Putnam ends tournament run after upsetting Tourtellotte

By Denise Coffey - Staff Writer
Putnam - posted Mon., Mar. 14, 2011
Putnam High's Dino Porcic, who had a good offensive game against Tourtellotte, plays defense here. Photos by Denise Coffey.
Putnam High's Dino Porcic, who had a good offensive game against Tourtellotte, plays defense here. Photos by Denise Coffey.

Shane Herlihy led the Putnam High School Clippers in an upset win against seventh-seeded Tourtellotte Memorial on March 8. Clippers coach Shawn Deary said after the game that their goal was to get the momentum and keep it.

“I love [former PHS coach] Tony [Falzarano],” Deary said. “I've learned a lot from him over the years. One of the major things I learned from him was that tempo is really the key to most basketball games.”

Herlihy and Victor De Aza Ortiz were relentless in their push to bring the ball down court and set up plays. Center Zack Simpson was also a big force for Putnam. He was in the right place at the right time, Deary said. “He does a lot of little things that make a big difference, like shutting down the big man or closing him out and boxing out rebounds,” he said.

For the most part the game plan was executed well, Deary said. “When you have 12 days off, you can prepare for certain things,” he said. “I wish I had 12 days to prepare for the next game,” he added, laughing.

He complimented his players for the way they all contributed to the win. “Shane got to finish his layups… Getting everyone in the mix was one of our X factors.” Ortiz pulled down rebounds, Henry made his presence felt in the paint. Porcic hit some outside shots. And the presence of a powerful fan club behind their bench lent some key moral support.

“We shot a lot of free throws, but we shot a lot of shots,” Deary said. “Outside shots, rhythm shots, tempo shots. We just kept at it.”

When he was asked what the first thing he said to his players was after the game, Deary laughed. “I said, ‘This is the biggest win of your careers. Now we have to get ready for the next game.’”

Unfortunately, the Clippers lost to Goodwin Tech in the second round of the Division S state tournament on March 10. Norman Henry rolled his ankle and sat out for most of the first half with a sprain. Zack Simpson was hit in the face struggling for a rebound and they lost him in the second quarter. The Gladiators were able to pound away at the Clippers, for a final score of 71-54.

“We ran out of gas with five minutes left to go,” Deary said. “The injury and fatigue got to us.”



Coach’s Corner-

Putnam High School Boys’ Basketball Coach Shawn Deary

Seasons with the team: 1

“We had a great season and accomplished more than we hoped for. A thousand people said we couldn't do it [beat Tourtellotte] and we did it. We've got a young team. The seniors are irreplaceable, but I'm counting on other players to step up next year,” Deary said.


Seniors: Victor De Aza Ortiz, Shane Herlihy, Norman Henry, Dom Didonato, Austin Dodd and Jon Roberts.



Spotlight Player-

Shane Herlihy, #3, Guard: Shane led the 26th-seed Clippers in the win against their seventh-seed rival Tourtellotte with 13 points and a fiery determination to keep the tempo of the game fast and furious.

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