Sunday, February 17, 2013
Comcast: No. 7 BC High 53, No. 14 Newton North 36
By Ryan Hannable
WELLESLEY, Mass. -– Often times when an opponent forces you out of your comfort zone and into a style you’re uncomfortable with you struggle. That is exactly what No. 7 BC High (15-3) did to No. 14 Newton North Sunday afternoon in the Comcast IAABO Board 27 Classic.
BC High’s up-tempo, aggressive trap defense took Newton North (18-3) out of their game in the Eagles’ 53-36 win before a capacity crowd at Babson College. It was Newton North’s first loss since Jan. 8.
“I thought defensively we did play well,” said BC High coach Bill Loughnane. “We had a lot of respect for them. I’ve seen them play and they can shoot the heck out of the ball and we just wanted to make sure we didn’t give them many open looks.”
Defense was the name of the game for BC High as their full court press and patented aggressive 2-3 zone forced 26 (unofficial) Newton North turnovers.
The Tigers had four turnovers before they recorded their first field goal of the game, but a 7-2 run to close out the opening quarter only had them trailing 10-9.
The second quarter was when BC High took over the game, outscoring the Tigers 20-11, including a 12-0 in the middle of the frame.
“Defensively we played well and were able to get some easy points,” Loughnane said of the second quarter. “The defense was good.”
In the quarter Newton North had eight turnovers, zero made free throws, and went over five minutes without a field goal as they entered the locker room trailing 30-20. It could have been worse if not for a 7-2 run to close out the half.
BC High didn’t let the Tigers get back in the game scoring the first four points of the second half, and 12-5 overall in the third quarter to take a 42-25 lead into the final stanza.
The Eagles continued to employ their full court press and trap defense into the fourth quarter, continuing to force Tiger turnovers and frustrate coach Paul Connolly. At one point in the middle of the third, Connolly substituted an entire five players after calling a time out, visibly upset with his teams’ performance.
The fourth quarter featured both teams emptying their benches and both teams scoring 11 points for a final score of 53-36.
Leading the way for BC High were their three senior captains, Pete Timmins (15 points), Charles Collins (14), and Jameilen Jones (12). The Eagles got contributions from the entire roster, as seven players recorded points, which was something Loughnane has been looking for all season.
“We wanted to try and develop a bench so that if we get in foul trouble or have to deal with injuries, guys can step up and perform well,” he said. “I thought they did a good job tonight.”
Newton North did not have anyone reach double figures. Junior Liam Bruno led the way with nine, followed by sophomore Tommy Mobley with eight.
The Tigers will face Danvers -- which suffered its first loss of the year in the nightcap, 74-66 to Brighton -- and BC High will take on Brighton in the championship. Both games will take place Monday back at Babson, with the consolation game at 4:45 p.m. and the championship at 6:30.
For Loughnane and his Eagles, he looks at this tournament as a chance to prepare for the upcoming Division 1 MIAA tournament.
“When you play against quality teams they are going to exploit your weaknesses,” he said. “We like to do that so you know what you have to work on come tournament time, so in the tournament you’re not going to see anything new to you.”
FREE THROWS TELL THE STORY A telling stat in a basketball game is usually free throws, and it was no different in this game as BC High’s aggressive style of offense, taking the ball to the hoop and not settling for jump shots paid dividends as they got to the line 31 times, compared to the Tigers' 26.
This held true especially in the fourth quarter as BC High got to the line ten times before their first field goal of the quarter, with just under three minutes to play.
Although it wasn’t a great performance from the line, 18-for-31 (58 percent), it set the tone of the game. For Newton North it was even worse as they went 11-for-26 (42 percent).