Stoughton's Aaron Calixte and King Philip's Jake Layman put on a show last night in front of a capacity crowd at King Philip High School in Wrentham.
Calixte, a point guard, finished with 29 points, 10 in the fourth quarter, to lead the 10th-ranked Black Knights to a 73-69 victory over the 15th-ranked Warriors.
"This was a huge win for us," said Stoughton coach John Gallivan. "Everybody knows that these are two teams that hope to be around deep in the Division 2 South tournament. If that game goes on another two minutes, I don't know if we're coming out of there with a win."
Layman, who has committed to the University of Maryland, finished with 30 points, 13 rebounds, and 4 blocks for the Warriors, going basket-for-basket with Calixte.
"Defensively, our plan going in was to just throw everything we had at [Layman] and see what would stick," said Gallivan, whose team switched from man to zone in the third quarter to try to slow down Layman.
Calixte came out aggressive, scoring 13 first-quarter points, as Stoughton jumped to a 19-11 lead. However, the Warriors closed on a 7-2 run, highlighted by a Layman dunk and a Christian Fair 3-pointer at the buzzer.
The Black Knights, who committed just three turnovers in the first half, closed the second quarter on a 5-0 run to take a 44-36 lead into the half.
The Warriors came out on a mission in the second half, with the 6-foot-8-inch Layman knocking down a 3-pointer on the opening possession. Fair's second three tied the score at 47 with 3:40 to play in the third.
In the final second of the third, Layman hit his second triple of the quarter to bring the Warriors within 53-52.
The final frame belonged to Calixte (10 points) and teammate Marcus Middleton (8 points, 20 overall), who combined to score 18 of the Black Knights' 20 points.
With the Warriors forced to foul, Stoughton went 14 for 18 from the line in the final quarter.
"Aaron's a gutsy player," said Gallivan. "He was cramping up for the last half of the fourth quarter, but he wouldn't let us take him out. He looks like he's been playing here for about 10 years, it's hard to believe he's only halfway through his junior year.
"If Jake [Layman] is '1A' in this league, then Aaron's probably '1B,'" said Gallivan.
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