Familiar story for Cavs

Mike Soucy stood at the end of the bleachers and let out a long sigh, answering the question 30 seconds before saying anything.

“It’s frustrating,” the Hollis Brookline High School boys basketball coach said, “but I know how good we can be. We’ve just got to figure out that part of it.”

Not long before, Soucy’s Cavaliers had an eight-point lead over Windham with five minutes left in Tuesday night’s Division II game. But then the Jaguars upped the tempo, forcing HB into bad decisions and missed shots, and Windham closed the game on an 18-4 run to win 50-44.

Andrew Lowman led the Jaguars (3-0 in division) with 14 points and Tucker Lippoled had 12, all on 3-pointers, but it was the free throw shooting of David Carbonello in the fourth quarter that made the difference.

Carbonello was 7 for 7 from the line and Windham was perfect on all nine of its attempts in the final four-plus minutes of the game.

“To come from eight down with about (five) minutes left in the fourth, to win in that fashion is a testament to your internal fortitude, for a lack of a better term,” Windham coach Todd Steffanides said. “We were 9 for 9 in the fourth quarter, which was huge. It’s the reason why teams win or lose games, free throws. It was a big reason why we came out on top (Tuesday).”

Ryan Papineau came off the bench to lead HB (2-1) with 11 points, but the senior was the only player in double figures for the Cavs. Daniel Bentall added eight points while Logan Blake had seven.

Shea Whalen chipped in with six points for HB, including four during an 8-0 run to open the second half. But the big man was limited in the first half with two fouls and went to the bench early in the fourth when he picked up his fourth.

“For (Whalen), it’s the emotion more than anything else,” Soucy said. “He really needs to get control of that so that he can stay on the floor for us because he’s a huge part of what we’re trying to do on both ends of the floor. He takes up so much space defensively, he’s a great rebounder and he blocks a ton of shots. But he’s also a focal point of our offense in a lot of ways because he attracts so much attention, he opens up other people.

“We’ve got a lot of kids who can step in and do a lot of things. Ryan Papineau, I thought, played an unbelievable game (Tuesday) and gave us exactly what we needed him to give us, especially when Shea was in foul trouble early. But we need that from everybody.”

HB had a 31-30 lead with 2:58 left in the third and went on a 9-2 run, capped by a transition layup by Papineau with 5:03 remaining in the game. The 40-32 lead was the Cavs’ largest of the game, but what happened next was a lot like a game from earlier in the season.

A foul on the Cavs and a turnover led to a three-point play by Tyler Masone to make it a five-point game, and momentum started to swing toward the Jaguars.

“They’re energy level picked up a little bit, they tried to speed us up and they succeed in doing that, even though we practiced that in the last couple days,” Soucy said. “We made sure that we were always poised and composed, and we didn’t do a good job of that.

“We didn’t learn anything from the Nashua South game (in the Chick-fil-A Holiday Tournament) because they are mirror images. The fourth quarters are mirror images of each other. We built a nice lead in the third and extended it a little in the fourth and then gave it away. We’ve got to learn from it.”

The Cavs hit the road for the next two games, as they head to ConVal on Friday before traveling to Pembroke on Jan. 14.