Boston High School: BABC Holiday Classic

BABC: No. 1 Putnam 69, No. 6 New Mission 52

December, 29, 2013
BOSTON -- As the second half continued to carry on, it was quite clear that one team was significantly more energetic than the other.

Top-ranked Putnam withstood an upset bid from New Mission on Sunday afternoon at the BABC Holiday Classic, pulling away in the second half to knock off the Titans, 69-52,

New Mission was able to dwindle the Putnam lead down to six, 36-30 early in the third quarter, but the Titans collapsed down the stretch, playing their third game in as many days against the buzzsaw that is the defending Division 1 state champion Beavers.

Dizel Wright led Putnam with 20 points and 8 rebounds, while Jonathan Garcia (12 points) and David Murrell (10 points) each put up double figures. Forwards Asante Sandiford (14 points, 7 rebounds) and Fred Rivers (13 points, 14 rebounds) led the Titans, who took on Putnam (4-0) after playing New Hampshire power Bishop Guertin and St. Joseph of New Jersey -- who is considered to be one of the best high school teams on the East Coast -- on Friday and Saturday, respectively.

The Beavers’ fast-paced attack left New Mission (3-2) exhausted in the second half, taking the Titans out of their gameplan and therefore allowing Putnam to pull away significantly after leading by 9 at halftime.

“We felt like we had a good plan, we knew exactly what they were gonna do, but you can’t simulate that speed,” New Mission coach Cory McCarthy said. “We tried to do some things in the walk-through today that were pretty effective, but after awhile once you’re tired, you stop thinking, and you stop sticking to the gameplan.

“Although they turned the ball over, they were still disciplined enough to beat us down the floor. They’ve got five guys who will beat you down the floor, we’ve only got three. That’s the difference in the game: their transition points was probably in the 30’s or 40’s.”

Wright turned in an outstanding performance for the Beavers, about 24 hours after he was forced to leave Putnam’s game against Cambridge because of a dislocated shoulder. Though Wright said the injury was something he can play through, Putnam coach William Shepard will insist his point guard see a doctor about the shoulder when the team gets back to Springfield.

“I spoke to him about that last night, he said it happened to him several times this year. It comes out, he puts it back in, but we’ve got to get that looked at. He says he’s able to play through it,” Shepard said. “He’s shown some senior leadership. Dizel’s been awesome, in practice, in games, he’s just awesome. He’s having a great start to his senior year, a great start.”

Putnam was able to contain New Mission shooting guard Shaquan Murray, who is considered to be one of the MIAA’s best shooters, to 10 points on 4-for-17 shooting from the field.

“That’s what we hang our hat on: defense. Being accountable, now let’s hope we can hold it down where we have to hold it down: the defensive end. We played the way we were capable of playing,” Shepard said.

Murray, the Titans’ anchor on the offensive end and defensively on the perimeter, never could get anything going against the Beavers’ high-pressure defense. Rarely getting a chance to sit during New Mission’s stretch of three games in three days, Murray wore down in the second half.

“I think Shaquan’s tired, he doesn’t get too much time on the bench," McCarthy said. "He just didn’t have any legs, he didn’t create any steals...He wasn’t Shaquan. Bam and Asante will come out five or six times a game, Shaquan stays on the floor. I think we could have rested him more. We just need him to make people better."

The uptempo play was a speed New Mission hadn’t seen all year, and likely won’t see for the rest of their schedule, but McCarthy hopes the experience will pay dividends for the talented Titans’ – perhaps the favorite statewide in Division 2.

“They got us to play out of character, and they sealed the deal. They’re experienced, they’re relentless; they’re the number-one team in the state for a reason,” McCarthy said. “The last two games we played, we won’t see anybody that good for the rest on the season. If we can keep it up we’ll be on track for bigger goals, we’ve got bigger goals.”

