After a late night last night, two Middlesex League teams kicked off the second day of the Hoophall Classic, at Springfield College, with impressive victories.
In the first game of the day, Lexington head coach Bob Farias was absent , tending to a family illness. But Farias would have undoubtedly satisfied with this win.
The Minutemen had a balanced scoring attack from Danny O’Keefe (12 points, 11 rebounds), Jeremy Moss (11 points, seven rebounds), Mike Igoe (11) and Lance Greene (10) to stay in control throughout the game. Lexington jumped out to a big lead early and made it stay, for a 61-37 win.
“We hadn’t scouted this team,” said assistant coach Tom Brincklow, whose team downed Middlesex League foe Burlington just 12 hours prior. “So our goal was…we’re pretty athletic, so we wanted to push the tempo. We wanted to go up and down, get the game running. I think for the most part we did that. I thought our defense played pretty well, too.”
Said O’Keefe, “We were ready to go this morning.”
Keeping things uptempo was the perimeter play Greene, the point guard.
“No one can keep the ball from him,” Brincklow said. “So that helps.”
Breaking the Cathedral press with speed and using Farias’ patented flex attack in the halfcourt, the Minutemen put together several solid spurts to keep the athletic Cathedral front at bay.
It started with a strong first quarter, Lexington starting the game off with a 15-4 run thanks to the interior presence of Danny O’Keefe (seven points), and the perimeter play of Lance Greene (four steals).
Jeremy Moss also went 3 for 3 from behind the three-point line in the first half, keeping Lexington ahead for a 28-18 halftime lead.
The Minutemen exploded for another strong run to start the third quarter, a 13-5 start, to take a 41-25 lead into the final frame.
Watertown came into the afternoon’s 2007 state title rematch with Sabis International missing two key starters – seniors Benyam Kerman (suspended indefinitely) and Cory Stockmal, the latter of whom sprained his ankle in a 61-44 loss to Belmont last night.
So today’s result, a 62-47 win, comes as a huge sigh of relief.
“Oh God, coming out like that?” head coach Steve Harrington said. “It’s hard to come back after you lose like we did last night, missing three of our guys. But having Ricky Morrissey back was huge.”
Indeed, Morrissey – who missed last night’s loss with an illness – provided spark in his return, scoring 14 points while Kyle Stockmal had 15 with seven rebounds. Two role players, guard Marco Coppola and reserve Tim Barba, each nailed four 3-pointers, the brunt of Watertown’s 12 treys.
The Raiders started the game off with an 8-0 run, capped with a Stockmal three from the left wing, and took a 24-10 lead after the first quarter. Sabis freshman Kamali Bey led the Bulldogs on a 10-1 run in the second quarter, before the Raiders closed out the half with a 9-0 run – capped with Barba’s three pointer from the left baseline just before the buzzer, for a 34-22 halftime lead.
“That was key for us,” Harrington said of Barba. “That makes it really hard to guard when you have four guys on the floor who can all knock down three’s.”
Bey continued his mean streak in the second half, but it wasn’t enough. He finished the afternoon with 28 points and eight rebounds.
“We usually take care of the ball. Because of the stage we’re on, that pumped it up a little bit,” Bey said. “But the coach told us that they could shoot the three.”
Said Stockmal of Bey, “That guy’s a beast.”
And now, at least for Stockmal, it’s time for a little rest. Stockmal says he got only six hours of sleep following last night’s loss, and arrived at Watertown High this morning at 8 a.m. for an informal shootaround with his teammates.
“It’s starting to wear in a little bit,” Stockmal laughed minutes after the game.
Central Catholic scored themselves a moral victory when the Red Raiders bounced back from a 20-point halftime deficit and made a game of it, against an American Heritage (Fla.) team featuring two of the most electric guards in Broward Country.
At first, this game had all the makings of a blowout. Heritage led, 30-10, after one quarter.
They started the game with a 20-4 run, highlighted by a no-look pass from Florida Atlantic-bound point guard Raymond Taylor (21 points, five assists) to junior swingman Remi Barry. Behind the flashy play of Taylor and Florida-bound guard Kenny Boynton (28 points, seven rebounds), this game appeared to have the makings of a mismatched.
But Central stormed back with a terrific fourth quarter, behind the efforts of guard Billy Marsden (25 points, 7-of-26 shooting) and 6-foot-10 center Carson Desrosiers (23 points, 13 rebounds, three 3-pointers). The Raiders outscored Heritage, 31-8, in the final frame for an 82-77 loss.
