Boys' basketball coach Dan Bunker said in order for Latin Academy to beat its crosstown rival, the Dragons would need to find the open man and make open shots. Latin Academy did just that on Tuesday, coming up 1 point shy of its season high for points, in a 63-44 win against the visiting Boston Latin Wolfpack.
“We just wanted to come out with a lot of intensity make sure we get this win,” said senior guard Edwin Porro. “We’re below what we expected, we [were] 3-4 and we’re trying to make states this year.”
That goal may be in sight if Latin Academy (4-4) can start games the way it did this one. The Dragons closed the last three minutes of the first quarter on a 6-0 run for an 11-6 lead. They kept the momentum going in the beginning of the second quarter with both sophomore guard Rayshawn Miller and junior guard Darren Chanel connecting on 3-pointers.
Porro also chipped in 10 of his game-high 20 points in the quarter to give his team a 32-16 lead at the half.
“When they went to man-to-man, we spread the floor and we have some good shooters. I mean we made shots,” said Bunker. “That’s really what the game came down to.”
For Boston Latin, coach Brendan Smith said that a lot of those open shots were a result of blatant confusion among his team’s defense.
“Just confused about assignments and not just doing the fundamental defensive things that we practice all the time,” Smith said. “Just complete lack of mental concentration.”
Smith showed more of his frustration when he subbed out his entire starting unit 16 seconds into the second half after Rayshawn Miller, the smallest player on the court, got his own offensive rebound and drew a foul to go to the line.
“Kids miss layups, kids miss shots, but lack of mental concentration after we just talked about a certain aspect of the game? There’s just no tolerance for that,” Smith said.
His team did respond, going on an 11-3 run over the next four minutes mainly due to sophomore forward Adam Mikula setting up his teammates well and chipping in some baskets himself. Mikula ended the game with a team-high 11 points.
“I knew they were [going to] make a run, they’re a pretty good team,” said Bunker. “We were able to call a timeout, regroup and get stops. It started with defense; up 15 or 16 if we get stops they can’t come back.”
His team succeeded in stopping the comeback, outscoring Boston Latin, 19-15, in the fourth quarter. Latin Academy showed that this contest meant a little bit more than a nonleague game, beating the Wolfpack to every loose ball right until the buzzer sounded.
“I want to go in to every game as intense as possible, hustling after every ball and doing whatever I can to make sure my team wins,” Porro said. “Today was definitely a rivalry game, but I say this every other game, I just want to play as hard as possible.”
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