Newton North takes rubber match in D1 South

WEYMOUTH, Mass. -- Newton North got out to an early 14-3 lead and never looked back, as the Tigers defeated Weymouth, 54-45, in a Division 1 South quarterfinal Saturday night.

After splitting their two regular season matchups, both Bay State league teams took the court Saturday night in front of a packed and energetic Weymouth gymnasium.

The game was physical early and the defensive intensity of North (18-6) proved to be the key factor in controlling the pace and tempo of the game.

Newton North junior point guard Michael Thorpe got going early scoring seven of his game high 15 points in the first half. Thorpe led the offense and teamed with senior guard Avi Adler-Cohen (11 points) to hold the perimeter game of Weymouth (18-4) in check.

“We have been a tremendous defensive basketball team all season long,” Newton North head coach Paul Connolly said. “They (Weymouth) averaged 67 points a game this season and we held them to 45 tonight.”

The Tigers led, 30-17, with under a minute remaining in the first half when Weymouth sophomore Jared Terrell converted back to back three point plays as he knifed through the middle of the defense to cut the lead to, 30-23, at the half.

Newton North maintained their defensive superiority in the third quarter holding Weymouth to five points until Weymouth junior guard Damian Lugay hit a three at the buzzer to cut the Newton North lead to seven points, 38-31.

Brothers Tevin and Aaron Falzon controlled the middle of the paint all night for Newton North, making it difficult for Weymouth to get to the hoop. The brothers owned the glass in the game and eliminated second chance shot opportunities for Weymouth.

“We really rebounded the basketball well tonight,” said Connolly. “Getting Tevin back has been huge. He is such a big presence in there for us.

Tevin Falzon (six points) missed most of his senior season with a wrist injury but has been a big lift for the Tigers during their two tournament wins.

Terrell led Weymouth with 15 points on the night and Lugay added 11.

The Tigers advance to the Division 1 South semifinals, where they will face New Bedford at UMass-Boston on Tuesday. Tip time is scheduled for 7 p.m., with the winner moving on to the TD Garden in the sectional finals.