Boston High School: Iser Barnes

Div. 1 Boys: Brockton 67, Charlestown 64 (OT)

March, 13, 2012
3/13/12
2:34
AM ET
BOSTON -- A lesser team might have evaporated in the heat.

Brockton trailed Charlestown by seven points at the TD Garden with a tick more than four minutes left in Monday’s Division 1 state semifinals. Charlestown’s Tyrese Hoxter had already netted nine straight points in the fourth quarter, and the smooth lefty was threatening to shove Brockton tumbling into its grave.

The Boxers shoved back.

They rattled off the next seven points, eventually forcing overtime, and William Baker drilled two free throws with 3.6 seconds left in the extra session to ice Brockton’s 67-64 win and send the Boxers to Saturday’s state finals.

“Just stay calm,” explained Brockton star Sayvonn Houston, who scored a team-high 22 points to go with 13 rebounds. “If you panic, you lose.”

The Boxers didn’t panic. They made adjustments. Hoxter had been torching them with dribble penetration, so coach Bob Boen called for a 1-3-1 trap.

Outside shots weren’t falling, so Brockton attacked the glass. Houston had a putback hoop to cut the deficit to 55-50 with four minutes left. Jaylen Blakely (15 points) was fouled in transition after receiving a great outlet pass from Houston and hit one of two free throws.

Jamal Reuben, who started slowly, snatched a missed Blakely three and followed with his first field goal of the game. His second didn’t take so long to arrive. Reuben stole a cross-court pass on the very next possession and finished a lay-in on the break, tying the score at 55-all with two minutes left.

The teams played the rest of regulation to a draw, with Charlestown’s Tyrik Jackson swatting Baker’s baseline drive at the buzzer to keep the score 57-57.

Reuben started the overtime period with a bucket just five seconds in and followed with a strong baseline take a minute and a half later, giving his team a 61-57 advantage.

The talented small forward finished with 10 points after scoring just two during the first 28 minutes.

“Even when I’m struggling, coach and my teammates just want me to keep doing what I do, because they know it’s going to come eventually,” he explained.

Charlestown responded strongly, pulling within one at 63-62 with 16.9 seconds left. But Omar Orriols missed the second of two free throws and Houston sank two charity shots at the other end to push Brockton’s lead to 65-62. When Baker rebounded a Fernandez miss on the ensuring possession and was fouled with 3.6 seconds left, he needed just one make.

He got two, making the tally 67-62 before Iser Barnes (12 points) added a meaningful bucket as the clock ran out.

It didn’t take long for Houston to realize he was headed to Worcester’s DCU Center on Saturday to play for the state championship.

“Oh, that sunk in. That sunk in as soon as the buzzer went off,” he said.

But some of Houston’s teammates wanted to wait before moving on from Monday’s triumph. After changing in the locker room, Blakely and junior guard Tyler Kim took turns laying on the Celtics logo at midcourt, almost as if doing snow angels in the very circle where Kevin Garnett jumps center.

“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity,” Kim said. “So why not?”

Designated Shooter: Drew Fiske missed his first two three-point attempts, but Brockton’s designated sharp-shooter isn’t one to become gun-shy. His mentality –- which goes something like, “If you’re hot, keep shooting, and if you’re not hot, shoot until you are” –- resulted in two crucial makes.

The backup guard sank back-to-back three-pointers to even the score at 44-all to end the third quarter, unleashing a primal scream after drilling a three in front of Brockton’s bench to beat the quarter buzzer.

The first three came from behind the NBA arc.

“It was deep. Coach usually yells at me for shooting so deep, but I can hit them,” said Fiske.

“That’s the new game in high school. Shoot that ball deeper, deeper, deeper. I tell them, ‘We can get it to you at the line, you don’t have to be way out there,’” Boen said. “But he’s a tremendous shooter. He does that in practice all the time –- bang, bang, bang. And it’s great, because it teaches us to cover three-point shooters like Charlestown has. We say in practice, ‘You can’t let him have that shot.’”

Hoxter’s Hot Hand: After Fiske knotted the score to end the third quarter, Hoxter pieced together a personal 9-2 flurry to give Charlestown a 53-46 lead with 5:35 left.

Elusive in the half-court offense and explosive in the open court, the point guard continuously paraded into the paint.

