BABC: No. 1 SJP slips past New Bedford

CHELSEA, Mass. -- Sophomore Isiah Robinson grabbed 13 rebounds and dropped 13 points, including seven in the last the two minutes of the game, to lead No. 1 St. John’s Prep past No. 6 New Bedford, 81-77, in the Class A final of the BABC Holiday Classic on Wednesday.

““He was huge today,” said St. John’s Prep coach Sean Connolly. “All tournament he was. I think it was his coming out party.”

“Isiah is a great addition to our team, especially with Mackenzie Burt going down,” said Pat Connaughton, St. John’s (5-0) leader scorer on the day with 25 points, including 12 in the fourth quarter. Robinson’s only points in the first half were on a continuation foul and free throw he made at the end of the first quarter, but that was not due to oversight according to Connaughton.

“We were trying to get in sync offensively,” said Connaughton. “When we were talking on the bench, the coaches were saying that the roll is open for the big man so I tried to look for him a little more… then everyone started to look for him a little more. He attacked the glass, which was huge, he made his free throws, which was huge, and he just had a huge game.”

With 1:50 left in the fourth quarter, New Bedford’s (4-1) Jonathan Fortes made a lay up to bring the Whalers within two at 73-71. After a missed shot, Robinson grabbed the rebound and put it back in to give his team a four point lead, 75-71, at 1:37.

“Coach has been telling for the past couple of days to crash hard,” said Robinson. ““I know coach had trust in me, he has been on me these last few days, talking to me about helping the team out. “

New Bedford’s Jules Tavares made one of his two threes on the day at the 1:00 mark, making the score 75-74. On the next possession, Connaughton put up a shot and missed, but the sophomore Robinson got the rebound, went back up and was fouled. He sank both free throws, making it a three point game at 77-74. Down the other end, Tavares was fouled, but missed on the 1-1 free throw, and Connaughton got the ball but was fouled with 28 seconds left. He made the first shot but missed the second. New Bedford got the ball, but it went through the hands of Fortes, giving St. John’s the ball back.

Robinson was fouled again, this time missing his first and making his second free throw, with the game now at 79-74. New Bedford junior Steven Wynn took a wide open three pointer and missed, but as Connaughton brought the ball up the court, he was given a charge call, turning the ball back over to New Bedford with 10 seconds remaining. From the corner, New Bedford’s Cameron Walker hit a three to make the game 79-77 with 3.1 second remaining. The ball was given to Robinson, who ended game at the free throw line.

“I wasn’t really a good free throw shooter last year,” he admitted after going 9-11 from the line. “Over the summer, I worked on it with my uncle. “


In the Class B consolation game, Windsor (Conn.) beat No. 18 BC High, 91-53. At the end of the game, Windsor’s Ohemeng Kyeremateng (3 points) missed a free throw and coach Ken Smith got the whole bench going with a clapping session, telling him that the team needed the free throw. To many, this may seem confusing, as the team was up by nearly forty, but to Smith, the score of the game was not the point of needing the free throw.

“Those are game winners,” said Windsor coach Ken Smith. “We’re not preparing to win a game; we’re preparing to win it all. Preparation is preparation, the score means nothing to us, it’s how we play, that’s what I preach.”

Senior Mike Fraylon did play, and he did score on the day. 21 points, four steals and two assists, Fraylon admits that he can work harder and have better games.

“The only reason I started missing is because I got tired,” said Fraylon. “I’ve got to run more in practice.”

Controlling the ball for the team was junior Andrew Hurd who had six steals, three assists and 17 points (5 tres and a field goal).

“We just try to contain the ball and have everyone deny their man,” said Hurd. “I wasn’t doing too well on the ball, but I was able to help my teammates on the pickup and stole the ball.”