Hand basketball beats Darien in state playoffs
DARIEN—Points were at a premium Monday night in Darien, and that’s just the way Daniel Hand wanted it.
It took an overtime period, but No. 19 Daniel Hand held off No. 14 Darien 46-43 in the first round of the Division III state tournament.
“It was wild, honestly that was the game we were hoping to play,” Hand coach Jimmy Economopoulos said. “I know Darien likes to play their games in the 60s, 70s, 80s and all season we’ve been trying to play them in the 40s and 50s because we have our length and our size we try to play good defense. We were able to contain them tonight and luckily some of their shots didn’t fall, it was a nice team win for us for sure.”
Hand will move on to the second round Wednesday night at No. 3 Prince.
“They’re one of the most talented teams in the state, bar-none,” Economopoulos said. “We definitely have our hands full, but if we can play together and defend like we did tonight we’ll give ourselves a shot.”
Defense was the theme of the night for both squads.
Hand led 28-22 at the half, but Darien started the third on a 10-0 run behind two 3-pointers from Justin Jordan and two quick layups from Ryan Darby.
The Tigers battled back, ending the third tied at 35.
The fourth was a battle of attrition, with both teams scoring just four points each. Darien had the ball with a chance to win as time expired, but Henry Williams’ shot rimmed out at the buzzer.
“It’s hard to win games if you can’t put the ball in the basket,” Wave coach Charoy Bentley said. “Hand is a great team; they play hard, they hustle, they got rebounds. They made baskets and we just didn’t.”
Hand senior Graeme McGivern drilled a 3 to give his team a 44-41 lead in the extra period and Darien was never able to recover.
“That momentum was on our side,” McGivern said of his thoughts when he hit the shot. “And we can win this game.”
PLAYER OF THE GAME
McGivern, Hand. The 6-foot-5 senior scored a game-high 18 points for the Tigers, including three 3-pointers.
FLAIR FOR THE DRAMATIC
While there was a certain shortage of offense Monday, it seemed the teams seemed to figure it out when they needed it most. McGivern hit a 3 at the buzzer in the first quarter, then Jeremy Long replicated the feat for the Tigers at the halftime horn.
The end of the third was Darien’s turn, as Peter Bredahl drilled a 3 from the wing.
CARRYING THE LOAD
Jordan tried his best to lead the Wave comeback, scoring 12 of his team’s 21 points after halftime. Hand ended up switching to a box-and-one defense late in the game to try to contain the guard.
“You don’t have to say anything to him because he’s going to go out there and play hard regardless,” Bentley said. “I love the kid to death. I love my whole team, but we just came up short today.”
NO. 19 DANIEL HAND 46, NO. 14 DARIEN 43 (OT)
Matthew Maxwell 2 0-0 4; Kijana Richmond 0 0-4 0; Ethan Haberman 1 0-0 2; Tyler Boris 4 0-0 8; Luke Brucher 2 1-2 5; Jeremy Long 2 0-1 6; Flynn Driscoll 1 1-2 3; Graeme McGivern 7 0-0 18. Totals: 19 2-9 46.
Justin Jordan 6 0-0 15; Will Rolapp1 2-2 4; Peter Bredahl 1 1-2 4; Henry Williams 1 0-0 3; Jack Tierney 4 2-2 11; Ryan Darby 2 0-0 4; Andrew Darby 1 0-0 2. Totals: 16 5-6 43.
DANIEL HAND 18 10 7 4 7—49
DARIEN 11 11 13 4 4—46
3-pointers: DH—Long 2, McGivern 3; D—Jordan 3, Bredahl, Williams, Tierney.