Friday, February 2, 2024

Windham Middle School boys’ basketball teams split against Biddeford

By Matt Pascarella

The Windham Middle School boys’ seventh and eighth grade boys’ basketball teams took on Biddeford at home on Monday, Jan. 29 in one of the final games of the season. Windham’s eighth grade team had the lead going into the half and held back Biddeford to get a 39-33 win. Windham seventh graders fought hard against the Tigers, but fell 49-35, despite a push toward the end which closed a wide gap between the teams.

Windham eighth grader Boston Krainis drives to the basket
during a boy's middle school basketball game against
Biddeford at home on Monday, Jan. 29.
Eighth Grade

“I think we played well in spurts, and I think we were a little lost at times,” said Windham Middle School eighth grade boys’ basketball coach Adam Manzo. “They held it together and made some free throws down the stretch and made the plays at the end; it wasn’t our best game by any means, but sometimes you have to win ugly. They take on things and retain things really well, but at times it looks like we just forget what we learned. First quarter ... press went well; we rebounded the ball in the first quarter. They become both too selfish and too unselfish [and that needs work]. We pass the ball when we should just shoot the ball and sometimes, we don’t pass the ball when we should. They’ve been playing together for so long that sometimes they forget there are four other people on the floor and it’s ok to give that ball up.”

Windham jumped out to an early lead and grabbed rebounds and moved the ball effectively. They scored several times and their defense kept Biddeford practically scoreless early on.

Windham continued to take shot after shot, but in a low-scoring second quarter Biddeford’s turnovers helped them catch up, although Windham still maintained the lead, 18-11 at the first buzzer.

“The first quarter we moved the ball well, great teamwork,” said Boston Krainis. “Second quarter got a little sloppy, giving up offensive rebounds and third quarter was all right and then fourth quarter we turned it on, shots started falling, getting the lead up defense ... great game, overall.”

Krainis said defensive rebounds need work. Although, he thinks they’ve definitely improved since the start of the season.

Windham opened the second half with a basket. They continued to get rebounds. They fought for the ball and kept a comfortable lead.

Biddeford slowly creeped up and soon was within striking distance of turning this game around. Windham pressured and did not let that happen.

“We had good passes; the ball wasn’t moving as fast, but I feel we could have moved it a lot better,” said Werani Anthony. “We had a good game overall – shots were going up, layups were going up, our passes were good. I think we need better quarter vision on the court, because we had open plays in the paint a lot and couldn’t get the ball to them – other than that we played a pretty good game.”

Seventh Grade

A three-pointer by Dezi Grant put Windham on the scoreboard. Ryan Manning sunk a couple foul shots. Riley Gallagher sunk a three-pointer. Despite this, Biddeford pulled away in the first quarter.

Windham’s offense slowly picked up. Biddeford grabbed turnovers and ran up the scoreboard. At the half, Biddeford led 26-16.

Windham fought for the ball in the second half and never stopped trying. They got some rebounds and closed the points gap a little as they entered the fourth quarter.

“We played very hard; we were just getting beat by [Biddeford’s] size,” said Manning. “I think we need to get more rebounds. We did good offensively ... heading into the third quarter, coach really motivated us, and we really pushed it hard. Our offense [went well]; we ran a couple plays that got us baskets.”

Manning said they need to be more aggressive, especially if they want to flip scores. He thought they were a little soft during this game.

As the clock wound down, Windham grabbed rebounds and sunk several baskets. They had a push at the end, but it wasn’t enough.

“We didn’t pull it all together on a consistent basis,” said Windham Middle School seventh grade boys’ basketball coach Craig Dickson. “We weren’t pulling all the things we had learned together all at once. It’s a great bunch of kids but it’s hard, I just try to keep building their confidence and telling the kids to shoot [the ball]. I think they periodically demonstrated aggressiveness. Any time my guys can be tough and aggressive, the grit that it takes to win. We’ve been consistently working on dribbling and shooting – I don’t ever want to deter a kid from shooting. I’ve seen the progress – kids are getting better, their shooting more and their confidence is going up.” <

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