PEMBROKE – In basketball, never underestimate the importance of a free throw.
After all, the operative word in the term is “free.”
This lesson the Dennis-Yarmouth Regional High School boys basketball team (1-2) learned the hard way Thursday night on the road, falling to host Pembroke (1-1), 54-52. When the dust finally settled, the Dolphins had gone 18-40 from the charity stripe.
“That’s a game we should have won,” said head coach Rich Dalrymple, “and we still had a chance at the end.”
Down 54-52 with 12 seconds left, the inbounds was fed to senior captain L.K. Metz who launched up a potential game-winning three-pointer, but it missed and time expired on the Dolphins’ last chance to snatch a victory from the jaws of defeat.
Combine the lackluster performance at the foul line with early foul trouble team-wide, and the recipe for the unwanted finish began to accumulate. Starting center Kenny Dorr, a mainstay on the boards and one of the Dolphins’ top shooters, was relegated to the bench early on. He had three fouls in the first half.
“I think he played just over six minutes the entire game,” Dalrymple said.
Three Dennis-Yarmouth players would end up fouling out of the game, including Dorr, whose mission was to try and stifle Pembroke’s big gun, 6’3″, 225-lb. power forward Kyle Horn. The mission did not succeed as Horn bulled his way to the bucket repeatedly for a game-high 21 points.
“He was a wide-body. We just didn’t have anyone like that to counter him with,” Dalrymple said.
Still, Metz played his usual big game for the Dolphins, turning in yet another double-double performance with 18 points on the night and 13 rebounds to go along with six steals. His younger brother Jake Metz came off the bench to score 12 points and had five steals and five assists. Dolphins’ center Dillon Grant had 10 points on the night.
“We were down pretty much at every juncture,” Dalrymple said, “but we did go into the fourth quarter tied at 38-38 and we had a chance to tie at the end.”
With about 1:30 remaining in the game and down 54-52, the Dolphins had a chance to tie things up again and shift the momentum in their favor but Horn had a key three-point play at the other end off of a D-Y miss that made it 57-52.
The Dolphins will try and even their record on Saturday (Dec. 20) at 3:30 pm against Nantucket in the Stripes Tournament at Monomoy Regional High School.
Sean Walsh is the sports editor for www.capecod.com. His email is [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @coachwalshccbm.