Monday, February 20, 2017

Arlington Outlasts Malden Catholic to Claim D2 Boys Title at the Comcast/Board 27 Classic

Arlington poses with the Comcast/Board 27 Championship Trophy for Division 2 Boys
By Nate Weitzer (@Nweitzer7)

MALDEN, Mass. - The rising tide lapped around the young Spy Ponders, threatening to drown them in a sea of disappointment.

They had just given up a 19-3 run to host Malden Catholic in the Division 2 boys’ final of the Comcast/Board 27 Classic, resulting in a 63-63 game with under a minute to play.

Arlington’s most important possession of the game seemed to be going nowhere, as the shot clock ticked down to three seconds and forward Dominic Black couldn’t find anywhere to go with the basketball from the elbow. Yet in desperation, the junior co-captain created some separation and hoisted a deep two that hit nothing to give the Spy Ponders a 65-63 lead with 2.7 seconds remaining and seal the win.

“Honestly, I was trying to get the ball to my point guard,” said Black. “It was a tough shot. [The Lancers] played good defense on me, but I was able to get it done.” 

Arlington (19-1) opened a 39-24 lead at halftime by closing the second quarter on an 18-4 run. But Malden Catholic (12-7) came storming back in the second half thanks to tough interior play from senior forward Jonah St. Clair (22 points, 13 rebounds). 

Curtis Philpot (10 points, 4 rebounds) and Michael Boyd (17 points, 3 assists) contributed three key lay-ups to cap the run and tie the game at 63 to the delight of their home crowd. 

But the Spy Ponders were able to do quiet the raucous crowd on multiple occasions during the second half thanks to clutch shooting from freshman Bensley Jones (16 points, 5-for-11 from three) and strong play from point guard Colin McNamara (19 points, 2 assists). 

“Both teams go on runs in every high school game,” said Arlington head coach John Bowler. “We went on our run early and [The Lancers] went on one late, but we kept our composure and we were able to hit big shots down the stretch.”

When asked about the clutch performance of his younger players, Bowler effused, “[Joseph and Black] played unbelievable tonight and they’ve done it all year for us. To do what Bensley Joseph does as a freshman is incredible. His nickname is Showtime and it shows because he’s not afraid to step up and take a big shot.”

While the Middlesex League champions are undefeated against conference competition and currently riding a 33-game home winning streak during the regular season, but this type of win against a legitimate D2 state title contender can put this program on the map. 

“We came out to show that we’re not just a Middlesex [League] team and we can play with anyone,” said Black.

Mission accomplished.  

Continue below for Video:

No comments :