Falcons soar in season opener to big win over Dolphins

SOUTH YARMOUTH — Ashley Keleher of Mashpee pulled up short of the 3-point line, let her 3-pointer fly and clapped as the ball swished through the net.

A few minutes later, in Mashpee’s girls basketball season-opener, Falcons eighth-grader Amiyah Peters stole the ball from a Dennis-Yarmouth player, and sprinted toward the basket for a layup.

Those two plays alone pretty much explained the Falcons’ 51-33 win Friday night against the same team they finished the 2017-18 season with, just one short of the total wins needed for a postseason tournament berth.

Mashpee also won that game.

“Yes, it was a great game for us,” said Keleher, who scored 10 points in the first quarter and wound up with a game-high 18 points and game-high four 3-pointers. “The hope is the tournament this year.”

Keleher and Peters combined to score 35 points, those two Falcons alone more than D-Y’s total offense. Keleher retired to the bench with 1:06 remaining and the win solidly in hand.

Mashpee dominated the Dolphins with a quick lineup featuring two eighth graders as starters and a swarming defense that led to layups and open 3-point shots for Keleher.

“It really comes down to heart and desire,” Mashpee coach Chris Tresca said. “Those kids, they’re super coachable. They would go through a wall.”

The Falcons broke open a close game in the final quarter with a 17-point burst. Keleher’s 3-pointer put Mashpee up by 13 points with 5:09 left in the game. Peters’ steal and layup with 2:35 put the Falcons up by 15.

“They’re young and fast,” said D-Y coach Traci Wyse.

D-Y senior forward Kim Murray scored 16 points and caused a size mismatch all night long, but Mashpee’s pressure defense sometimes forced the Dolphins to pass the ball where they didn’t want to.

Posting up high, three straight baskets by Murray pulled the Dolphins within six points in the second quarter, but then a 3-pointer by Peters and a quick basket by Peters on an offensive rebound push Mashpee back up by 11.

The same thing happened in the third quarter, when a pair of Murray baskets were offset by Peters running down to the other end of the court like a track star and tossing in a layup underhanded between D-Y defenders.

“I am pleased with the way the kids played,” Wyse said.

The Dolphins went ahead 6-3 in the game’s early moments on baskets following offensive rebounds by Lindsay Schoener and Julia Kent, but then the Falcons went on a 14-2 run to close out the opening quarter.