Shepard said the overnight stay in Boston was a bonding experience for his team—a trip that included ordering pizzas and watching movies yesterday afternoon at their hotel in Chelsea after knocking off Cambridge. The Beavers will go home with an undefeated record and Valley League play set to start this coming Friday against West Springfield. The next big challenge for Putnam will likely come Jan. 10, where they’ll take on a tough Northampton squad at American International College.

BABC: No. 1 Putnam 62, Cambridge 47

December, 29, 2013
BOSTON —- Cambridge had upset on their mind on Saturday afternoon, especially considering that they were only down by six to top-ranked Putnam after three quarters.

Then the Beavers (3-0) went back to Coach William Shepard’s pre-game speech on having fun and trusting their preparation. Through flawless offensive execution in the fourth quarter, Putnam was able to withstand the upset bid, knocking off Cambridge (3-1), 72-57, at the BABC Holiday Classic.

Putnam was led in scoring by forward tandem David Murrell (22 points, 9 rebounds) and sophomore Tyonne Malone (18 points, 6 rebounds), opting for shots in the paint and often working the ball around until they found just the right shot. Shepard made it clear to his team before the game: basketball is a lot more fun when you execute.

“That was our pre-game talk: what we do in practice,” Shepard said, “I said ‘that’s my time in practice guys, this is your time. You guys should be confident in what we do in practice every day, it’s why we work you guys the way we work you guys—it’s for these statements games like this, you guys can have a good time and enjoy yourselves.”

Enjoy themselves they certainly did. The Beavers shot 62 percent from the floor, only deeming it necessary to shoot five three-pointers the entire game.

“Practice is hard, the game is supposed to be fun,” Shepard said.

In the losing effort, Fredens Deneus put up 12 points and 13 rebounds for the Falcons, while point guard Isaiah McLeod totaled 14 points. In a game that was a nail-biter until the last few minutes that also boasted an irregular amount of aggressive play, the Putnam coach was just relieved for the game to be over:

“Yes, very relieved," he said. "That was a hard fought game, Cambridge came out prepared and ready to go. We were trying to adjust to what was being called, to make that adjustment, but the kids just played tough and played hard and we came up with the victory.”

Murrell comes back strong: The game marked the first of David Murrell’s senior season, as he previously sat out injured for the first few games of the year. Murrell wasn’t much of a factor offensively in the first half, only finishing with four points after the first two quarters of play.

However, the senior came up big in the second half and was efficient when it mattered, finishing with 22 points on 8-for-10 shooting from the floor. Shepard couldn’t have been happier about Murrell’s play after the game, especially knowing that Murrell is far from full strength at this point.

“He’s still not 100 percent, but he brings that toughness down low, that rebounding and energy," Shepard said. "I think he scored maybe three or four times just off of out-of-bounds plays -- just knowing the plays. Tyonne is still catching up, and they both had those little nuances that got us through it.”

The presence of Murrell greatly helped Malone, giving the 6-foot-5 sophomore swingman space to create and score off the dribble – a skill he has shown to be most accustomed to.

“Oh it helps out a great deal -- David helping him out on the boards. Tyonne’s new to the system, but he battled back. He was a little confused at times in the first him, but he didn’t let that stop him. He battled back and had a great second half,” Shepard said.

The Wright stuff: A dislocated shoulder just couldn’t keep Dizel Wright out of the game.

Wright finished with 14 points on the afternoon for Putnam, but his more impressive feat may have been his ability to come back for the last few minutes of the game after his shoulder popped out of its’ socket late in the third quarter.

So Wright did what he thought was necessary: He went to the locker room and popped his shoulder back into place, iced it for a few minutes, and relentlessly reminded his coach on the bench that he could go back in the game.

“When I looked at it I was scared, it looked real bad, I started asking for medical attention -- I didn’t know what to do,” Shepard said, “He said when it overextends it pops out sometimes. He came back in and said he was ready to go, I left him out and he kept saying he was ready to go.”

Wright came back into the game just in time to finish an acrobatic lay-up at the rim and knock down two free throws to put a bow on the victory for Putnam. The Beavers will take on sixth-ranked New Mission on Sunday afternoon for the final day of the BABC Holiday Classic.

