MALDEN -- An improbable state tournament run for Snowden that included beating the defending Division 4 state champions was brought to an end on Saturday night against Lynnfield.
The short-benched Cougars just couldn’t find enough ways to score against Lynnfield and came up short, 58-44.
“We came out flat, we didnt play with the same intensity that we’re normally accustomed to playing with. I credit Lynnfield, they took it to us and they deserved to win the game,” coach Paul Rogers said.
After Lynnfield took an 11-9 lead after the first period, neither team scored for the first three minutes of the second quarter. Junior Edward Moore’s 3-pointer then sparked a 10-0 run for the Pioneers which was capped off by senior Patrick Kearney’s 3-pointer.
“He’s a safety net that most teams don’t have,” coach Scott McKenzie said about Kearney, the Cape Ann League Division 2 player of the year. “He’s the best player I’ve ever coached and I’ve been in the program for 13 years. He is fantastic.”
Senior Jaquann Smith’s 3-pointer with 1:14 in the quarter ended the run, but thanks to Lynnfield mixing in the 2-3 zone with its tradition man defense, this was Snowden’s lone field goal in the quarter.
“We knew that they had an athletic advantage on us, they like to run a lot of isolation stuff on the perimeter. That’s just not our thing, we’re not that athletic,” McKenzie said.
Regardless of any sort of lack of athleticism, Lynnfield came out of the halftime break with a 13-point lead and quickly pushed that deficit to 20 in less than three minutes.
Using a well-rounded scoring effort, the Pioneers were able hold the lead throughout the rest of the second half. However, Snowden did make a late run in the remaining minutes of the fourth to cut the lead to 11.
“At the ending, we always try to go hard and put the effort in but we always do it at the last minute,” said Smith, who ended the game with 10 points. “I love my team to the death of me but we could’ve won this game but we just let it go.”
The loss marks the end of a great run to the city tournament and while a trip to the Garden will not be in order, Rogers still found positives within the game.
“With the guys that got this game experience, where it really counts, hopefully we’ll come back more focused, ready to compete again for a state championship,” Rogers said.
One of those players is sophomore Javaughn Kittrell who hit the winning shot in double overtime against the defending champs, St. Mary’s, and led Snowden against Lynnfield with 14 points.
Kittrell and various other underclassmen for Snowden have the program’s future looking bright.
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