Sunday, February 4, 2018

Super Sunday for Wright, Cooley as Tigers Hand Brockton its First Loss

By: Matt Feld (@Mattyfeld612)

For the Tigers, the environment was all too familiar. 

In front of a packed house at Brockton High School on Sunday afternoon, Ethan Wright scored 32 points while Aaron Cooley added 13 points and 12 rebounds to lead Newton North to a 58-40 win over the previously undefeated Boxers.

It is the second time in as many weeks the Tigers (13-3) have knocked off an undefeated foe as they defeated then 10-0 Needham last Friday.

Add together those two wins with victories over Catholic Memorial and Cambridge and Newton North finds itself as one of the most proven teams in the state.

“We never shy away from anybody,” said Newton North coach Paul Connolly. “I’ve always said ‘to be the best you gotta beat the best.’ We play the top teams.”

The Tigers led 32-17 at the half, but the Boxers’ defense stiffened up in the third quarter allowing just five points.

Down low, Taishaun Glenn-Doherty proved to be a valuable post presence for Brockton as he scored four points and grabbed five rebounds in the frame.

Marcus Azor, meanwhile, provided the Boxers some life on offense as he scored four points over the final minute of the quarter including in a lay up at the buzzer to pull Brockton within 37-32.

With momentum seemingly on Brockton's side it looked as though the Tigers were going to become the Boxers’ 15th victim of the season.

Wright and Cooley had other plans.

Cooley began the final stanza by corralling an offensive rebound and putting it back in through contact to increase the Tigers lead to eight.

Moments later it was Wright’s turn as off a missed free throw, Wright received the kick out and splashed a trey from the top of the key to put Newton North up 43-32.

Two free throws from Wright increased the Tigers lead up to 16, and then the senior star put on the finishing touches.

Ezra Pemstein ripped the ball away from Glenn-Doherty and got the Tigers on the break. Pemstein then reversed the ball too Cooley who swung it a wide-open Wright in the corner. All alone, Wright splashed a trey to give Newton North an insurmountable 19 point advantage.

Cooley sealed the Tigers win with back-to-back lay-ins.

“We just get hyped up for these games,” said Wright. “We know what we can do and we just had to get back to where we first in the first half. “

Kyle Ray-Canada helped get the Tigers off to a quick start as his wing three-pointer put Newton North up 8-2.

Newton North opened its first half advantage to as many as nine as Wright finished at the rim off the pick-and-roll.

A basket from Jose Monterio Jr. and three at the charity stripe pulled the Boxers within 13-10 after one.

Brockton took its last lead of the game, 15-14, early in the second quarter on a Samuel Darius fast break bucket.

The one point edge did last long, as Wright scored seven points over the next three minutes.

Cooley then sent the Tigers into the locker room on a high note connecting on a three pointer from the top of the key.

“We like coming into the other people’s gym and being the underdog,” said Cooley. “It’s great just to fight.”

With the way the Tigers are playing, they will not be the underdog for much longer.

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