hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA


February 8, 2012

NECC fights to qualify for playoffs

The Northern Essex Community College men's basketball team is fighting to stay alive for a playoff spot.

Here is a wrapup of the Knights' recent games:

Jan. 17

Roxbury Community College79


Matt Sifferlen: 13 points, 4 rebounds, 2 steals

Kyle Davis: 12 points, 17 rebounds,

James Morgan-Thames: 3 assists, 2 steals

Playing against the third-ranked team in Division 3 of the National Junior College Athletic Association, the Knights pressed and ran out to an eight-point lead. After a run by Roxbury, the Knights found themselves trailing at halftime. The Knights came out strong in the second half, but another run by Roxbury upped the lead up to 17 points. Northern Essex played even with Roxbury in the final minutes of the second half, but was never able to cut the lead to single digits.

Jan. 19


Lincoln College (Conn.)75

Kyle Davis: 20 points, 16 assists

Matt Sifferlen: 17 points, 7 rebounds, 3 steals

James Morgan-Thames: 5 assists, 3 steals

A motivating speech from coach Darren Stratton helped Northern Essex recover from a 12-point deficit at halftime. The team came out of the break fired up and outscored Lincoln by 19 points in the second half to roll to a seven-point victory.

Jan. 24

Massasoit Community College80


Luis Rijo: 16 points

Sted Bourdeau: 11 points, 7 rebounds

Jarvis Castro: 4 assists

Bernie St. Vil: 6 rebounds

After losing star forward Kyle Davis for the rest of the season, the Knights tumbled badly to Massasoit. The team was not able to replace Davis' scoring and rebounding.

Jan. 26

Bunker Hill Community College78


Junior Veras: 9 points

Bernie St. Vil: 15 rebounds

Manny Sanchez: 7 points, 9 rebounds

Still trying to adjust to the loss of Kyle Davis, Northern Essex lost its second straight game in blowout fashion. The Knights were plagued by shooting troubles, as they shot only 25 percent from the field and had just 15 points in the first half. Coach Nick Nofi said that the loss was frustrating for the Knights because they had beaten Bunker Hill by 20 points earlier in the season.

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