“He was doing a nice job clearing out. They have two three-point shooters who you can’t leave, so we were having trouble giving help on [Hoxter],” said Boen. “He was killing us. He was going here, there and everywhere. Those right-handed shots he made were fantastic, because he’s a lefty. Every one he made was all net. I kept thinking, ‘That’s not a good shot,’ and swish, swish, swish.”

Brockton switched to a 1-3-1 trap a couple possessions later and the Boxers’ comeback ensued. Hoxter managed just four points the rest of the way.

“It got to the point our offense wasn’t doing anything, and we really had to change the tempo of the game,” Boen explained. “It worked. I’ll assume [Charlestown coach Edson Cardoso’s] players are such good players that if they hadn’t been surprised by it, they would have torn it apart. Because you usually can’t do that when the other team has a couple great shooters like he has.”

Once the game tightened, Brockton switched from the trap because Boen feared Charlestown would adjust. But the coach still had a trick up his sleeve to slow Hoxter: guard Will Baker.

“He was dribbling the ball and hurting us,” Boen said of Hoxter, “and Baker’s probably our best on-dribble defender. And he did steal that one from him, which was a great steal.”

The steal Boen referred to came with the score knotted at 57-all and less than a minute remaining in regulation. Hoxter dribbled out front as Charlestown had a chance to seize the lead, but Baker hounded him, drew a steal, and even drew a foul on Hoxter during the scramble for the ball.

Baker missed both the resulting free throws, but redeemed himself by sinking the finishers in overtime.

Div. 1 Boys: Charlestown 61, East Boston 58

March, 3, 2012
3/03/12
11:12
PM ET



EAST BOSTON, Mass. -– Calling this clash of the titans a nail-biter would be an understatement -- maybe even a misnomer.

The largest lead margin on this rainy afternoon was five points, that standing for less than and that was for less than a minute, but the Charlestown fans went up into the air while East Boston fans reached for their keys and sunglasses, as the Townies topped the Jets 61-58 in a Division 1 North quarterfinal -- and the rubber match between these Boston City League archrivals.

“It was a hard fought win and I knew it wasn’t going to be easy,” said Charlestown coach Edson Cardoso.

“I’ve got to eventually win a game at East Boston sometime down the line,” Cardoso told himself in the days leading up to the match. “The guys were very focused, played hard, played for each other and ran our sets to a 'T'."

Junior Tyrone Hoxter went 4-4 from the free throw line in the last 23 seconds of the fourth quarter and Tyrik Jackson had two rebounds and put backs, the first an and-one completion with 2:54 left in the game.

“I though Tyrik Jackson just stepped up played hungry tonight and saved us throughout the game,” Cardoso added.

Eastie’s Zack Gattereau and Charlestown’s Hoxter made and missed one free throw at the line, respectively, then at the two-minute mark, Eastie’s Kyle Fox hit two free throws to tie the game up at 53.

Cardoso asked his team at halftime, "When is someone going to shot-fake, dribble, jump-stop and maybe make a layup?"

Senior Iser Barnes listened, scoring a crucial layup with 1:15 left. The Townies' defense turned up their press defense, forcing an East Boston timeout with 1:25 left, but without a hitch, the Jets’ Kwandell Bush hit a shot later to tie the game up again at 55.

After a missed Charlestown shot, Tyrik Jackson rebounded the ball and put it through the ring with 45 seconds left in the game, nudging the Townies to a 57-55 lead.

Unable to get an easy shot with Charlestown’s in-face defense and intense rebounding efforts, East Boston lost the ball and fouled
Tyrese Hoxter with 23.5 seconds remaining. He hit both shots and gave his side a 59-55 lead. Undeterred, East Boston coach Malcolm Smith called on his gunner, the 6-foot-4 senior Gattereau, to drain a three.

A good look from Fox with 2.5 seconds left made it a one-point game and a chance for East Boston to hit a 2-pointer and win the game, but Hoxter was sent to the line with 1.4 seconds left.

The first shot banged around and eventually made it’s way down the net, but the second shot was smooth, bumping the lead up to 3. Eastie launched a shot at the buzzer, but it sailed wide left.

Slow Cooker: After the game, players and attendees noted how long the fourth quarter felt. In the first five minutes of the fourth quarter, a totals of seven points were scored. The final frame was littered with steals, rebounds, loose ball grabs and throwaways.

“I thought both teams were tired on both ends,” Cardoso said. “Loose balls, boxing out hard, guys are falling on the ground, so I
though both teams were fatigued in the fourth quarter."

In the last three minutes, though, 20 points were made between the two teams, Charlestown winning that split 12-8.

