Boston High School: Matt Ehrlich

Recap: No. 19 Mansfield 69, No. 7 Brockton 61

January, 25, 2015
Jan 25
MANSFIELD, Mass. -- For those keeping track at home, the scorecard now reads:

Mansfield forward Michael Boen -- 3
Brockton head coach Bob Boen -- 1

For the third straight year, Michael and his Hornets (11-2) were able to take down uncle Bob and his Brockton Boxers, this time Mansfield coming away with a 69-61 win. Coach Boen’s only win over Michael came in 2012, when Michael was a freshman.

Mansfield (12-2) jumped out to a 14-0 lead but had to hang on as the Boxers fought to within one point with three minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.

Brockton’s Amare Appleberry (12 points, 13 rebounds) converted at the rim off an assist from Garrison Duvivier to cut Mansfield’s lead to 59-58.

That’s where Michael came in to finish the game. The 6-foot-4 senior scored six of Mansfield’s final 10 points, including a back-breaking three-point play with just under a minute to play that made it 66-58 in favor of Mansfield.

Despite never trailing, it was anything but a sure thing for the Hornets.

“There was a lot of doubt,” Mansfield head coach Mike Vaughan said. “But it was good to get out of here with a win. We needed to get a win against that type of team after the Brighton loss. We jumped on them early, sustained it and I wouldn’t say never look back, but we never were down.”

Michael finished with a game-high 23 points and 10 boards to finish the regular season series against his uncle 3-1. The teams have a chance of meeting in the MIAA D1 South playoffs. Ryan Boulter added 19 points and seven rebounds in the win for the Hornets.

“We did everything we could to stop them,” Bob Boen said. “We had two guys chase them all over rand everyone else keep an eye on them to help out. They’re a good solid pair and they both do great things. Coach Vaughan runs a very nice offense and they make a lot of nice back cuts. They don’t just stand there when they’re not open, they keep working to get open.”

All season, the Hornets have tried to establish players around their big two of Boulter and Boen. On Sunday, it was sophomore Sam Goldberg’s turn. Goldberg scored half of his 12 points and grabbed half of his eight rebounds in the final quarter and was on the end of a Brockton charge in the fourth quarter that kept the momentum with Mansfield.

“They’re always very good at that,” Bob Boen said of Mansfield’s ability to take chargers. “They’re good at getting in position and taking the charge. We need to make one or two more passes before we take it to the basket.

“It seemed like anytime we cut it to one, even the third quarter we cut it to four, something would go wrong, we’d make a mistake. I thought we were in a hurry to get ahead. We never sat down on defense and just stopped them three or four times in a row.”

For Mansfield, Vaughan admitted it was more of a focal point to try to pack the defense in and draw the charges, which worked as the Hornets drew nearly a half a dozen.

“The whole thing was to try and pack it in and make them take contested shots and I thought we did a pretty good job of doing that,” Vaughan said.

Even more, Goldberg was the one who created Mansfield’s separation at first when the Boxers cut it to one. With 2:25 left, Goldberg decided to take the ball to the basket himself for a key layup that made it 61-58.

“I thought Sam Goldberg played tremendous on both sides,” Vaughan said. “He had a huge basket [in the fourth]. If he can continue to get back, Matt Ehrlich is continuing to get better and if we can get a little more out of Nick [Baskin], this team is improving each week. We needed a win like this to put us back in the conversation of being a quality team.”

Mansfield had a 22-10 lead after one quarter but were outscored 37-32 over the middle quarters. The Hornets were able to edge the Boxers 15-14 in the final quarter.

The Hornets are schedule to be back in action on Tuesday with a trip to Stoughton. Brockton will look to bounce back from just its second loss when they host Big 3 rival Durfee on Friday.

MEDFORD, Mass. –- Mansfield senior guard Rocky DeAndrade had been struggling to find his shot for most of the first three quarters of the Hornets’ battle with Cardinal Spellman, in the third annual Shooting Touch Shootout. But when it came around, it put the feisty Cardinals away for good.

DeAndrade, who was 1-for-9 from the field headed into the fourth, orchestrated a 10-3 run to start the frame, giving the Hornets a double-digit cushion over Spellman (4-2) that they would not relinquish over the final five minutes. The Hornets won, 60-47, to sweep both of their Shooting Touch contests this weekend at Tufts University’s Cousens Gymnasium.

