Wednesday, January 4, 2017

No. 2 BC High Rallies to Defeat No. 3 Mansfield

By Matt Feld (@mattyfeld612)

DORCHESTER, Mass. - Jordan Minor’s two-handed dunk over a Mansfield defender in the opening minute sent a clear message – the fans in attendance were in for an instant classic.

Led by Minor’s 12 points and 13 rebounds, to go along with Carl Pierre’s 11 fourth quarter points, No. 2 BC High erased a second half deficit to come from behind and defeat No. 3 Mansfield, 58-55, on Wednesday night at Boston College High School.

The Eagles (7-0) trailed by as many as nine points midway through the third quarter when a Matt Ehrlich three pointer gave the Hornets a 39-30 advantage. BC High, however, was able to battle back to even the game up at 52.

On the Hornets' ensuing possession, Eagles defender Myles Owens stole the ball from Ehrlich and called timeout.

Out of the timeout, Pierre (24 points) drilled what ended up being the game-winning three pointer at the top of the key, off a screen to give BC High a 56-53 advantage with under a minute to play.

After the two sides exchanged baskets, the latter of which was Pierre’s fourth of the frame to put BC High up 58-55, Mansfield found itself with five separate opportunities to tie the score.

All five three-point attempts, however, hit off the back iron, handing BC High its seventh consecutive win to begin the year.

BC High coach Bill Loughnane said the Eagles’ difficult schedule is paying off.

“We are playing some good teams early in the year and that is getting us ready for the tournament,” said Loughnane. “We are getting a lot of different looks, Mansfield is a terrific defensive team, and I think the kids really enjoy playing in games like this.”

The fourth quarter could have been mistaken for a heavy weight fight, with both sides delivering blows.

With Mansfield ahead 41-39, Pierre evened the score by hitting a mid range jump shot.

Mansfield quickly retook the lead, however, as Ryan Otto drilled a three pointer from the wing to put Mansfield back up 44-41.

The Hornets remained in front by three after an Ehrlich free throw made it 46-43, but Eagles guard Travis Evee came back the other way with two consecutive floaters in the lane to put BC High ahead 47-46.

BC High continued to lead by just one, 52-51, with under two minutes to play when Phil Vigeant hit a fall away lay up as the shot clock buzzer sounded, giving Mansfield a one point edge.

Moments later, a Minor free throw evened the game up at 53, setting the stage for Pierre’s last minute heroics.

“We want (Carl Pierre) to make plays, we expect him to get the ball and make plays,” said Loughnane. “Tonight we were fortunate to make one more play than them.”

Mansfield opened the game on a 13-6 run as a Christian Weber lay up finished off a hot start for the Hornets.

The Eagles, however, were able to close the gap as the first quarter came to a close behind a Pierre basket and a Jimmy Tan three pointer from the corner.

The two sides exchanged baskets in the second quarter, with Weber once again knifing through traffic and finishing at the rim right before the horn sounded to put Mansfield up 28-26 at the half.

In the beginning of the third quarter, the game appeared to be tilting in Mansfield’s favor.

Behind the play of Max Boen (11 points), the Hornets went on an 11-1 run with two consecutive threes coming from the senior guard.

Trailing by nine, 39-30, the Eagles turned to their post presence in Minor (13 points, 12 rebounds, 4 blocks) to get them back in the game.

Minor took over, receiving the ball at the block and spinning towards the basket for consecutive lay ups. That, along with an Evee three pointer brought BC High back within two at 41-39 giving Pierre the chance to take control in the final frame.

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