Boys’ basketball: Windham extends Deering’s skid
The Eagles snap out of their own slump with a 56-47 victory.
BY Glenn Jordan – Portland Press Herald
WINDHAM — Between the four of them, Nazari Henderson, Hunter Coffin, Cam Brown and Andrew Wing didn’t score a point Friday night.
But Windham Coach Chad Pulkkinen couldn’t have been more pleased with how they played.
The Eagles beat Deering 56-47 in an SMAA boys’ basketball game Friday night in large part because of the defensive effort put forth by the aforementioned quartet, who took turns denying Ben Onek, Deering’s dangerous 6-foot-6 forward.
“He’s one of the best players in the league,” Pulkkinen said. “I think he kind of ran out of gas in the second half. That’s a credit to our guys for staying with him. He’s a very hard cover.”
Onek was averaging 21.1 points per game, second in the SMAA. He hit his first two shots as the Rams opened a 6-2 lead and had 13 points through three quarters. But his only points in the fourth came with 18 seconds left.
“That’s something I see every game,” Onek said. “They either double-team me or they have a guy face-guarding me through the whole game. Sometimes it works because, hey, you know, you can’t do it all.”
Windham (9-4) never trailed after taking control early in the second quarter. Deering (5-8) lost its seventh in a row after a 5-1 start.
Onek finished with 16 points. Cole Martinson added 12, all on 3-pointers. Caleb Delano had nine and Darryl Germain eight.
“We’re looking for a third scorer,” Deering Coach Todd Wing said. “We struggle at times. Many times in the game, we have three or four sophomores on the floor. We’re battling through youth, but at the same time, this is the time of year we’re looking for guys to step up.”
Senior point guard Nick Curtis led Windham with 20 points. He also doled out seven assists. When Deering attempted full-court pressure in an attempt to climb back into the contest, Curtis seemed to smile.
“We can run when they do that,” he said. “And we all like to run.”
Fellow guard Mike Gilman added 17 points and center Dierhow Bol had nine. The Eagles opened leads of 22-14 at halftime and 38-28 after three quarters. Deering came no closer than seven the rest of the way.
“(Onek) was the main focus all week,” Curtis said. “Coach did a good job switching out guys on him. All those guys handled it really well.”
Windham had lost three of its previous four games.
“We had a tough last couple games,” Pulkkinen said. “We needed to control the game with our pace and get good shots and not settle for the quick easy one. When we’re able to move the ball, with our weapons, it gives us really good opportunities.”
The Rams, meanwhile, are looking to recapture their early-season magic. They host Thornton Academy on Tuesday.
“I believe that we’re a team that nobody will want to see in the tournament,” Wing said. “Our record’s going to be messy, but so be it. We’re focused on getting better day by day, game by game, and preparing for the tournament. And we don’t plan on being an easy out.”