Derryfield dominates, moves to 9-0

By Nathaniel Ford

MANCHESTER – Derryfield defended their home court in a blowout victory, defeating Concord Christian 68-49 on Thursday night.

The Cougars proved once again why they are one of the top teams in Division IV, remaining one of three teams, along with Profile and Littleton, still undefeated.

A big reason for their overwhelming success tonight was how they controlled the tempo of the game and played at their own pace.

“We’ve been working all season on being patient offensively, and we’re patient, good things usually happen for us,” said Derryfield coach Ed Meade.

Good things did happen early for them, jumping right out on the Kingsmen early in the first with a 6-2 run under two minutes into the contest. 

They played great team basketball in the quarter, with four of five starters scoring, highlighted by 8 points from Alex Drake. Despite this, the Kingsmen kept the game within reach, and behind 6 points from Jaden Young, they trailed 21-13 to end the quarter. 

Derryfield blew the game open in the second quarter, mainly due to a 10-0 run in the middle of it. Billy Gardner gave great minutes off the bench and scored 5 of the points in that stretch. 

Three-point shooting was big for the Cougars, who found open looks in their offense and knocked down five of them. This helped extend their lead to 20 points, and despite a buzzer-beater three from Concord Christian’s Logan Duffy, Derryfield led 41-24 to end the quarter.

Derryfield has a lot of experience on their team, with an all-senior starting lineup and more coming off the bench. This strong class is what’s propelling them to such a strong season.

“Luckily for me, all of these guys have been with me for three years. I’m very familiar with them, and they’re very familiar with each other,” said Meade. 

This is a hard-working group led by Jack Krasnof. He recently scored his 1,000th point for the Cougars, a tremendous milestone that highlights the dedication this group has. 

“They’ve been great in practice. They’ve always practiced really hard, but this year especially, my seniors have really set the pace on getting that intensity level up,” said Meade. 

This 17-point Derryfield lead going into the second half was far too large for the Kingsmen to overcome. It was a back-and-forth game for most of the second half, largely due to the Cougars getting in foul trouble in both quarters.

“We were up 20 for a lot of the game, and we were still fouling, so that’s another thing we want to work on,” said Meade.

Concord Christian was in the bonus for most of the second half, which resulted in plenty of opportunities from the free throw line. They did not shoot a high percentage, but the sheer volume was enough to keep the Derryfield lead from extending further. 

Regardless, the lead stayed right around 20 points for the whole second half and never got closer than 17 points. When the final buzzer sounded, it was a resounding 68-49 victory for the Cougars. 

Derryfield was led by 21 points from Jack Krasnof. Alex Drake (15) and Zach Martin (13) both added double figures as well.

Concord Christian was led by a balanced scoring attack highlighted by 16 points from Isaac Bowers, 12 from Logan Duffy, and 8 from Jaden Young.

The Cougars move to an impressive 9-0 on the season, and they have a big test coming their way next week.

“They just like to play basketball. They don’t look at it as a pressure situation, and they’re all really looking forward to PCA next Tuesday. That’s the way they’ve always been,” said Meade. 

Portsmouth Christian is one of the top teams in Division IV this season with a 7-1 record of their own. They are led offensively by a duo of Cai Summers (15.8 PPG) and Connor Hickey (14.6 PPG)

The Kingsmen fall to 3-6 on the season, and they look to bounce back in a home matchup next week against Pittsfield.