BROCKTON, Mass. -- Early in the second half of Brockton’s decisive conference victory over New Bedford, Boxers forward Garrison Duvivier erased a layup attempt by Whalers superstar Tyree Weston.
Brockton (10-1) changed ends in a heartbeat, as Duvivier got the ball ahead to fellow senior Amare Appleberry for an uncontested flush that put the finishing touches on an 8-2 run.
Thanks to the efforts of Weston, who scored all 18 of his points in the first half of this contest, New Bedford (3-5) kept things close early, but the Boxers’ athleticism was on full display as they pulled away in the third quarter.
“We’re very good leapers, so we like to get on the offensive glass, control the boards, and cause turnovers,” said Brockton head coach Bob Boen. “When we get the ball, we’re off and running, and that’s where we like to be offensively.”
Seemingly invigorated by his emphatic dunk, Appleberry helped the Boxers expand their lead with a couple of flashy assists and a steal that led to a layup. The 6-foot-2 senior poured in 16 points, one of five Boxers to score at least eight points in this contest.
The home team put on an offensive clinic in the second half, but Brockton’s coach said that’s typical of a squad that had five different leading scorers in their first five games this season.
Boen said, “We have a lot of people that can score the ball, so sharing should come naturally. We’ve done a pretty good job of that all season, and tonight was one of our better performances.”
Defending Weston: Senior guard Tyree Weston hit 7 of his 8 field goal attempts, including all four shots from long range, as he kept the Whalers within striking distance during the first half.
Coming out of the break up 37-32, the Boxers made containing him a top priority.
“He’s a very good scorer, and he made a lot of tough shots in the first half,” said Boen. “We weren’t working as hard as we should’ve been on him, so we were able to switch two or three people on to him and slow him down.”
The Boxers have allowed an opposing player to score at least 30 points on three different occasions this year, and Boen said he didn’t want that to happen yet again: “We underestimate players at times, but we’re a very good defensive team when we’re intense, and paying attention.”
Too Much Length: For New Bedford, the extra attention on Weston provided the opportunity for other players to step up, and senior forward Quincy Pope did his best to keep the Whalers in the game.
Yet the visitors managed to shoot just 1 of 14 from downtown in the second half, as they seemed to be slightly affected by the length and athleticism of Brockton.
“[Weston] carried the load. He put the team on his back for most of the game, and they kind of wore him down,” admitted Whalers head coach Bonzie Colson.
He continued, “In the second half they were closing out on him more, and he did a good job of kicking it out to guys that were open, but we missed a couple of shots that we should’ve hit despite their length. They came back and hit some threes on the other end, and we were fighting uphill the rest of the way.”
Garrison Duvivier led Brockton with four blocked shots, while center Aaron Monteiro pulled down five of the Boxers 19 offensive rebounds. With several explosive athletes such as Bryan Henry, Ariff McLaren, and Isaiah Laurent that are all 6-foot-3 or taller coming off the bench, it’s tough for any team to match up with Brockton.
Still, Colson felt that his players could have kept the game close if they were more disciplined defensively.
“We got enough shots, but we didn’t get enough stops. It’s not really important how we played on the offensive end. We can’t give up the amount of points we gave up tonight and be a team that wins consistently,” said Colson.
As the Whalers found out first hand, good defense is often the best offense.
Brockton 80, New Bedford 57
BR 17 20 21 22 --- 80
NB 13 19 12 13 --- 57
Brockton – Amare Appleberry (16 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists)
Brockton – Jonathan Duvivier (18 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists)
Brockton – Garrison Duvivier (8 points, 6 rebounds, 4 blocks)
New Bedford – Tyree Weston (18 points, 5 steals)
New Bedford – Quincy Pope (12 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists)
New Bedford – Eli Conde (6 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, 2 blocks)