Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Natick Knocks Off Brookline

By Jason Siegel (@jasiegel1821)

Natick, Mass. - Team captains have the responsibility of leading their team before, during, and after games.

Captains Will Brodnitzki, Sho Kinugawa and Peter Ryan were leaders on the court for the Natick Redhawks in their 65-55 victory over the Brookline Warriors on Monday night at Natick High School.

Brodnitzki did a little of everything, as he had a double-double with a game-high 20 points, to go along with 12 rebounds and 5 assists.

Natick head coach Sam Doner was pleased with the play of Brodnitzki, calling him “a warrior.”

“(Brodnitzki) battles down low. He understands our schemes,” Doner said of Brodnitzki after the game.

Kinugawa scored 17 points, seven of which came in the fourth quarter. Although Ryan did not have his highest offensive output on Monday, he led the defense by collecting 5 steals. Kinugawa chipped in with 4 takeaways of his own.

“(Ryan) is a hard-nosed kid that gets low on defense,” Doner said after the win.

The first seven points of the contest for the Redhawks (5-2, 3-1 BSC) came courtesy of their captains. Brodnitzki had the first bucket with a rebound and putback, then assisted on a Kinugawa three-pointer. A driving layup by Ryan, followed by a layup from senior Jahden Erold (10 points, 9 rebounds) opened up a 9-1 lead for Natick.

Brookline (4-3, 2-2 BSC) was playing without star junior Chris Camille, and the Warriors struggled to score in the early going. The Warriors managed just 8 points over the first eight minutes of the came, with six of those points coming from senior captain Andrew Geshickter (11 points, 4 rebounds).

A corner three by Kinugawa at the start of the second quarter opened up an 18-8 advantage for Natick.

After a rebound and putback by Brodnitzki made the Redhawk lead 20-9, the Warriors went on a 17-2 run to take a 26-22 lead. Brookline’s run was headlined by a pair of three-pointers by sophomore Matthew Price (team-high 15 points) and punctuated by two steals that led to layups by Blake Burke (9 points, 4 rebounds).

Natick closed the quarter on a 6-0 run to take a 28-26 lead into halftime.

The teams traded baskets for much of the third quarter, as Brookline continued to hang around, tying the game at 35 on a layup by junior Christian Andrews (8 points, 2 steals).

The intensity of the game reached its peak with 4:41 remaining in the third frame when Brodnitzki and Brookline captain Henry Terry got tangled up and had to be separated by both head coaches.

Natick took a 45-40 lead into the fourth frame following a pair of layups by Kinugawa at the end of the third quarter.

Brookline cut its deficit to 45-43 early in the fourth quarter on a layup by junior Wesley Delvar (8 points, 8 rebounds), but the Redhawks responded with a 7-0 run, headlined by a three-pointer from Kinugawa as the shot clock expired with 4:13 left to play.

A couple of layups by Kinugawa, followed by a eurostep and layup from Erold, opened up a 58-45 advantage for Natick with 1:53 remaining.

Natick knocked down seven free throws over the final 1:29 to maintain a double-digit lead until the horn sounded.

Coach Doner was happy with the effort his team put forth against Brookline.

“They put in a lot of effort,” Coach Doner said after the win.

The Redhawks have to be happy with their ability to close out the game, and every time the Warriors made a run to cut into Natick’s lead, they found a way to respond to pull out the victory.

Brookline now drops to 2-2 in BSC play, but the Warriors played hard for the entire game, and did so without the services of star forward Chris Camille.

After losing two straight games, the Warriors will look to return to winnings ways on Tuesday when they host BSC Carey opponent Weymouth.

The Redhawks will also be right back in action on Tuesday night when they host BSC Herget rival Norwood.

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