it’s hard to reel that (intensity) in. We will get better.”
Yarmouth’s top defensive priority was obvious; two and three players seemed to close in on Nyirikamba with every Flyer possession.
“You try to limit the number of shots Serge gets, make him work hard for the shots he’s going to get, and we did that,” Smith said. “Adam LaBrie did a great job on him in the full-court situation, and Nate neutralized Serge’s effect on our game.”
A back-and-forth second quarter pushed Yarmouth’s lead to 43-34 at the half. And Ethan Gage’s back-to-back baskets to open the third quarter started the Clippers (4-2) on a 14-7 run that pushed the lead to 57-41.
“They shot the ball extremely well,” Henry said. “I didn’t think that was going to continue, but it did.”