“He’s one of those kids, he just keeps coming at you,” Mansfield (3-0) head coach Mike Vaughan said of DeAndrade. “He’s not forcing it, he’s not turning the ball over a lot, [and] he’s not giving up baskets out of turnovers if he does. He’s playing really solid basketball right now, I’m very happy with him.”

Holding a 40-37 lead to start the fourth, Mansfield freshman Matt Ehrlich knocked down a three-pointer to make it a six-point lead, only to watch Stonehill-bound Spellman point guard Ryan Roach (12 points) fire back immediately with a trey of his own.

That’s when DeAndrade got going.

With a 43-40 lead, DeAndrade came down the lane in transition with a hesitation move on a Spellman defender, then floated the ball over him. Two trips later, DeAndrade gathered behind the arc along the left wing, then reset and dribbled to the elbow for a 15-footer.

The next trip down, DeAndrade made it 50-40 with a nifty sequence of events, grabbing a loose ball rolling along the floor in his own end, pushing the ball up in transition, then driving and kicking out to junior Ryan Boulter (24 points, 11 rebounds) at the left wing for an open three.

A few moments later, Boulter took a handoff from DeAndrade and swung to the right corner, beating the shot clock buzzer with a high-arching three that made it 54-43 with four minutes to go.

“We knew we had to pull away, so we had to find the best way possible,” DeAndrade said. “Ryan’s three was huge, and Matt [Ehrlich] had some huge rebounds for us.”

Something they thought they could take advantage of in the second half?

“We started to cut, and then we came back to the middle to cut and find the ball,” DeAndrade said. “In the first half, we were just cutting to cut, and then we missed a lot of guys on open looks. “Second half, we focused on cutting with a purpose.”

Rory Donovan led Spellman with 14 points and six rebounds, while Joey Crane added 13 points and 11 rebounds.

Rocky vs. Roach: One of the most anticipated individual matchups was between the two points guards, DeAndrade and Roach. DeAndrade was a catalyst for the Hornets’ run to the Division 1 State Championship last season, and returns as one of the state’s top point guards on a squad that is once again a D1 favorite. Roach, meanwhile, signed with Division 2 Stonehill College during the early signing period last month, and leads a Spellman squad that is among the favorites in D3 across the state.

DeAndrade had just five points, but it was his distribution that keyed the Hornets, finishing with six assists. Roach had 12 points, but was 5-for-12 from the field.

“He’s shifty, he’s quick,” DeAndrade said of Roach. “He can handle, he can score. It was tough guarding him as a player.”

No posts? No problem: Much has been made of the fact Mansfield is without three of its starters –- forwards Brendan Hill (knee) and Kevin Conner (hip), and guard Mike Hershman (sports hernia) –- as they begin their Division 1 Eastern Mass title defense. They’ll likely be snakebitten for most of the season’s first half, as the 6-foot-5 Hill –- a junior, and the reigning Hockomock League MVP -– could be out another month as he rehabs from the knee injury suffered late in football season.

With all that considered, it’s fair to question how well the Hornets would rebound in their absence. But not only have Boulter and Michael Boen slid into the forward positions seamlessly, they’ve thrived in it. They have out-rebounded opponents in all three of their games so far; tonight, the Hornets out-rebounded Spellman 38-24, including an 11-2 mark in the fourth.

“Coming into the season if you had asked me my biggest concern about this team, knowing what we’re missing, I would have said rebounding. And ironically, I don’t think we’ve had an opponent out-rebound us yet,” Vaughan said. “To me, that’s a good sign, primarily because of Boulter and Boen. Boulter has had double-digit rebounds every game. He’s going after the ball, he’s diving to the floor, keeping balls alive.

“We’re doing a good job of team rebounding, too…I think they’ve made a commitment, knowing that that was going to be a weakness going forward that we were going to have to overcome.”

Said Boulter, “Coach [Vaughan] told us over the summer, and during the preseason, that we were going to have to step it up, because Brendan and Kevin were hurt. But we just follow their roles and play great basketball.”