Thursday, December 28, 2017

Marlboro Hands Algonquin First Loss in 2OT Thriller

By Jason Siegel (@jasiegel1821)

Marlboro, Mass. - The CMass basketball showdown between border rivals Algonquin and Marlborough had it all, including a technical against Algonquin during the pregame, two overtime periods, and 199 combined points.

When all was said and done on Thursday night in Marlborough, the Marlborough Panthers (3-1) outlasted the Algonquin Tomahawks (3-1), 103-96 in double overtime, to hand the T-Hawks their first loss of the season.

Marlborough head coach Scott Bauman said that the game was a learning experience for his team.

“We’ve got to learn from (this game), but I’m glad that we can learn with a win,” a relieved Coach Bauman said following the game.

Bauman added that the game was “a little too close for comfort.”

The Panthers did have a comfortable lead for much of the game. They led by 21 at halftime and built their lead up to 27 with 2:08 remaining in the third quarter on a free throw by captain Kevin Short, who finished with a team-high 28 points, to go along with 10 rebounds, 2 assists, and 3 steals.

Algonquin closed the third frame on a 12-3 run, headlined by three pointers from captains Kyle Henderson (28 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals) and Nick Redden (game-high 30 points, 9 boards). A tip-in with one second remaining in the period by Redden cut Marlborough’s lead to 67-49 with one quarter left to play.

Algonquin juniors Artem Segarra and Brian Duffy (14 points apiece) combined for three 3-pointers in the first two minutes of the fourth quarter, but Marlborough senior captain and Notre Dame commit Chris Doherty scored five of his 22 points over that span to keep Marlborough’s lead at 14.

Doherty also had 12 rebounds and 4 blocks, and made a free throw with 4:29 remaining in the fourth frame to give the Panthers a 76-62 lead.

With 3:37 left, however, disaster struck for Doherty and the Panthers. Doherty tried to save the ball from going out of bounds, and threw the ball at the feet of an Algonquin player after the referees ruled that Doherty had stepped out of bounds while touching the ball.

Doherty received a technical for throwing the ball, and then received another technical after the play for arguing the call. Because he picked up two technicals, Doherty was automatically ejected from the contest.

The T-Hawks took full advantage, as Henderson hit all four technical free throws, cutting Algonquin’s deficit to 76-66 with 3:37 remaining.

A minute later, Marlborough’s Angel Strange (12 points, 6 rebounds) came up with a huge block on Henderson, preventing him from scoring a breakaway layup.

Unfazed after Strange’s block, Algonquin then went on a 10-2 run, headlined by an old-fashioned three-point by Henderson when he was fouled while shooting a floater following a steal.

Jonah Hintz, who came in to hold down the middle following Doherty’s ejection, made a free throw to give Marlborough a 79-76 lead with 1:06 left in the fourth quarter.

A three-pointer by Algonquin junior Riley Garand tied the game at 79. Both teams had a chance to win the game in the final minute of regulation, but both squads missed three-pointers to send the game to overtime.

To begin the first overtime, Strange made a layup and a jumper to give Marlborough an 83-79 lead. After baskets by Henderson and Duffy closed the gap to 84-83, Stephen Digregorio (14 points, 8 rebounds) hit a three-pointer to put the Panthers ahead 87-83.

Following a basket by Redden, Henderson put Algonquin in front with a pair of free throws and a reverse layup with 7.7 seconds left in the first overtime.

Jordan Oliveira (8 points, 4 boards) drove right to the basket and tied the game at 89 with a layup. Oliveira was fouled on the play as well, but missed the free throw with 2.2 ticks left. A full-court heave by Redden hit the backboard and the rim, and the Marlborough fans breathed a sigh of relief as the game went to a second overtime.

A floater by Short and a three-pointer by Digregorio gave Marlborough a 94-89 lead, and an old-fashioned three-point play by Short gave Marlborough a 97-91 advantage.

The T-Hawks trimmed their deficit to 3 points twice more, including on a bucket by Redden to make the score 99-96, but Short knocked down four free throws in the final twenty seconds to put the game away.

Coach Bauman said that he trusts Short to make plays at the end of games.

“There’s nobody that I trust more than Short,” he said after the game. “I am so fortunate to have a guy like him on my team and on my side.”

Both teams can take a lot of positives away from this game.

Despite blowing a big lead, Marlborough managed to pull the game out in the end. They also showed that they are more than Chris Doherty, as they played both overtime periods and the final 3:37 of the fourth quarter without their star big man.

For Algonquin, they showed a lot of resilience and fought their way back into the game, despite being down double digits for much of the contest. They also proved that other players besides Henderson and Redden can make plays, as shown by the contributions of Segarra, Duffy, and Garand.

Algonquin head coach Brian Doherty was happy with his team’s effort.

“I’m proud of my boys,” Coach Doherty said after the game. “They played hard.”

Doherty added that the game is a positive experience for his team.

The T-Hawks will look to bounce back from first loss on Wednesday when they host Westford Academy.

Marlborough will look to start Mid-Wach B play with a victory on Tuesday when they travel to Westborough.

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