“We run a lot in practice, we did a lot of fast break drills, defensive drills, so I feel our condition helped us pull through," Cardoso said.

Practice Makes Perfect: Hoxter draining those shots at the end of game could be attributed to the work that he puts in during Cardoso’s training sessions.

“As a team, we shoot under 60 percent at the free throw line," Cardoso said. "Yesterday, at practice, we each made thirty free throws before we left the gym."

Up Next: Charlestown awaits the winner of tomorrow's D1 North quarterfinal between Lowell and No. 1 overall seed Central Catholic, with a time and date to be determined.

The Townies' last meeting with Central was a forgettable one. Charlestown had home-court advantage, but succumbed late en route to a 79-71 loss.


Recap: No. 15 C'Town 87, No. 19 WC 69

February, 11, 2012
2/11/12
9:39
PM ET



CHARLESTOWN, Mass. -- At this time last year, Charlestown made the trek West, down Route 146, to deliver a haymaker to a Whitinsville Christian squad considered the state's tallest lineup.

This afternoon, the Crusaders came East to Bunker Hill, with a different look for the Townies -- smaller, quicker, more surgical -- and the result was very nearly a different outcome. The Crusaders hung with Charlestown through three quarters, before the Townies pulled away in the fourth, outscoring Whitinsville 31-14 in the final frame en route to an 87-69 victory.

"That team's very good, I thought that was the best shooting team we saw," Charlestown head coach Edson Cardoso said. "They're very well balanced, with a real good point guard, big man, two-guard, so I knew coming into this game it was going to be a battle. I told the guys, 'You're going to see a team like this in the state tournament, eventually down the line."

The Townies (14-3), played just seven due to health (Jawhari Dawan-Abdullah, stomach bug) and off the court issues (Gary Braham, suspension). But they saw all five of their regular starters reach double-figures, with senior point guard Rony Fernandez (26 points, four assists) leading the way. Senior forward Tyrik Jackson (12 points, 13 rebounds) came up big on the glass again, while Tyrese Hoxter (16 points, seven assists), Omar Orriols (13 points) and Iser Barnes (12) contributed some big shots from the perimeter to keep the defense stretched out.

But early on, the Crusaders (12-2) gave them fits with the methodical way they broke through the Townie's 2-3 zone with some of the most disciplined and precise ball movement they'd seen in a while. Junior point guard Colin Richey (23 points) funneled the offense down to the baseline, finding a player planted right in the heart of the zone and kicking to either the baseline or either wing.

Whitinsville shot nearly 40 percent from the field, getting good looks from the short side from Tyler VandenAkker (12 points, eight rebounds) and Jesse Dykstra. Grant Brown (10 points) came up with some big shots from the perimeter as well.

"We decided to extend a little bit more on the short corner, because they hit about four shots in a row from the short corner," Cardoso said. "We also decided to have the opposite guard extend even more on shooter No. 2 (Tim Dufficey). So we made some extensions in the second half, did a little better job -- not a great job, but it helped us get the victory."

To start the fourth quarter, Barnes completed a 6-0 run by ripping the ball out of his defender's hands at midcourt and landing a breakaway layup. A few possessions later, Hoxter found Jackson underneath the rim for an easy tip-in and 68-59 advantage.

Then with 1:37 to go, sophomore Taris Wilson hit the first of two monster breakaway slams, this one making it 76-63 to essentially put the game in hand.

On to MP Machine: The Townies get a rematch with Madison Park on Tuesday night, in their home gym, and the stipulations are pretty straightforward: winner locks up the final seed for the Boston City Championships at the end of the month. Brighton, New Mission and East Boston have all punched their ticket.

"The kids have been talking about a chance to do this Tuesday night," Cardoso said. "We're going to play hard and leave it all on the table. Hopefully these guys come out and execute the game plan, and have fun out there."

In their first meeting, on Jan. 19 at the Matadome, the Cardinals cruised to an 81-69 win that wasn't as close as the score might indicate. The Townies were without Fernandez and Orriols, and on the court they looked that less of a potent offense. Since that loss to Madison, the Townies have reeled off eight straight wins and jumped back into ESPN Boston's statewide poll (the Townies were the preseason No. 2 team in the land before plummeting out of the Top 25 altogether).

It goes without saying, the Townies are licking their chops.

"We're going in for the kill," Barnes said.

"We're focused," Hoxter added. "They're not going to come in here and punch us in the mouth. They're going to feel how we were feeling after that loss."

