BOSTON -- Tommy Mobley may have about his scoring a little bit differently than he usually does for the No. 5 Newton North basketball team at the TD Garden on Saturday night, but the results were very much the same as he piled up points and guided the Tigers past crosstown rival Newton South, 81-49, in the finale of the inaugural Good Sports TD Garden Invitational.
Normally a guy who racks up points primarily as a sniper from beyond the three-point line, Mobley repeatedly took to handling the ball and driving to the hoop in the early going, connecting on jumpers inside the paint and lay-ins to tally some first half points.
“The Newton South guys -- I’m really good friends with a lot of them,” Mobley said. “I know them really well, they know me really well. They know I like the three-point game. I’ve been working on getting the mid-range going a little bit this season, and it’s been kind of off and on. Tonight was the first time it was really on.”
Mobley eventually took his game back out beyond the arc, knocking down six 3-pointers as part of his 35 point attack -- one that ended after North was in control at the end of three quarters. The junior guard finished 14-for-20 from the field, including an impressive 6-for-11 on threes.
“When Tommy gets going, it’s fun to watch,” said North coach Paul Connolly. “I don’t know how many he finished with tonight, but he had eight last night. He’s a terrific three-point shooter.”
Added South coach Joe Killilea: “Tommy played out of his head again, and I thought we did a fair job on him. No matter what we did, he had an answer. Credit to him.”
Perhaps his most impressive shot of the night was a crisp jumper he unleashed from five feet behind the NBA three-point line on the Celtics' court, as time expired in the first quarter.
“That was just kind of a shot that I hit a couple times in the driveway, or in a gym on a Wednesday afternoon at 4:30,” Mobley said. “Just something where you’re imagining you’re playing for the Celtics, there’s five seconds left and you gotta go the length of the court and just pull for a deep one. Geoff (Gray) played great defense, and that shot was luck.”
Triple Tiger Attack: The three-pointer was part of Newton North’s game plan from the get-go, and it wasn’t just Mobley connecting on the long range shots.
“We really do drill that,” said Connolly. “We have some weapons. Earlier this year in a 32 minute scrimmage, I think we had 17 three’s, so it is something we’re good at and it’s part of our arsenal.”
By the time the last second had clicked off, the Tigers (11-1) had buried 14 triples in all, as Sam Jefferson added three himself, Jack Boucher and Thomas Maguire each chipped in two, and Elliot Sackman had hit on another one.
“That’s just too many points to give up,” said Killilea. “ If they hit that many 3’s, they’re impossible to beat.”
It took North a few minutes into the game to click on offense, especially with the long ball. Once they did, the Tigers never looked back.
“At the beginning we were kind of jittery and a little bit nervous, but we settled in and really got it going,” said Mobley. “Jack Boucher hit back-to-back threes and Sam Jefferson shot the ball great. A lot of those 3’s are because we have Liam (Bruno) and (Ezekial Francisco) inside, bringing the defense in and letting us get open shooters outside.”
Lucky Lions: While the score may have turned out differently than Newton South had hoped, the Lions still weren’t discounting their experience on the parquet at the Garden.
“This was a fabulous experience,” said KIllilea. They treated us unbelievably well from the minute we got her to the end. For a high school kid, it really can’t get any better.”
Added South junior Mark Karmiy: “The whole experience, I’m going to remember it for the rest of my life.”
It was Karmiy who shined brightest on the court for South, pouring in a team-high 11 points. Alex Kiristy added seven points while Geoff Gray, Phil Levine-Caleb and Sasha Hoban each had six points in defeat for the Lions (4-6).