“I knew the first quarter was a disaster, but we knew we could win,” Desrosiers told Globe Correspondent Sapna Pathak. “We knew we had to come back.”
Said Marsden, “We had to control the tempo, but had to back down and let the game unfold.”
Taylor came away from the game impressed by Desrosiers’ perimeter shooting. For the game, Desrosiers was 10 of 16 from the field, and 3 of 6 from three-point range.
“We didn’t know what to expect from them,” he said.
In the game following, Montverde Academy junior Justin Jackson had 24 points and 15 rebounds, as Montverde used its length and size to stay ahead of Mount Vernon, 75-64. Sherrod Wright scored 22 points in the loss for Mount Vernon.
Early on, it looked as if South Atlanta’s Derrick Favors – a five-star recruit who committed to Georgia Tech on Wednesday – was going to beat Oak Hill by himself. Favors (25 points, 17 rebounds) reached a double-double by the early second quarter. But it was the play of Oak Hill’s 6-foot-9, 290-pound power forward, Keith “Tiny” Gallon, that ruled the second half.
Gallon, a Humble, Texas native who is committed to Oklahoma, went 6-of-9 from three-point range and finished with 22 points and 13 rebounds, as the Warriors came back late for a 65-58 win.
The tournament’s first day saw New Leadership’s boys and girls teams put on quite a show.
Phillip Warrick kicked off the tournament by putting up 33 points in the Wildcats’ 71-64 win over Holyoke. Devonte Vanderpool also put up a double-double (17 points, 15 rebounds), while Eric Brown had 10 boards. Holyoke was led by Heriberto Rodriguez (24 points).
New Leadership’s Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir come just three points shy of setting the state’s all-time scoring mark. The mark of 2,710 points was set nearly two decades ago by Southwick-Tolland’s Rebecca Lobo. Abdul-Qaadir, a senior who will play for University of Memphis this fall, had 38 points and eight rebounds in a 69-51 loss to Millbury.
As usual, the Woolies ran and gunned their way out to a quick lead, and it was the tandem of sophomore Julie Frankian (22 points, 18 rebounds) and senior Cailin Bullett (13 points, five assists) leading the way.
In the next game, Mater Dei sophomore Kaleena Lewis (33 points, 11 rebounds) led Mater Dei to a 75-46 win over Northampton by going on a tear in the first half. The Monarchs took a 48-23 lead over the Blue Devils into the break. Allanah Driscoll-Sbar led Northampton with 18 points and five rebounds.
In the nightcap of the first game, Minnechaug’s girls downed Springfield Central, 65-60, behind scoring from Brianna Kelly (19 points), Julia McWilliams (16) and Breanne Dufault (12). Central was led in scoring by A’lece Mark (21 points) and Brisje Malone (20).
Several reporters and editors contribute updates, news and analysis to the High School Sports Blog.
- Bob Holmes: A Reading resident (Go Rockets!) and Boston College graduate, Holmes is the Boston Globe High School Sports Editor. We remind you now that his weekly picks are often made in jest so everyone just calm down when he picks against Everett for 11 straight weeks. Contact him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeHolmes.
- Craig Larson: A native of West Springfield (Leo Durocher anyone? Tim Daggett?) and Curry College graduate (a proud Colonel!), Larson is the sports editor for the Globe's regional sections: South, West and North, as well as a frequent contributor on the college beat. Abington to Xaverian: it all starts with the schools. Have a compelling story idea? Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeLars.
- Zuri Berry: Berry attended the same high school as sports legends O.J. Simpson and Joe DiMaggio. (Guess which one is his hero.) He's a South Boston resident (formerly of Eastie) and the editor of the High School Sports blog as well as the go-to-guy for everything high school sports on Boston.com. Contact him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @GlobeSchools for all of the latest updates.
Then there are our fall correspondents:
- Anthony Gulizia | @gulizia_a | Div. 1 football
- Eric Russo | @erusso22 | Div. 2 football
- Stephen Sellner | @stephen_sellner | Div. 3 football
- Andrew MacDougall | @Andy_MacDougall | Div. 4 football
- Greg Joyce | @GJoyce9 | Div. 5 football
- Lorenzo Recupero | @LorenzoRecupero | Div. 6 football
- Liz Torres | @etorres446 | Girls volleyball
To reach the high school sports department, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.