Hot from the field: The Townies outrebounded the Crusaders 16-7 in the final frame, giving way to many key transition points that helped ice the lead and the win. From the glass, WC still held a slim 35-33 advantage.

But down at the other end, the Townies had a terrific night from the field, shooting nearly 58 percent overall. That was aided by a 7-for-17 effort from three-point range, including three 3's each from Fernandez and Orriols.

Praise for Richey: Last season, New Mission head coach Cory McCarthy was throwing around high praise for the then-sophomore Richey, calling him "a suburban kid that plays urban".

Consider Cardoso another Boston City League coach that's a fan.

"He's tough," Cardoso said. "He's one of the toughest guards coming out of his league, and I think he's going give a lot of teams problems in the state tournament, because how do you stop a kid like that?"

Turning point? Following last season's loss to Charlestown in its home gym, WC coach Jeff Bajema greeted his players in the locker room and told them, "Guys, we can win states."

Sure enough, the Crusaders never lost another game the rest of the way, picking up their first Division 3 state title since 2005 at the DCU Center in Worcester. After that game, Bajema spoke to reporters about how much the whitewashing by Charlestown seasoned them for what to expect in the state tournament.

Given how much more competitive the Crusaders were this time around, could this be seen as another momentum shift?

"Hopefully, a game like this will lead us to better things," Bajema said. "But we've got a tough one Tuesday (against Holy Name), so we'll see."


Recap: Madison Park 81, No. 18 Charlestown 69

January, 20, 2012
1/20/12
12:35
AM ET



ROXBURY, Mass. -- Rushing back on the counterattack Madison Park's Dakim Murray grabbed the offensive rebound and quickly threw it up.

As the ball bounced off the rim, teammate David Stewart grabbed the second effort, missed, grappled the ball again and pitch it to teammate Rayshaw Matthews for the open jumper to go up 16 late in the second quarter.

It was the same issue all night for No. 18 Charlestown. It did not matter if the Cardinals missed, because the second chance was always there.

Dominating the Townies on the boards, host Madison Park trumped No. 18 Charlestown 81-69 to grab second place in Boston City North on Thursday.

“We grew up tonight,” said Madison Park coach Dennis Wilson. “I wanted to attack the inside, because they only really have one big men. If you looked at my (chalk) board, the three things I emphasized were defense, boxing out by putting bodies on people and taking care of the basketball.”

The Cardinals (10-1, 5-1) out rebounded the Townies 33 to 25 in total and 20 to 13 in the first half to pull away midway through the second quarter and never looked back. A layup by senior Iser Barnes and a trey by junior Tyrese Hoxter gave Charlestown (6-3, 4-2) its only lead of the night, a 19-18 margin at 6:11 in the second quarter.

Madison Park would immediately respond with nine straight points all from Murray, Matthews, and Stewart to edge up 27-20. The three attacked the boards all night for the Cardinals, with seniors Matthews and Murray both netting 17 points and junior Stewart tallying 14.

Murray and Stewart also each had seven rebounds.

“I am looking to see if the defense is crashing in on me then finding open teammates or taking my man off the dribble,” said Matthews. “After they put up every shot, you have to find a man and box them out.”

“Five to the boards is what coach preaches,” added Murray.

As the lead spread to 16, an effective half court press would prove to little to late for Charlestown. An open corner 3-pointer from senior Jawarhi Dawan Abdullah pushed the score to 52-40 late in the third.

However, Madison Park outscored its rivals for the remainder as Charlestown continued to struggle against the 1-3-1 trap.

Hoxter had 21 points for the Townies, while teammate senior Tyrik Jackson was a beast on the boards with 14 rebounds, 10 points and seven blocked shots. Charlestown had trouble getting second effort production from the remainder of its team who totaled 12 rebounds.

“We have been pressing all season and trying to create havoc,” said Charlestown coach Edson Cardoso. “Tyrik was grabbing rebounds, but the rest of the guys were not crashing or boxing out. Our weakness is rebounding.”

As was the case tonight, Charlestown will have to play the remainder of the season without starting guards Ronny Fernandez and Omar Orriols.With both teams previously dropping a loss to league leader East Boston (5-0, 7-2), the win was an important step in the battle for the conference's top regular season spot.

“I felt kind of strange sitting up in the stands (during the conference postseason) last year,” said Wilson. “You know I want to get back there. We still have a lot of basketball left.”


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