DERRYFIELD 65 – BISHOP BRADY 55
Despite leading from the opening hoop to the final buzzer, and with a double-digit lead for most of the second, third and fourth quarters, Derryfield’s 66-55 defeat of Bishop Brady was not easy.
“It was the best we’ve run our offense all season,” noted Coach Ed Meade following the Cougars’ first win of this pandemic-modified campaign. The balanced scoring that had pleased Mead earlier in the week in a close loss to Holy Family was there again in the Derryfield scorebook.
And for this year’s young and inexperienced Cougars, it was there at every grade level. Eighth-grader Thomas Ferdinando led the team with 16 points. Freshman Jack Krasnof tallied 14. Juniors Kaven Fitch and Janai Cruz added 9 and 7 respectively. Seniors Charles Renvyle and Jaxon Snyder scored 7 and 5. And sophomores John McDevitt and Griff Johnson added 5 and 2 on a night when every hoop mattered.
Charles set the tone in the opening seconds. He blocked the first of the visiting Giants’ shots, then scored on a pass from Jaxon at the other end of the court. Then Thomas stole an errant Giant pass and passed to Charles inside for a hoop and the hurt. Charles swished the awarded foul shot and Derryfield led 5-0 in the game’s first minute.
After Thomas scored on a driving layup, the Cougars offense moved outside the arc. Thomas netted a 3-pointer from the top of the key. John followed from the left wing with another trey. Thomas, again, hit from the top, and Kaven joined the barrage with a 3 from the right wing at the end of the period to give the home team a 19-16 lead in its strongest start of the season.
In the second quarter, Thomas hit twice again from 3-point land, and Janai dropped 4 of 4 from the foul line. After Charles converted an offensive rebound in the middle of the period, the Cougar lead was 32-19, and was held at that margin by Jack’s strong play inside and Janai’s 3-pointer for a 39-26 Derryfield lead at the break.
Jaxon sparked the Cougars to their biggest lead of the game early in the third quarter. The senior co-captain powered in an offensive rebound. Then he grabbed a defensive rebound, and jetted to the hoop for another score to boost the Derryfield lead to 43-38. But Bishop Brady cut the 15-point lead to just 6 with a 9-point run.
Derryfield’s drive-and-dish offense stayed patient and poised, however. Janai passed to Jack for a basket inside, and on the next possession, Jack passed inside to Griff for another hoop. Derryfield was up 49-41 at the end of the third.
Derryfield built its lead back into double digits early in the fourth quarter but suddenly the Giants found their range from outside. They hit three successive 3-pointers to cut the Cougar lead to four points at 59-55 right in the middle of the period.
Too often, Coach Meade had seen opponents close games on his team in the final minutes, so he called a timeout. “I was calm,” he recalled, “and told the players to relax. I was a little nervous, but figured we had to be able to hold them off.”
He could not have been more correct. Derryfield handled the Giants’ pressure and made their foul shots. And on defense, they shut down Bishop Brady. Completely. Outscoring the Giants 6-0 over the final four minutes of play.
The team travels to Epping on Tuesday, February 23, hosts Epping on Thursday, February 25, and then opens the Division IV State Championship Tournament at the AWC against Holy Family on Monday, March 1.