Wednesday, December 14, 2016

BC High Smothers Needham in Playoff Rematch

By Matt Feld (@mattyfeld612)

NEEDHAM, Mass.- If there was any doubt with regards whether BC High could survive without Jack Loughnane, those fears were quickly quelled.

Behind 21 points from superstar guard Carl Pierre, 16 points from Travis Evee and 15 more from Jordan Minor, the No. 2 Eagles smothered No. 8 Needham 70-48 at Needham High School on Tuesday night.
The game was a rematch of last year’s south sectional semifinal, which the Eagles won 55-53, on two free throws by Pierre with just four seconds to go. This season opener featured far less drama.

Using the length of 6-foot-7 Jordan Minor and 6-foot-6 Troy Salmans, BC High used its zone defense to force Needham into precarious situations offensively.

It seemed like very time the Rockets threw the ball into the corner, two Eagles were there waiting.

When it came to defending one of the top all around guards in the state in Thomas Shuaghnessy, meanwhile, BC High was more than up to the task. The combination of Evee, Pierre, Matt Thompson, and Myles Owens held Shaughenssy to just two points in the first half, as the Rockets started off 2/27 as a team from the field.

BC High coach Bill Loughnane said he was more impressed with his team’s defense than anything else.

“Our length bothered them early,” said Loughnane. “We talked preseason that we wanted to be known as a defensive team. Tonight it looked our players took that message to heart.”

On the other end of the floor, BC High used its length to work both inside and out.

Leading 6-5 midway through the first quarter, the Eagles went on a 23-4 run to all but put the game away before halftime.

Four consecutive points on turnaround sky-hooks by Minor got the run started, giving the Eagles a 11-5 lead after one quarter.

The start of the second quarter was all BC High, as a mid range jump shot from Troy Salmans, followed by five consecutive points from Carl Pierre pushed the Eagles to an 18-7 advantage.

Moments later, Evee got in on the action first drilling a three pointer from the top of the key before taking two consecutive possessions coast to coast for lay-ups.

Finally, Pierre topped it all off, hitting a three from the corner off an out of bounds play to put BC High firmly in control up 28-9.

Pierre noted how impressed he was with his team right off the opening tip.

“I learned about our guys in terms of being able to come in a tough environment and get the job done,” said Pierre. “We set a standard for ourselves tonight and now we just got to see if we can keep that up moving forward.

Needham, who fell behind by as many as 25 points midway through the third quarter, was able to find an offensive spurt early in the fourth quarter to make things interesting.

Two three pointers from Matt Shaker (11 points) coupled with another from Brendan Monheimer (13 points) cut the deficit to 51-34 with a little over six minutes to go.

On the Eagles' next possession, though, Troy Salmans hit a three from the top of the key to give BC High back a 20 point advantage, and quell any hope of a Needham comeback.

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