BABC: Cambridge 78, No. 15 Springfield Central 46

December, 27, 2013
BOSTON -- From the opening tip-off on Friday afternoon, Cambridge made it very clear who had the upper hand.

Led by point guard Isaiah McLeod, big man Fredens Deneus (13 points, 12 rebounds) as well as Diandre Shoulder-Williams (14 points) and Tevin Charles (13 points, 8 rebounds), the Falcons (2-0) blew out Springfield Central (1-2) 78-46 at the BABC Holiday Classic.

This win came in similar fashion to Cambridge’s first win, a runaway 101-70 victory over West Roxbury last week.

“It’s definitely a satisfying win, it being so early in the season and playing against a quality opponent. That’s what I’m trying to express to these young men, that you want to play against the best competition,” Cambridge coach Lance Dottin said.

The Falcons’ swarming pressure defense left Springfield Central to scramble for baskets in the first half, Cambridge made a living off of forcing turnovers, playing the fast break, and converting lay-ups or free throws at the other end. Despite having a deep stable of guards who can shoot it from behind the arc, the Falcons only attempted four three-pointers.

In what seemed like the blink of an eye, Cambridge jumped out to a 37-11 halftime lead. It was all according to plan, according to Dottin.

“We just really wanted to spread the floor a little bit against Central and look to find the open man and advance the ball if we could," Dottin said. "So that we could take advantage of the numbers on the fast break.”

Baldwin vs. Deneus: One of the biggest storylines in this one was the play in the post, with the 6-foot-6 Deneus facing off against Central’s Chris Baldwin -- two of the top big men in the state. Deneus got the best of Baldwin for the most part, asserting himself as the most dominant rebounder on the floor while also finishing a few high-rising dunks and lay-ups.

Deneus wasn’t a prospect seen on the AAU circuit in July, leaving him flying under the radar. But with several top Division 3 as well as a few Division 2 programs recruiting him, Dottin sees his big man as a potential break-out star in the MIAA this year.

“I thought Fredens was sensational today. Fredens, in a lot of ways, is a best-kept secret. He’s a kid who in my opinion is a scholarship kid who maybe a few people missed the boat on, but as they come around this year they’ll see,” Dottin said. “Especially on the defensive end, for most great teams that’s where it starts, and Fredens is a great defensive player.”

Baldwin was unable to do much scoring for the Golden Eagles, but often managed to make his presence felt in other ways, totaling 8 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 blocks.

“They had a big presence in the middle, their big fella must have had five or six blocks -- he’s a good young player and he’s only going to get better,” Dottin said of Baldwin.

Be the best, beat the best: The game against Central is a warm-up for what would end up being Cambridge’s toughest game of the regular season: a showdown tomorrow afternoon at the BABC Holiday Classic with Putnam, the top-ranked team in the MIAA and last year’s Division 1 state champion.

“This weekend we get a chance to play against two of the better teams out of the west, so it’s definitely a good win for us. I just want to make sure, in our case, that we get better every day. There were times where we weren’t that good today, too many turnovers,” Dottin said. “I’m satisfied with the win, but we really need to get better.”

“Our schedule dictates to us that we’re gonna’ play the best, tomorrow we’re playing the defending state champs. For us, it’s a good win, but we feel like we could be even better.”

Recap: Windsor (Conn.) 74, New Mission 71

December, 30, 2012
BOSTON -- Junior phenom Jared Wilson-Frame led the way for Windsor (Conn.) with 28 points in their BABC Holiday Classic showdown against New Mission, and the Warriors were able to hold off a barrage of points from the Titans in the final minutes, escaping with a 74-71 win.

“Well it’s a tough environment to play in, it’s a good little gym and they’re a good team,” Windsor coach Ken Smith said following the game. “I’m pretty sure they’re going to make runs. I watched them play the other night [against Mansfield], that’s a good team you got there and I’m sure this is going to be a springboard for them.”

