The Scituate boys basketball team advanced to the Division 3 South finals for the third straight year after a thrilling 84-79 win over No. 1 seed Wareham Tuesday night in Brockton.
The game was a rematch of last year's sectional final, also won by Scituate.
Junior guard Rodney Belbo poured in 38 points to lead the Sailors.
He kept Wareham on its heels with his ability to beat the defense off the dribble and driving to the hoop. Seniors Anthony Parham and Dean Kennedy each had 16 points. The Vikings were led by Jules Tavares, who had 27 points, while Patrick Murphy scored 20 and Jordan Rezendes added 17.
It was a back and forth game all night, with Scituate jumping out to an early lead. The Sailors led, 38-36, but Wareham rattled off nine straight points before Beldo's runner beat the buzzer as Scituate trailed, 45-40 at the half.
Wareham looked to be pulling away when the lead grew to 54-44 early in the third quarter, but Scituate called time out and quickly regrouped, going on a 12-0 run for a 56-54 lead. The Vikings battled back though, to lead 60-58 after three quarters.
Early in the fourth quarter, Wareham led, 65-62, before Kennedy buried a three with 5:26 remaining to even the score and key a 17-6 run as the Sailors took control with a 79-71 lead. From there, the two teams traded baskets as Scituate held on for the win. The Sailor's will play the winner of Wednesday's game between Pembroke and Abington on Saturday at UMass-Boston.
The following was compiled by Globe correspondent Evan MacDonald and will appear in Wednesday's Boston Globe.
Division 1 North: Lexington defeated East Boston, 85-61, as David Miller (15 points) and Danny O'Keefe (10 points, 8 rebounds, 4 blocks) led six Minutemen in double figures. Lexington exploded in the second and third quarters, outscoring East Boston by 29 points to advance to the semifinals against Lynn English.
With a minute left in regulation, Horn drilled a 3-pointer to lift the Rockets into a 41-41 tie - their first of the night. And for a team that trailed for 31 minutes, the shot was just the spark it needed.
Horn hit another 3-pointer with less than two minutes left in OT, giving the Rockets the lead, and they never looked back.
Needham won the semifinal thriller at Massasoit Community College in Brockton, 51-47, and coach Kimberly Benzan credited her seniors for their gutsy performance.
"I have four seniors and they kept saying, 'This is our game,' " Benzan said. "We really believed that this was our year."
Despite the offensive efforts of Newton South guards Chloe Rothman (16 points), Sophie Bikofsky (14), and Kendall Burton (13), Needham's heightened defense in the second half helped close the door.
"I think that they shot exceptionally well from the outside," Benzan said. "[But] we matched their defense with our defense."
Benzan added that the Rockets' balanced offense led by sisters Kathryn and Christine Ganser, who notched 14 and 11 points, respectively, made it difficult for the Lions to guard them.
"We're not a one-trick pony," Benzan said.
Needham will face Brockton Saturday in the final. The Lady Boxers defeated Bridgewater-Raynham, 46-29, at Massasoit behind a 16-point performance from senior Sabree Rodriquez and 14 points from senior Beatrice Atkinson. Freshman Kelly O'Neill led the Lady Trojans with 10 points.
Globe correspondents Amara Grautski, Lauren Ebstein, Mike Grossi, and Ben Seal contributed to this report.
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.