Saturday, January 30, 2016

Marlborough Edges Westborough as Star Sophomore Chris Doherty Sits For Third Straight Game

As star forward Chris Doherty (pictured in grey shirt and slacks) sat for a third consecutive game, Marlborough bounced back from a loss to Wachusett to sneak past rival Westborough Friday night. The Panthers are now 2-1 without the sophomore standout, but when he'll return to the court remains unsettled.
By Jason Siegel

WESTBOROUGH- The Marlborough Panthers earned a hard-fought 58-52 win over the Rangers in Westborough Friday night.

Marlborough (11-3 8-1 Mid-Wach B) again played without their star player, sophomore Chris Doherty, for the third consecutive game.

Marlborough head coach Bryan Riley did not give a reason for Doherty’s absence, saying simply “we’ll just keep that on the team."

Riley is confident that other players will step up in lieu of Doherty’s absence.

“It’s an adjustment when your best player goes out," Riley said. "But these guys are adjusting… We’re obviously in an adjustment period, but we can do it. It’s just a matter of putting in the work.”

On Friday, it was Joao Mendes who answered the call, scoring a game-high 19 points to go along with 5 rebounds against Westborough (4-11, 2-6 Mid-Wach B). Mendes said he was expecting to play a larger role in Friday’s game due to Doherty’s absence.

“We all know we have to do a little bit more when (Chris) is out,” Mendes said.

Mendes had the most success when drove to the basket and created in the lane.

“I was just trying to get it to the basket,” Mendes added.

Riley knows what type of player Mendes is, and wanted him to focus on creating penetration in the lane and getting to the basket. Riley was satisfied with Mendes’s performance against Westborough.

“(Mendes) is at his best when he’s attacking the rim, and I thought he did that with ferocity tonight," Riley said. "We needed him to step up and score tonight, and he did a good job."

Mendes wasn’t the lone star for Marlborough tough. Owen Cappadona added 13 points and 6 rebounds, while senior captain Brian Short chipped in with 13 points, 3 rebounds, and 2 assists.

Before Mendes was able to get into a rhythm, Westborough took advantage of Doherty’s absence. The Rangers kept the game close until the final two minutes, when Marlborough began to pull away.

Both teams struggled to score early. Westborough led 7-5 at the end of the first quarter. Fouls and turnovers plagued both teams in the early stages of the game.

Riley thought that his team seemed uptight in the first half, which ended with the score of 19-18 in favor of Marlborough.

In the second half, the Panthers found their stride offensively, scoring 19 points in the third quarter. The Rangers hung right with their rivals, and the teams were tied at 38 after 3 quarters.

Cavan Crowley led the Rangers in their quest to upset the MIAA playoff-bound Panthers with 17 points. Vinny Rosa contributed 11 points and 5 rebounds.

Much of the fourth quarter was tightly contested, with Westborough leading for most of the period, but never by more than one possession.

In the final two minutes, Brian Short scored 6 of his 13 points to put the Panthers ahead of Westborough for the duration of the game.

Westborough will try to capture their fifth win of the season in their upcoming game at North Middlesex on Tuesday.

Marlborough will try to continue their winning ways with a huge road test Sunday against Catholic Memorial.

Following that game against the reigning Division 1 state champions, Marlborough will host Nashoba next Tuesday in what could be a de facto Mid-Wach B championship game.

Doherty's status for both of those critical games remains uncertain.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Sick, dude