Warriors get a hand on defense
PLYMOUTH – Moe Facques spent more time at Plymouth State University last week than at any other point in his coaching career.
But regardless of where the longtime basketball mentor was, it was good to be back on a sideline, this time with the Wilton-Lyndeborough High School boys basketball team as it won its first championship last Saturday.
Facques, who coached Milford to two championships in the 1970s, hadn’t been part of a coaching staff since serving as an assistant with the Spartans under Bill Brown during the 2005-06 season. But when Wilton-Lyndeborough coach Ken Garnham – who played for Facques in the late 1960s – asked him to help out with the Warriors defense, Facques jumped at the chance.
“It’s not something I envisioned doing again,” he said. “A lot of times, you need to hear a different voice. It was easy to come on because they had the basics. Whatever you can do, if the kids are willing to listen – and they are a very good group. They try to do what they’re told. It was very enjoyable.”
Facques joined Garnham and his assistants, Mike Dupont and Tyler Mudrick, to try to improve WLC’s
“He’s a man-to-man specialist and that’s when things turned around (defensively),” Garnham said “We got more intense, and suddenly a good defensive team became a very good defensive team. The addition of Moe was huge.”
The Warriors had allowed an average of 45.1 points per game during their 18-game regular season, and that number dropped to 42.8 in the playoffs. But more impressive than the average is how WLC held its opponents below their season average on offense.
Colebrook (58.3 regular-season average) scored the most points against the Warriors in the postseason, putting up 51 points in the quarterfinals, but through three quarters, the Mohawks had just 24 points.
Littleton (67.1) and Epping (66.7) were both over 65 points per game in the regular season, but scored 42 and 46 points, respectively, against the Warriors. In fact, Epping had scored 70 points in the semifinals against Derryfield, a team that gave up an average 41.7 points in the regular season.
“Coach told us to start taking (defense) personally out there,” said WLC senior Jordan Litts after the win over Colebrook. “When your guy scores on you, you’ve got to get angry about it and say I’m not going to let you score again.”
It worked for the Warriors, and Facques couldn’t have been happier for one of his former players and the community.
“Ken has been at it a long time, so this is great for him,” he said. “The kids have been great and the assistant coaches were great. I was here for the first one, and there for the first one in Milford. It was really fun working with these kids.”