New Mission trailed by as many as 10 points late in the fourth quarter, but were given a nice boost by Isshiah Coleman in the paint. In the game’s final minutes, the senior forward cleaned up on the offensive boards and put back six of his 10 points on the afternoon.

The Titans (4-3) were able to cut the deficit all the way down to one in the closing seconds on a steal and fast-break lay-up from Percio Gomez, but were slow to commit a foul on the ensuing Windsor (5-0) possession and had to settle on sending Wilson-Frame to the line rather than senior Jaquan Harrison.

After Wilson-Frame hit both free throws to extend the lead to three, New Mission, with 7.3 seconds left on the clock, looked to leading scorer Juwan Gooding (18 points, six assists) to send it to overtime. Windsor was ready though, triple-teaming Gooding behind the line as the sophomore tossed up a prayer that found the backboard and the rim, but not the net.

Following the game, New Mission head coach Cory McCarthy attributed his team’s loss to their performance at the free throw line (7 of 21), and the effort on the boards by his bigs.

“I’m not upset about the loss at all,” McCarthy said. “That’s something that the players have to put on themselves. They have to say to themselves ‘I have to get better, I have to do better, I gotta help our team win’, and that’s what it came down to.”

“I like Windsor a lot, I like what they did, and I’d play them a hundred times if we could. At the same time, I feel like we didn’t stay true to who we were today.”

Guarding Windsor: Entering today’s game, Windsor averaged just under 80 points per game, including a 94-point performance two weeks ago against South Windsor (Conn.).

The Warriors are led by Wilson-Frame, a 6-foot-4 junior who is drawing interest from Miami, Providence, UConn and UCLA just to name a few.

Included in his 28-point performance was a put-back that put a halt to a 7-0 scoring run in the closing minutes for New Mission, two free throws that found nothing but net with the game on the line in the final seconds, and a silky-smooth drive to net throughout the game that is surely leaving scouts drooling.

“We came out in a diamond and one [press]," McCarthy said. "It was pretty effective against him but he hit some huge hero shots. He played Superman for them tonight and he delivered. I thought our diamond and one bothered him early, and then when Nate [Anderson] came out of the game we had less length on him.”

McCarthy was also quick to credit Windsor point guard Tyler Rowe who, despite being listed at just 5-foot-6, gave New Mission fits on the glass and on the floor through out the afternoon.

“He was tremendous, every decision he made was 100 percent right," McCarthy said. "He was totally efficient, and I have no problem with that.”

Grueling three-day swing: No matter what the future may hold for this year’s New Mission team, no one can look back at the end of the season and say they played a soft schedule.

For that reason, McCarthy likes his team’s chances going forward.

In the past three days, the Titans have taken on a Christ The King team thought by many to be No. 1 in the state of New York; beaten previously-undefeated Mansfield, ranked number No. 4 in's statewide poll; and hung until the final minutes against a Windsor team that is also ranking in at No. 4 in Connecticut.

“You will see in the middle of January, how much better we are because of this,” McCarthy said of the three-day stretch. “This is no disrespect to anybody else, but we won’t see three more teams as good as the three teams we just played for the rest of the year.

“If we can play above, or at that level that we played at for the last three days, I’m confident of where we will be in the end.”

Asked what his motivation was to schedule three straight games against three teams of that capability, McCarthy pointed to building his team’s character.

“I just want my guys to get tougher," he said. "I want to deflate some egos. If we start reading the clippings, and thinking that we’re better than everybody else...It humbles guys.

“So we see that sort of level. Can we match that level? Can we win on that level? I think we can, I think we have some little things that we can work on to get it done."

Video: Capital Prep (Conn.) 77, East Boston 62

December, 28, 2012
Correspondent Lucas Shapiro with a video recap of today's matchup between Capital Prep (Conn.) and East Boston, in the BABC Holiday Classic.

