Ligonde propels DHS Boys’ Basketball to victory over Millis

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Host Dedham gained its second straight victory on Tuesday night before a sizable crowd at O’Donnell Gymnasium in Tri-Valley League action. Senior center Juran Ligonde had a game-high 19 points as the Marauders built a big lead and staved off a comeback attempt down the stretch in a 66-57 conquest of Millis. 

A high tempo defined most of the game, with the teams close in score through the first quarter and the hosts amassing a 25 point lead in the third before the visitors made things interesting in the final minutes.

The Marauders started a quintet of Ligonde, captain Dylan Maida, captain Brandon Ruiz, Jack Tannous and Mike Mansour. The Mohawks applied a full court press early but the hosts broke it as Maida found Mansour who relayed to Ligonde for a dunk. Dedham also employed a press, generally of the 2-1-2 variety, delaying Millis a few times.

A three pointer by Brian Tavares, one of three treys he hit on the night, got Dedham the lead at 5-4. Soon thereafter in the second quarter, a trey by Maida from Ruiz made it 15-12 to put the Marauders in front again. Just before the halftime buzzer Ligonde grabbed an offensive rebound and scored to make it 31-17.

To open the second half he Mohawks closed to within four at 31-27, then Ligonde grabbed an offensive board and found Tannous in the lane who received the pass and scored in one motion. The rest of the quarter would see the home team continue on a 19-4 run.

Pivotal plays in that sequence included a pair of blocked shots by Powers in close succession, an offensive rebound and put-back by Casey in one motion, and a dunk by Ligonde off a drive and assist by Maida.
One key to the outcome was the hosts’ ability to get to the free throw line consistently, where they sank 24 of 36. By contrast, the Mohawks reached the stripe just 14 times, making 8. 

About midway through the third, the visitors were whistled for two technical fouls. The first was called on a player, then immediately after as well when the Millis coach yelled ‘You gotta be kidding me!’ to the referees. Ligonde made the first two of those freebies and Maida sank the second two plus the Marauders retained possession. 

On that inbound Tavares, standing at midcourt, lofted the ball accurately to the far side of the offensive rim and Ligonde rose to finish the alley-oop as the crowd roared its approval, putting the Marauders ahead 45-29.

In the fourth quarter Dedham widened its lead to the biggest spread of the night, 57-32, on a pair of free throws by Powers. The Mohawks connected on a series of steals and three-pointers to claw back within ten at 63-53 with 1:38 left before the Marauders closed it out by making some free throws and tightening their defense.
The result put Dedham’s overall record at 5-3, including 4-2 in TVL play. Afterward Coach Chris Fraioli summed up the team’s performance.

“I think we played very well for a majority of that game.” He added, “It’s important that I get my bench minutes, and they deserve it. They work their butts off in practice.” He also gave credit to Millis for battling back in the second half.
The Marauders host TVL opponent Westwood tonight at 6:30.
STATISTICS

Millis:
A. Brooks 11 points, 1 rebound
P. Adams 10 pts., 3 reb., 4 asst., 4 stl.
N. Wong 9 pts., 2 reb.
S. Laduke 6 pts., 1 asst., 1 stl.
R. Hillaire 5 pts., 2 reb., 2 asst., 2 stl.
R. Daniel 5 pts., 5 reb.
J. McKersie 4 pts., 4 reb.
T. Fallon 4 pts., 2 reb., 2 stl.
D. Zonfrelli 3 pts., 1 reb., 1 stl.
T. Smith 2 reb.
A. Olmstead, 1 reb.
K. Hopkins 1 reb.
Dedham:
J. Ligonde 19 points, 12 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 blocked shots
B. Tavares 12 pts., 2 reb., 3 asst.
B. Casey 11 pts., 5 reb., 2 asst., 1 steal
J. Powers 10 pts., 2 reb., 1 asst., 4 stl., 2 bl.
D. Maida 7 pts., 2 reb., 2 asst., 1 stl.
B. Ruiz 3 pts., 2 reb., 2 asst.
C. Kilroy 2 pts., 2 reb.
J. Tannous 2 pts., 1 reb., 1 asst.
M. Mansour 6 reb., 1 asst., 2 stl.
M. Rella 1 reb.
Score by quarter

M: 10  7  14  26   57
D: 12  19  19  16   66