BRAINTREE — It was not as thorough of an effort as Cardinal Spellman boys’ basketball coach Mike Perry may have wanted, but in the end his squad came out on top — again. The 18th-ranked Cardinals (13-3) upended host Archbishop Williams, 86-58, Tuesday night for Spellman’s fifth straight win.
Junior center Rory Donovan and junior forward Joey Crane tallied 23 points apiece to lead the way, while junior captain Ryan Roach and senior captain Paul Preziosi chipped in 11 and 10, respectively.
Senior Ryan Brown’s 17 points led Archbishop Williams.
It was the Cardinals’ first game in 12 days — they last beat Cathedral Jan. 31 — and, at times, they played like it.
“It was tough tonight,” Perry said. “You lose that little bit of a competitive edge [by not playing for nearly two weeks]. I was surprised we even came out as well as we did at the beginning.”
What surprised Perry was his team jumping out to a 27-11 lead by the end of the first quarter, thanks in large part to Crane’s 9 and Donovan’s 8 points.
The Archies (3-15) narrowed the deficit to as few as 9 at the beginning of the third quarter, though. After a little more coaching from an agitated Perry, Spellman was able to re-open the lead with a stout defensive effort that held the hosts to just 25 second-half points.
“I always tell them, ‘There’s going to be times when we’re not happy with the way you’re playing,’” Perry said. “I said, ‘It’s not that I don’t like you. It’s because I care about you. I show you different ways sometimes . . . When you make mistakes and we don’t get on you a little bit, that’s when you need to worry.’”
Spellman’s win sets up Wednesday night’s 6:30 p.m. showdown with Arlington Catholic.
With the Cardinals, 9-0 in Catholic Central play, holding a slim lead over the Cougars (12-3, 8-1 Catholic Central), another Spellman victory would mean a league title. If AC wins, the teams will be co-champions.
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