Capital won 77-62, led by Levy Gillespie Jr. (25 points) and USC-bound point guard Kahlil Dukes (18 points).

Recap: No. 14 Brighton 61, Cambridge 58

December, 28, 2012
Brighton's Malik James vs. CambridgeRyan Kilian for ESPNJunior point guard Malik James (21 points, 9 assists) paced Brighton over Cambridge in the first day of the BABC Holiday Classic.
DORCHESTER, Mass. -— There are going to be nights like Thursday night for a basketball team during a long, grinding season, especially when you go up against a team that is maybe one of the best teams on the national stage.

So all Hugh Coleman wanted to see was an ability to forget, progress and move on to the next opponent after the Bengals 38-point loss to St. Anthony (N.J.). There were ups-and-downs at the Kroc Center in the opening day of the BABC Holiday Classic for the Bengals, but ultimately they did just enough to pull out a 61-58 victory over Cambridge on Friday.

Malik James scored 21 points with nine assists, while Daivon Edwards canned five 3-pointers en route to a team-high 22 points to get the Bengals back to .500 at 3-3. Cambridge fell to 2-2 with the loss.

“They are here,” said Coleman. “They haven’t given up on themselves. I think they put that loss into perspective. That’s a really, really top-notch program that we aspire to be someday.

"Those guys are like a well-oiled machine over there and I think the guys think that we could have hung with them a little bit more had we came out of the gate with a certain kind of mentality and intensity.”

Coleman’s bunch did come out with that intensity with a 9-1 run to start the game and they were able to finish with it on the defensive end with two huge stops in a three point game.

“After the St. Anthony loss we are just trying to get back to the way we were,” said Brighton forward Nick Simpson. “We are trying to get back to how we played New Mission. It’s going to take a little while, but we will get back.”

Simpson left the game late in the third quarter when he jammed his right-hand. He left the court for a while but returned and said he had to just deal with the pain.

On his first possession back, Simpson drained a straightaway three-pointer for a 52-47 lead with 6:20 left to go in the game, but it was his late-game defense that pulled out the victory for the Bengals.

Marcus Faison got the ball in the middle of the Brighton zone, and tried to back his way towards the basket. Simpson stayed square and slapped the ball away from Faison and Edwards scooped up the loose ball and was fouled. Edwards hit his two free throws for a 61-58 lead.

“I knew the ball was coming inside because they ball and pass it to the big men,” said Simpson. “Once they did his back was to me and I knew he was going to turn to the front, so when he turned to the front I knocked the ball out.”

Cambridge had one more opportunity for the tie and a scrambled possession ended up in the hands of Tsega Tenzin. Tenzin fired for a 3 from the right corner, but Simpson was there to get a piece on it and direct it harmlessly away from the basket as the buzzer rang.

“At the end Brighton did a better job of executing than us,” said Cambridge head coach Lance Dottin. “We should have been able to execute a little bit better to get some better looks at the basket. I thought we were good when we got the ball on the inside to our big guy, but we turned the ball over and never even got a shot at the basket.”

There haven’t been too many 3-point barrages from Edwards this season, but this came close.

Edwards went 5-of-8 from behind the 3-point line and that success was a welcome sight for Coleman. When Edwards can become a lethal weapon from deep that only makes those driving lanes for James get a little bit wider.

“It was great for him,” said Coleman. “He’s been in a shooting slump and struggling. For him to come out and knock down those shots today was not only big for him but big for us.”

BABC Holiday Classic schedule set

December, 21, 2011
The Boston Amateur Basketball Club released the schedule for next week's annual Holiday Classic at Chelsea High School.

Courtesy BABC Director of Operations Jay Demings:

BOSTON, MA - The Boston Amateur Basketball Club (BABC) is proud to host the 2011 Holiday Classic Basketball Tournament from Tuesday, December 27 through Thursday, December 29th at Chelsea High School in Chelsea, MA.

