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East Boston set for rematch against Madison Park

Posted by Zolan Kanno-Youngs  January 28, 2013 01:22 PM

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Pat Santos has tried to put the frenzy surrounding the game-winning, full-court buzzer beater that he hit against Madison Park in December behind him. But East Boston faces the Cardinals again on Tuesday. (Photo courtesy of Ken Guittarr).

Everyone in the city-league knows Pat Santos' name. After his game winning full-court buzzer beater against Madison Park landed him the No. 1 spot on SportsCenter’s Top 10, he was practically known on a national level.

However, time does not stop for anyone and the season must go on. The rematch between East Boston and Madison Park is this Tuesday and coach Shawn Brown is expecting another intense contest.

“Expect a close game out of all teams that compete in this division,” Brown said. “You don’t expect any night to be a night off.”

While the matchup was one of the more entertaining games for fans this season, Brown was more concerned about the areas of which his team played poorly.

“If we do the things we didn’t do well, that being rebounding, making free throws and limiting turn overs, we should be alright,” Brown said. “They get after it on the offensive rebounds so all five of our guys will need to rebound.”

Much of the rebounding concern when facing Madison Park has to do with their big frontcourt, led of course by senior center David Stewart.

“He was relentless on the boards the last time we faced them,” Brown said. “He’s definitely a focus with his length and size.”

Even the regarded hero of the game knew that his team could’ve played better.

“The first time we played Madison, we played terrible,” Santos said.

The senior captain agreed with this coach in that they’ll need to rebound and play better defense and added that they’ll also need to have better transition game.

While he admitted his team didn’t play their best, any play that can get national recognition is worth being proud of.

Santos described walking through the hallways in school the next day, seeing multiple teachers playing the replay of the shot in early morning classes while classmates that he didn’t even know came up to him asking how he did it.

“That shot was big for me because everyone knew my name,” Santos said. “But that wasn’t the biggest thing because that was just a buzzer-beater, it’s wasn’t like I had a real good game. I still got to play better than that.”

Santos only finished the game with only 4 points. However, three of those points were important enough to have students still coming up to him to this day asking about the play, even though Santos admits the hype has died down since that game on Dec. 18.

This hasn’t bothered the captain or any of his teammates though. It has fitted right into the motto that their coach has preached to them throughout the season.

“Me and my team have a motto, ‘L.I.G.’ That means ‘let it go.' " Santos said. “You celebrate for one night and after, you got to go back and get level-headed [and] get ready for the next game or next practice.”

Santos has been forced to “let it go” given that after the win against Madison Park, two of his teammates were hit with injuries and his role as a leader drastically increased.

“I got to be the leader of my team. I got to keep everybody focused, we got a lot of young players on this team right now and with the injuries they all got to step up so I got to help them a lot,” Santos said.

Brown agreed that his captain has been a great model to the young players on the team. He added that the motto works for good or bad, wins or losses, game-winners or turnovers. Either way his team must never linger on anything in the past.

“When you take a shower after the game, everything flushes down the drain,” Brown said. “If you’re going to talk about a great model of L.I.G., it’s Pat.”

Zolan Kanno-Youngs covers Boston Public school athletics. He can be reached at kannoyoungs.globe@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @KannoYoungs.

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