Thursday, March 8, 2018

Wild Final Seconds Make Third Time the Charm for Woburn

By Matt Feld (@Mattyfeld612)

Burlington, Mass. - In order for the third time to be the charm for Woburn, the Tanners needed a bit of a luck.

Trailing by one in the games final stages, Woburn's Isaiah Cashwell-Doe hauled in a defensive rebound and drove the length of the court before drawing contact with 5.2 seconds left. At the free throw line, Cashwell-Doe hit the first to tie the score but his second attempt hit off the front rim.

Belmont secured the rebound and tried to call timeout without any to spare resulting in technical foul which allowed Woburn's Ryan Ludwig to hit the two game winning free throws with 0.2 left as the No. 8 Tanners defeated No. 4 Belmont, 60-58, in the Division 2 North Semifinal at Burlington High School.

The win avenges a pair of regular season losses for Woburn (16-7) at the hands of the Marauders.

“Nobody quit tonight either side,” said Woburn head coach Tom Sullivan. “This was just a great high school basketball game. Belmont-Woburn is a great rivalry. They've got us the last couple times. The kids play in the same summer league. (Belmont coach) Adam Pritchard is a great friend of mine. I have a lot of respect for them."

The game was deadlocked at 48 in the early stages of the fourth quarter but a Cashwell-Doe (25 points, 10 rebounds) pull up three-pointer pushed the Tanners in front.

Belmont came back as Jake Pollock (13 points, 15 rebounds) tipped one home for two and Will Ellet connected on a triple off the curl to give the Marauders a 53-51 lead.

Woburn tied the score on a Brett Stachowski layup but Belmont junior star Danny Yardemian finished through contact to give the Marauders a 56-53 edge.

The Marauders then seemed to gain enough breathing room to get them across the finish line as Tomas Donoyan (14 points, 12 rebounds, 6 assists) cut baseline and finished a pass from Ellet to give Belmont a five point lead.

The Tanners, however, came charging back.

Matthew Juko and Cashwell-Doe combined to hit four straight at the free throw line to cut the deficit to one, 58-57, with 40 seconds left.

Woburn's defense then came through in the clutch hauling in a long three-pointer from Belmont's Mac Annus before Cashwell-Doe drove the length of the floor to set up the dramatic final few seconds.

“Isaiah (Cashwell-Doe) stepped up big time and wanted to make plays,” said Sullivan. “I told our guys if they miss or make we got to the hoop, Isaiah got it and fortunately the referees called the foul.”

In the early going Annus provided Belmont with some firepower drilling three triples to get the Marauders out to a quick 19-10 lead.

Woburn closed the gap before the end of the quarter as Cashwell-Doe drove strong to the basket for four quick and points and Ludwig banked in a half court shot at the buzzer to pull the Tanners within 21-17 after one

Belmont remained in front, 29-24, midway through the second quarter thanks to baskets from Pollock and Annus.

Cashwell-Doe, however, kept the pressure on hitting a left wing three-pointer off the dribble to pull the Tanners within two.

The Marauders closed the half strong going on a 9-4 run highlighted by four points from Donoyan to take a 38-31 lead into the locker room. 

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