Wednesday, December 28, 2016

BC High Boys Hoops Rolls Past Providence Classical

By Matt Feld (@mattyfeld612)

BROCKTON, Mass. - It’s still early, but based on the returns so far, the BC High Eagles have established themselves as the team to beat in Division 1 South.

On Tuesday night in round one of the Rotary Tournament at Brockton High School, BC High came away with their fourth straight win of at least 20 points. Behind a double-double from Troy Salmans (11 points, 10 rebounds) and 20 points from Carl Pierre, the Eagles defeated Rhode Island power Providence Classical, 75-42.

The Eagles will play Brockton in the championship game on Wednesday night.

BC High coach Bill Loughnane said he continues to be impressed with his team's ability to score.

“We scored 75 tonight but we missed a couple of wide-open lay ups and dunks,” said Loughnane. “We were able to get Troy (Salmans) into the mix which was a positive sign and we liked the pace the game was at – up and down.”

From the opening tip the Eagles had full control.

Pierre opened up with seven straight, knocking down a three pointer from the wing and driving to the basket for two layups to give BC High a 7-2 lead.

Down in the paint, BC High power forward Jordan Minor proved to be an unstoppable force. The junior, who stands at 6-feet-6 inches, routinely fielded passes at the top of the key. Once in possession of the ball, Minor used his right-handed power dribble to bulldoze in the lane before finishing at the basket.

Two consecutive Minor baskets gave the Eagles a 22-8 lead after the first quarter.

On the defensive side of the ball, BC High’s zone defense was giving Providence Classical plenty of fits.

When in the their notorious “1-1-3” zone, the Eagles gave up zero first half field goals while the Lady Purples scored all of their points against man-to-man.

At the half BC High had surrendered 16 points and just six field goals. They limited Providence Classical to 0-for-8 from three point-range and 6-for-27 from the field overall.

“I did not even think we played our zone all that great tonight execution-wise,” said Loughnane. “But our guys flied around, got out on their shooters, which was key, and when we went man we helped out on (Malik Chase) and (Kenny Hill).”

The biggest key for the Eagles was starting forward Troy Salmans. Salmans, after struggling through the first three games of the season, put up 11 points and 10 rebounds on Tuesday night.

Salmans also provided a second threat around the basket for the Eagles to complement Minor when he was double-teamed in the low post.

After a tough first half, the junior Weymouth native exploded in the third quarter. First, he used a screen at the top of the key to knock down a three before tapping home an offense put back, and hitting two free throws at the charity stripe to give BC High a 50-27 lead late in the third.

Combined the Eagles posted 38 of their 75 points in the paint, allowing them to remain successful at the offensive end even with Pierre and star point guard Travis Evee combining for only 23 shots.

“For me tonight it was all about rebounding,” said Salmans. “I knew that if I rebounded the basketball on both sides of the floor that the scoring would follow and tonight it did.”

One bright spot for Providence Classical was the play of Malik Chase, who finished with 17 points.

Despite being confronted by a flurry of defenders all evening long, Chase still managed to often bully his way into the paint or find an open jump shot off a screen.

The left-hander poured in 10 points in the second half, including six via his mid range jump shot, but it proved to be not nearly enough for Classical as the Eagles closed out the third period on a 7-0 run to take a commanding 56-33 advantage heading into the final frame.

Since the start of the season BC High has trailed for a mere 13 seconds over four games with three of those games coming on the road.

It remains to be seen whether there is a true threat to Cambridge’s quest of capturing a second consecutive state title in Division 1 but, based on the first three weeks, the Eagles seem to be the most likely candidate.

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