Friday, January 22, 2016

No Doherty, No Problem for Marlborough Boys Hoops

Without star Chris Doherty playing, Marlborough needed someone to pick up the slack on offense. Senior captain Bryan Short (31) answered the bell in Marlborough’s 56-41 win over Quabbin Friday night, pacing the Panthers with 15 points and 5 rebounds.
By Jason Siegel

Even without star sophomore Chris Doherty, the Marlborough Panthers had no trouble capturing their tenth win of the season on Friday night, topping Quabbin 56-41 at home to qualify for the MIAA playoffs.

As for Doherty’s absence, Marlborough head coach Bryan Riley said there was “no reason” why the 6-foot-6 super soph did not play.

Offensively, Riley said that his team “made some adjustments” without Doherty, but did not change things drastically.

“Basketball is basketball,” Riley said. “You play the game the same way.”

Marlborough (10-2, 7-2 Mid-Wach B) was coming off a surprising 60-26 loss to Leominster and responded well. The Panthers led wire-to-wire in a complete team win over visiting Quabbin (6-6, 4-6 Mid-Wach B).

“After that loss, I think we all kind of buckled down,” senior captain Bryan Short said. “We showed that tonight.”

“The last three days, we tried to get back… to the basics,” Riley added. “Defense first, rebounding first, and I thought they did a great job tonight.”

Without Doherty playing, Marlborough needed someone else to provide an offensive spark. Bryan Short led Marlborough with 15 points and 5 rebounds, while Joao Mendes chipped in with 13 points and 5 rebounds.

Marlborough played aggressive defense throughout the game, holding Quabbin did without a field goal until four minutes had gone by in the first quarter.

“We want to defend… We have to have our defense,” Riley said.

Short got Marlborough going early, knocking down two three-pointers in the first 90 seconds, helping Marlborough jump out to an 8-0 lead.

Short said that his after his early baskets, he was “feeling it” and “kept it going throughout the game.”

Quabbin scored its first point with 4:43 remaining in the first quarter, courtesy of a Marco Gabrielli free throw. A 6’6 senior, Gabrielli finished with 10 points and 9 rebounds for the visiting Panthers.

Sophomore guard Brodie Coughlin scored Quabbin’s first field goal halfway through the first quarter. Coughlin made four 3-pointers and scored a game-high 16 points.

Marlborough led by 6 points after the first quarter and would extend their lead to 10 heading into halftime.

Despite the lead, coach Riley thought his team committed too many fouls during the first half. Offensively, Marlborough “emphasized attacking the rim” and being more aggressive in the second half.

“We just needed to continue to rebound,” Riley said. “And we did that in the second half.”

Marlborough did just that, pulling down 27 rebounds compared to 19 for Quabbin.

Leading by eight with eight minutes remaining in regulation, Marlborough locked down defensively. Quabbin mustered merely four points in the fourth quarter.

Marlborough doesn’t have a lot of time to enjoy the win, however, as the Panthers travel to Wachusett Tuesday for a huge test.

“It’s always a big game,” Riley said of Marlborough’s upcoming game at Wachusett. “(The Mountaineers) play well in their gym.”

Quabbin will look to return to winning ways in their upcoming home game on Monday against another Central Mass power, St. Peter-Marian.


Mike Hawk said...

Im so glad Quabbin clutched this game, I am a die hard fan! GO QUABBIN!

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