This year’s Holiday Classic will feature 11 teams throughout three divisions with schools representing Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Hampshire. Proceeds from the tournament are donated by the BABC to create scholarships for Chelsea High students. To date, Chelsea High School has been the recipient of nearly $70,000 in scholarships since the tournament’s inception in 1996.

This year’s tournament schedule is as follows:

Tuesday 12/27
4:00 PM - Gm 1 - Malden Catholic vs Everett
5:30 PM - Gm 2 - Cambridge vs Bishop Guertin (NH)
7:00 PM - Gm 3 - New Mission vs St. John’s Prep

Wednesday 12/28
4:00 PM - Gm 4 - West Roxbury vs Capital Prep (CT)
5:30 PM - Gm 5 - New Bedford vs Windsor (CT)
7:00 PM - Gm 6 - Reading vs Loser Gm 1

Thursday 12/29
2:30 PM - Gm 7 - Winner Gm 1 vs Reading
4:00 PM - Gm 8 - New Bedford vs West Roxbury
5:30 PM - Gm 9 - Loser Gm 2 vs Loser Gm 3 (Class A Consolation)
7:00 PM - Gm 10 - Winner Gm 2 vs Winner Gm 3 (Class A Final)

BABC: No. 6 New Bedford cranks up the 'D'

December, 28, 2010
CHELSEA, Mass. -- In preparation for No. 6 New Bedford's game, Whalers head coach Tom Tarpey stressed the need for his team to have the ability to overcome adversity, as they hadn’t had to show much against the three teams they had already faced this season.

At the ever-competitive BABC Holiday Classic though, Mansfield would show to be a worthy adversary. Still, New Bedford pulled off a 15-0 run in the fourth quarter to come back and defeat Hornets, 66-62.

“We’ve been talking the past few days about handling adversity,” said Tarpey. “We were down; the kids did a great job, turned it up defensively. They hung in there, kept battling. I think we might have run them down a little bit in the fourth quarter.”

Although New Bedford was undefeated coming into today’s matchup (now 4-0), the team had yet to see the kind of talent they saw tonight according to players and coaches, so they had to adjust to the skill level. But their defensive prowess (9 steals on the day, 6 in the second half) helped them down the stretch to pull together a comprehensive comeback and stave off a last-minute comeback.

“Fast break points kept us in the game,” said Jonathan Fortes, who scored four of his 11 points on that 15-0 run, including a breakaway dunk. “We went hard on the defensive end of the floor and it paid off. We focused on the defense and the offense took care of itself.”

Trailing by four at the half, New Bedford was able to stay in the game by tying up the score at 47-all to begin the fourth quarter. The score was 55-49 with 6:10 left after Mansfield’s Brian Hershman (17 points, 5 assists) hit a pair of technical fouls shots and then a 3-pointer on the next possession.

Tarpey called a timeout and that's when it became clear to junior Cameron Walker (13 points, 3 assists, 2 steals) that his team could win. After analyzing a matchup between the two teams, Walker saw the potential for the Whalers to capitalize on it.

“We could tell they were really tired and we weren’t, so we decided that we’d work together and play great defense,” said Walker. “But it definitely started with our stamina. We reached into ourselves and decided that we were going to work hard enough to get the win, and that’s exactly what we did.”

After scoring 15 unanswered points following the aforementioned timeout, including four apiece from junior Fortes and senior Ray Guillotte (9 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists), Mansfield had shots, but those shots were contested on every possession.

New Bedford was simply more aggressive, insistently pursuing a win, and it became difficult for the Hornets (2-1) to score.

“I don’t think we made any adjustments defensively,” added Walker. “We just dug into ourselves and decided that we were going to step it up. We had that defense in all along; we just didn’t play it in the first half.”

NOTE: The broadcast of New Bedford's battle with No. 1 St. John's Prep at the BABC on Wednesday will streamed live by New Bedford High School's WIMC-TV online here.

