With the win Stoughton advances to play Brighton for the Eastern Mass title on Monday at the TD Garden. The trip to the Garden is the first for the boys in the school's history.
The win was extra sweet for Stoughton because it avenged a loss to the Hillers in the quarterfinals last season.
“It was a great basketball game,” said Stoughton coach John Gallivan. “Two really good teams and you knew no one was going to quit. They’re not a team that you dislike, they’re just a solid team and we just wanted another chance to play against them and we’re glad got it.”
The game pitted two of the top guards in Eastern Massachusetts against each other, in Calixte and Hopkinton’s Barrett Hanlon, who was named the Most Valuable Player of the Tri-Valley League this season.
Neither disappointed as Hanlon filled the stat book with 16 points, 8 rebounds, and 6 assists.
Both guards drew the opposing team’s best defender, with Hank Rudden (6 points) charged with tailing Calixte, who reached the 1,000-point mark as a junior this season for the Black Knights, and Marcus Middleton (9 points) on Hanlon.
“Marcus is a defensive animal and he’s been that guy for us every night this year,” said Gallivan, whose team led 29-21 at the half. “Whoever that guy is, he’s going to play him and he’s going to give him everything he’s got. I thought he was awesome tonight.”
Senior center, Antonio Ferreira was huge down low for Stoughton, scoring 16 points and hauling in 15 rebounds.
The Hiller’s Jason Dlugolecki led all scorers with 22 points. Dlugolecki was a consistent scoring threat, netting at least five points in each quarter.
Stoughton led most of the game, but allowed the Hillers to stick around and with 5:40 to play in the fourth quarter, it almost caught up to them as a Dlugolecki layup gave Hopkinton its first lead of the game, 43-42.
But Calixte responded with a pull up 3-pointer to give Stoughton back the lead for good.
“[Calixte] was very emotional in the huddle all game,” Gallivan said. “He wanted this one really badly, not that the other guys on the team didn’t, but he went out there and got it.”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 email@example.com. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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
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