Thursday, December 28, 2017

Everett, Cambridge, Burke, Brookline, Watertown, & Bishop Stang Get Wins at BABC Holiday Classic

BOSTON - The holidays are over, but the gift of winning for Cambridge is still ongoing.

As part of the BABC Holiday Classic at Cathedral High School on Wednesday, the Falcons picked up their 49th consecutive victory, knocking off Portsmouth (NH), 48-46.

Cambridge forward Khai Smith dominated in the paint throughout the contest, finishing with 16 points and 20 rebounds.

The Falcons held a seemingly insurmountable 34-13 lead at the half and seemed well on their way to another blowout victory.

Portsmouth, however, changed their approach in the second half and came out in a 2-1-2 zone in order to slow the game down.

The move paid dividends as the Clippers went on a 17-0 run to begin the third quarter, highlighted by guards Cory Graham and Alex Tavares, to pull within 34-30.

Cambridge led 46-40 with less than two minutes to play, but Graham finished a four-point play, then connected on a runner in the lane to even the score at 46.

On the Falcons' ensuing possession, Jhykos Neal got fouled corralling an offensive rebound, and knocked down both free throws at the line to put Cambridge up 48-46, sending the Falcons to a win.

“We need to be more consistent on the offensive end,” said Cambridge coach Lance Dottin. “I thought we had a couple shots that did not fall. When we got the ball inside, good things happened. When they tightened up the zone, I thought we did a poor job of moving the basketball and paid a price for it.” 

In what turned into the top contest of the day, JE Burke held off Rhode Island power Bishop Hendricken, 70-69.

Burke trailed 54-51 to begin the final quarter, but an 11-1 run, highlighted by guards Levar Williams (19 points) and McCarthy Akinkouye (13 points) pushed the Bulldogs ahead 62-55.

The Hawks came storming back, turning to their full-court pressure and leaning on superstar T.J. Weeks.

Weeks evened the score with less than three minutes to play, as he converted an old-fashioned three-point play to go with a put back to tie the game at 66.

Burke trailed 69-68 with under 10 seconds to play, but Williams was fouled shooting a potential game-winning three pointer. After missing the first, Williams hit the next two at the line to push the Bulldogs in front by one.

Back the other way Weeks was fouled shooting a jumper of his own with 1.9 seconds on the clock, but missed both at the line to give Burke a key non-conference win.

“We have not been in that situation much,” said Burke head coach Sean Ryan. “I was really happy with the resiliency that we showed. We got some key stops when we needed it, we went on a run in the fourth, but most importantly we played 32 minutes.”

In the first game of the day, Everett (4-0) knocked off Belmont 80-70 behind 35 points from Ghared Boyce.

The Marauders received a strong effort out of Danny Yarmedian, who finished the game with 23 points, five assists, and four rebounds to keep Belmont in the contest.

Boyce along with Isaiah Likely (14 points) and Eric Thompson (12 points) proved to be too much for Belmont to handle, keeping the Crimson Tide undefeated heading into their showdown with Brighton Thursday.

Brookline, meanwhile, bounced back from their loss to Newton North with a 64-58 win over New Rochelle (NY).

Mark Barret led the Warriors (3-1) with 23 points and eight rebounds. Barret was the centerpiece of a crucial stretch in the fourth quarter. With the contest tied at 49, Barrett finished through contact. Then, on the next time down the floor splashed a three pointer from the right wing to put Brookline up 55-49.

New Rochelle never got closer as a Matt Price three pointer put the Warriors up nine and sealed the win.

Watertown improved on the solid start to their season, knocking off defending Division 2 state champion Brighton, 54-53.

John Korte finished 30 points and 12 rebounds for the Raiders.

The final game of the night brought with it some history, as Damien Perry set a Bishop Stang school record with 39 points in the Spartans 93-86 win over Cathedral.

Complementing Perry’s big performance was Malik Morris, who finished with 24 points and 23 rebounds.

Cathedral trailed by double digits for most of the contest, but sharp shooter Khalil Blair got the Panthers got back into the game.

Blair scored 14 second half points and a Caley Moon floater cut the Stang lead to just two, 70-68, with 6:20 to play.

Dijuan Chummack pushed Stang’s lead back up to six with a three point play, but Blair came back with a trey and a driving layup to pull Cathedral within 74-73.

Stang’s offensive attack proved too much for the Panthers to overcome, though, as Perry hit a step back three pointer, and Morris finished in the paint to put Bishop Stang up 81-74 with three minutes left.

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