Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Brockton's Big Night on the Glass Pushes Boxers Past Needham into Sectional Final

Photo by Eamon Convey
By Matt Feld (@Mattyfeld612)

Taunton, Mass. – After a brief hiatus, Brockton finds itself back amongst the top basketball programs in Massachusetts.

Senior Marcus Azor scored 16 points while Segun Okunlula poured in 12 points to go with 11 rebounds as No. 3 Brockton defeated No. 2 Needham, 69-60, on Tuesday night in the Division 1 South Sectional Semi-Final at Taunton High School.

The win gives the Boxers (20-3) their first sectional final berth since 2012 when they defeated Madison Park. 
Down low, Brockton used its sizable advantage to generate key second chance opportunities while limiting Needham to one-shot trips down the floor.

For the game the Boxers outrebounded Needham by a commanding 47-21 margin.

“We were quick to the boards tonight and very aggressive,” said Brockton coach Bob Boen. “(Needham) was very impressive the other day against New Bedford and I was worried they would get their offense going and we’d be in trouble but we had a good pace going offensively and we were great rebounding.”

Brockton carried a 53-41 lead into the fourth quarter, but the defending south sectional champion Rockets did not go away quietly.

Sophomore Will Dorion connected on consecutive three-pointers to pull Needham within eight.

Thomas Shaughnessy (23 points, 5 assists) then made his presence known connecting on a pair of free throws and a deep three-pointer around a Will Cooper basket to pull Needham within 58-54 with just over two minutes left.

The Boxers, however, had plenty in the tank.

Taisaun Glenn-Doherty completed an old-fashioned three-point play and on the Boxers’ next possession threw down a two handed dunk to give Brockton a 63-54 lead with a just minute to play.

“Coach (Boen) was just really pushing don’t let up,” said Glenn-Doherty. “This is a great win for us. We’re moving the ball well right now and there’s great chemistry on the team.”

Brockton used its quickness and athleticism to get out in the open floor and jump out to an early lead.

Jarice Harris drove for two, and Azor scored four straight to give Brockton a 13-8 lead.

Okunlola showcased his talents from long range as well draining two three-pointers to give Brockton an 18-8 lead after one quarter.

Brockton’s lead increased to 25-10 early in the second quarter on a pair of Jose Monteiro Jr. baskets, but Brandon Monheimer (15 points) provided the Rockets with a lift offensively.

The Rockets’ senior shooting guard scored 10 straight points as of part of a 15 point first half to trim Brockton’s advantage to 27-24.

The Boxers finished the half the way they started to gain some separation.

Azor corralled an offense rebound and finished and Marquis Dos Santos drilled a top of the key three to give Brockton a 33-24 lead going into the locker room.

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