Thursday marked a historic night for the North Shore boys’ basketball team, which beat Commonwealth League foe Chelsea for the first time in school history, 67-61.
“I didn’t even know. Our AD [John Lynch] and the old coach [Paul Worth] came into the locker room after the game and told us,” said Bulldogs head coach Jody Norton. “We’ve played them to tough losses before. This was a big league win.”
Norton said the key to the game was how well North Shore performed on the boards, limiting the scoring opportunities for Chelsea. Six-foot-five senior center Jordan Smith led the way, grabbing 12 rebounds, while forwards Tyler Suggs and Derrick Frazier added 8 and 7 rebounds, respectively.
“It was 32-32 at the half. We were able to keep them to more one-shot possessions in the second half,” Norton said. “We were tougher and more aggressive.”
With 48 seconds left and North Shore up 4 points, senior point guard Jordan Castillo hit two free throws to make it a two-possession game.
The star of the night was Smith, who in addition to his rebound tally scored 23 points and blocked seven shots.
“He’s a big body, a big presence,” Norton said. “Where he really makes an impact is on defense blocking shots. Once he gets a few under his belt he intimidates teams from going to the hoop. He’s been doing that for a few years now.”
The win improves the Bulldogs, the top team in the Small division, to 11-0 in the league and 16-1 overall, while Chelsea (12-5, 11-1 league), the best team in the Large division, suffered its first league loss.
Norton said the best part about the win was proving to his team that they can compete with some of the bigger and better teams in the state.
“We play in a conference where we’re the small kids. We just want to compete with schools like them,” Norton said. “We’re trying to raise the bar and improve our program.”
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 winter correspondents:
- Emily McCarthy | @EmilyMcCahthy | BPS correspondent
- Jake Fischer | @GlobeFischer | Boys basketball
- Michelle Fenelon | @michfenelon | Girls basketball
- Andrew MacDougall | @Andy_MacDougall | Boys hockey
- Liz Torres | @etorres446 | Girls hockey
To reach the high school sports department, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.