Saturday, January 16, 2016

Leominster Boys Hoops Shoots Past Algonquin

Ed. Note- SuiteSports is thrilled to welcome our first high school correspondent, Jason Siegel. Jason is currently a junior at Natick High School, but he'll be helping us out covering events in Central and parts of Eastern Mass. For his first assignment, he was in my backyard in Northborough for a critical Midland A clash between the Tomahawks and visiting Leominster.

By Jason Siegel

The Leominster Blue Devils lived by the three point shot in their 62-54 win over the host Algonquin Tomahawks in Northborough Friday night.

The Tomahawks (4-5, 2-3 Midland A) found themselves on the losing end of a back-and-forth game between two teams fighting to stay above water in Midland A. Leominster (5-5, 3-2 Midland A) jumped out to a 9-2 run to start the game, but Algonquin battled back, cutting the lead to just 10-8 at the end of the first quarter.

Algonquin struggled offensively in the first half, scoring just twenty-two points after the first sixteen minutes. Leominster head coach Steven Dubzinski was satisfied with his team’s defense throughout the game, though the Blue Devils also struggled to score in the first half. Algonquin kept pace with Leominster in the second quarter, and were only down by two at halftime.

Coming out of the locker room, Leominster jumped out to a twelve point lead to start the second half. Senior guard Jamie Gonzales carried the Blue Devils early in the third quarter, drilling two three-pointers in the first 35 seconds of the half before Algonquin called a timeout.

Gonzales led all scorers with 19 points to go along with 9 rebounds. Dubzinski was “very pleased” with Gonzales’s four three-pointers in the third quarter.

“Jamie’s a very good shooter for us,” Dubzinski said. “We talked in the second half to try and get him going.”

Gonzales more than got going, scoring 16 of his 19 points in the third quarter. Junior forward Noah Gray chipped in with 14 points and 8 rebounds for Leominster. Justin Kebreau and Bethoveen Castillo-Arias added 10 points and 6 points, respectively, for the Blue Devils.
Sophomores Kyle Henderson and Dylan Lien paced Algonquin with 16 and 11 points, respectively. Henderson also played aggressive defense, collecting four steals. Senior captain Jason Truax contributed 10 points and 6 rebounds for the Tomahawks.

Algonquin seemingly had the momentum entering the fourth quarter, finishing the third period on a 9-0 run to cut the Blue Devil advantage to five.
Leominster clamped down on defense again in the fourth quarter, holding the Tomahawks to 13 points over the final eight minutes.
Leominster was also aggressive on the boards, pulling down 41 rebounds, compared to Algonquin’s 26. Five members of the Blue Devils had at least 5 rebounds.

“I thought we limited them to one shot,” Dubzinski said.

Dubzinski was especially impressed with his team’s offensive rebounds off missed free throws towards the end of the game.

Periodically, Algonquin used a full-court press to try and create turnovers, but the Blue Devils did not let the defensive pressure affect them. Dubzinski attributed his team’s success against the press to the experience of its senior guards, who he says “have seen every press imaginable.”

With the win, the Blue Devils got back to the .500 mark, and will try to obtain a winning record in their upcoming home game against Marlborough on Tuesday. Algonquin will try to reach the .500 mark in their next game at Groton-Dunstable on Tuesday.

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