BABC: Trio leads No. 8 Cambridge

December, 28, 2010
Chelsea, Mass. -- Jacquil Taylor, Deondre Starling and Kyroe Qualls-Betts all scored in double figures as No. 8 Cambridge Rindge and Latin School (CRLS) defeated Springfield's Putnam Vocational Technical High, 67-49, Tuesday at the BABC Holiday Classic.

The Falcons improve to an overall record of 3-0, while the Beavers fall to 3-3 on the season.

CRLS came out strong to start the game, scoring 20 points during the opening quarter, while securing its defensive presence on the court by holding Putnam to just 10 points.

The Falcons continued to maintain a double-digit lead for the opening minutes of the second quarter, but Putnam chipped away to the score, coming with five points, 35-27, to end the half.

Lance Dottin, head coach for CRLS, said that during halftime, “I told [my team] to slow down, to be patient.”

The halftime pep-talk seemed to work as the Falcons remained dominant on offense, going on a 12-0 run, extending its lead over by Putnam by 16 points. A layup by Putnam's senior guard Alonzo Johnson snapped the Beavers' offensive dry spell, who closed out the quarter with a 9-3 run, making the score 48-37.

During the first minutes of the fourth quarter, the Beavers cut its deficit to nine points, 52-41, but CRLS fired back with a 15-6 run. The Falcons never looked back, recording its third victory of the season, 67-49.

Taylor, the 6-foot-9 sophomore center for the Falcons, led the team with 20 points, while seniors Staring and Qualls-Betts added 14 points each.

Of his 14 points, Qualls-Betts scored 11 points during the first half, including nine points from beyond the arc.

Junior guard Jordan Almore led the scoring for the Beavers, scoring 10 of his 12 points from the free throw line. Seniors Jesus Rosario and John Toledo also chipped nine points each for Putnam.

BABC Classic: No. 18 BC High bounces back

December, 28, 2010
CHELSEA, Mass. – Facing an unfamiliar opponent, No. 18 BC High had to adjust on the fly. It’s not as though the Eagles had the opportunity to advance scout Tuesday’s opponent at the BABC Holiday Classic at Chelsea High School.

The Eagles faced off against Mount Si of Snoqualmie, Washington and came out a little flat, falling behind 19-9 by the end of the first quarter.

But BC High stuck it out, ratcheted up its defense to draw even at the half. Senior point guard Bryan Hurley took care of the rest in leading the Eagles to a 57-44 win, pouring in a game-high 17 points, including five 3-pointers.

“We obviously didn’t have a scouting report on them,” Eagles head coach Bill Loughnane said, “so we had to adjust after the first period and I thought the guys did a really good job of that.”

The Wildcats were paced to their early lead by senior swing man Dallas Smith, who scored the bulk of his team high 13 points in the first.

However, the Eagles (4-1) did a better job containing Smith and disrupting looks to basket in the second quarter, when they erased a 10-point deficit to draw even before the half.

Mike Corcoran drained a three and then Hurley transitioned a steal into an uncontested pull-up with 20 seconds remaining in the half to make it 27-27.

“We were giving [Smith] open looks and we just couldn’t stop him,” Loughnane said. “I know we needed to do something to try to take him out of the game. I think our defensive intensity really picked up in the second half.”

It also helped that Hurley caught fire at just the right time, pushing the Eagles ahead in the second half.

Junior forward Dan Curtis also reached double figures for the Eagles, chipping in 12 points.

“We need Bryan [Hurley] to play well for us if we want to win games,” Loughnane said. “This was just another case and point of that happening.”

It’s not the only time a Hurley has been depended upon to lead the Eagles to victory. Bryan’s older brother Chris was the fulcrum to BC High’s Division 1 state title in 2007, the school’s first basketball championship in 90 years.

“They’re different,” Loughnane said of the brothers Hurley, “but it’s a different team, too. We need points from Bryan to win. Back when Chris was playing, we were huge, we were enormous. We had six guys over six-foot-six. He had to distribute the ball a bit more.

“I wish the Hurleys had another one though, I’d be happy about that.”