MANCHESTER, N.H. – The Cougars of Derryfield Academy returned from their new year’s break on Friday only to find a 42-35 defeat at the hands of Farmington.
Things remained close for most of the night, with Derryfield taking a 10-7 lead into the second quarter and an 18-17 lead into the half, with Farmington eventually gaining a 28-25 advantage by the end of the third.
Neither side had more than a two-basket edge until Logan Ebarre’s three with 4:45 left in the game put the Tigers up by six.
Derryfield held Ebarre to just 1-for-8 from the floor in the third quarter, but the Farmington senior proved crucial in the fourth quarter, adding another clutch three along with a pair of key steals that blunted the Cougars’ momentum down the stretch.
“He’s an athletic player, I’ve known him mostly as a driver and slasher, but he hit some outside shots tonight,” said Derryfield head coach Rob Bradley. “Our general feeling was he was going to get his points and we’d shut everybody else down, but he was part of that, dishing and finding people.”
Following Ebarre’s second three, scores from Max Karpawich and Max Bryon brought the Cougars within one point of regaining the lead, the closest their get to getting back in front.
A few seconds later, junior Markus Berko sunk two free throws for the Tigers and the visitors began to milk the clock as Derryfield let precious seconds count down.
“We’d gotten a few turnovers off them from increased man-to-man pressure, so at that point I was looking to do that,” said Bradley.
Ebarre sensed an opening during Farmington’s slowed attack and brought the Tigers’ lead up to five, with freshman Brian Weeks adding another field goal for Farmington in the game’s final seconds.
“It’s on me, maybe we should have fouled more,” said Bradley. but by (Ebarre’s two-point score) the game was already decided.”
While the season is still young for both sides, it’s hard to tell whether Derryfield underperformed or Farmington overperformed given the two squads’ location in the Division IV standings coming into the contest.
Bradley believes that Farmington’s early struggles came largely from injuries. He also hopes that his squad is better than the one that showed up on Friday as they begin a month that includes contests against the division’s top four teams.
Ebarre led all scorers with 24 points, including five three-pointers, also contributing eight rebounds in the win.
Bryon was the only Cougar in double digits with 15 points as Derryfield managed to shoot just under 32 percent from the field. Berkowitch provided 10 rebounds for Derryfield in the losing effort to go along with eight points.
Derryfield (3-2) next faces Wilton-Lyndeborough on the road on Tuesday at 7 p.m. while Farmington (2-4) travels to Epping for a 6:30 p.m. contest on Tuesday.
Disclosure: The author of this article holds a financial connection with individuals associated with the Derryfield boys’ basketball program in matters unrelated to basketball.