Boston High School: Shane Sims

Brockton edges Westie in OT in D1 South

March, 4, 2011
BOSTON -- It was only fitting that Thursday night’s first round tournament game between West Roxbury and Brockton would end in overtime. Neither team could mount any type of substantial run until Brockton executed on both ends of the floor in overtime and pulled away with the 76-72 victory.

“There were times when they looked like they were going to put us away and there were times when we looked like we were going to put them away,” Brockton head coach Bob Boen said. “Neither team gave in.”

Both teams struggled to find any offensive rhythm out of the gate. The game would go back and forth, with each team causing chaos in the full court leading to numerous turnovers, layups and fouls on the other end.

West Roxbury senior forward Jason Hall was everywhere early. Hall scored six points, grabbed four rebounds and blocked two shots in the opening quarter giving West Roxbury a, 18-15, lead.

Each time one team looked to get rolling the other team would steal back the momentum, leading to a 32-32 halftime draw.
Brockton (14-7) came out with some fire in the third as senior Shane Sims (13 points) slammed home an inbounds pass to bring the crowd to their feet. Brockton also went to an effective zone that shut down Westie’s slashing attack. Sims scored five points in the quarter and senior Carl Joseph (14 points) sank two huge three-pointers to give the Boxers a, 53-47, lead heading into the final quarter.

The Raiders (15-7) battled back in the fourth behind Hall (14 points) and freshman guard Damion Smith, who scored all nine of his points in the final quarter. Westie a 66-63, lead with under a minute remaining but Brockton junior Jamal Reuben came up with a the answer on a big hoop to cut the lead to one. With under 20 seconds remaining freshman point guard Jonathan Joseph got a steal at midcourt and passed it up ahead to Sims, who was fouled on the play. Sims would make one free throw and Brockton’s defense would hold to send the game into overtime.

In overtime Brockton’s Reuben, Sims and Alain Lenord all scored, as the Boxer defense held strong to pull out the victory.

“The seniors came through in overtime for us,” Boen said. “Shane Sims and Alain Lenord stepped up and the seniors made the difference in the game. We were here last year going to the South finals and a lot of these guys were important players for us.”

“We came into the game underdogs,” Sims said. “We wanted to prove everybody wrong that we were not the underdog team. Our seniors kept our heads and that helped us get the win today.”

Brockton will take on a familiar foe in the next round when they travel to New Bedford, on Saturday at 7 p.m., to take on the Whalers in the rubber match between the two Big 3 rivals.

Qualls-Betts' threes spark Cambridge over Brockton

February, 22, 2011

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- The quick release, 60-degree arc and sharp follow-through of Kyroe Qualls-Betts might as well be a hand-me-down. For years now, the Cambridge senior guard has sought out the guidance of his older brother, former Falcons great Nathan (a fine sniper himself), to the point where head coach Lance Dottin muses, "He came to us as a good shooter."

Qualls-Betts, the Falcons' 6-foot-1 marksman, was 5 for 9 from deep, part of a 17-point performance in a 60-44 stomping of Brockton (12-6) at the War Memorial Recreation Center last night.

"When he gets fired up, it feels good for the rest of us," said senior forward Deondre Starling, who had 16 points and nine boards. "We see him on the floor and we know he can shoot, and he had some pretty good shots for us today."

Said Qualls-Betts, "When we start nailing down three's, that opens up the post game, so it's easier to kick the ball inside to Jacquil (Taylor), easier for him to score."

And while nobody will question the momentum-shift Cambridge's 6-foot-9 super-sophomore center Jacquil Taylor can turn when he's loose out there -- against the Boxers, he quietly came close to a triple-double (11 points, 11 rebounds, eight blocks) -- expect Qualls-Betts to become that much more important a factor, as opposing defenses continue to try and pack it in with the type of zone looks that delivered Somerville a shocking upset over the then-No. 3 Falcons last week.

"I'd have liked him to hit even more," Dottin cracked about Qualls-Betts. "I mean, the guy was open, we've got to be able to find him. That's what he does, I mean when he's open he can really shoot the ball. He's got a very good stroke, and when he's open he's shooting with confidence, like tonight, which was nice to see.

"But that's not all he can do. Kyroe can move the ball when he needs to move the ball. He can put the ball on the floor when we want him to put the ball on the floor."

Up 25-19 at the half, the Falcons opened the third quarter on an 11-2 run led by Qualls-Betts, who first fed Taylor for a powerful two-handed slam in the post, with a laser of an entry pass from the top of the key. The next trip down, junior Maurice Taylor rebounded his own errant jumper and reversed the ball to the other side, where Qualls-Betts calmly sank his third trey of the night from the left wing to make it 33-21.

At the five-minute mark, Qualls-Betts struck deep from the left wing again, this time on a kick-out from Jacquil Taylor, to make it 36-21 before the Boxers immediately cut it to 36-27 with back-to-back treys of their own from Jamal Reuben and Shane Sims.

That was the Boxers' last punch, as Qualls-Betts came down the floor on the next possession with yet another three to make it a perfect 3 for 3 for the quarter, and give them a 12-point lead that never cut to single digits again.

Cambridge lead by as much as 19 in the second half before the reserves battled off the final few minutes of regulation.

Emotional win for No. 19 NB, history for Tarpey

February, 16, 2011

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. -- Out of frustation, Lance Burlingame delivered a stomp and kick to the basketball after getting called for a traveling violation along the baseline with three minutes to go and his New Bedford Whalers in a tie game with Big 3 rival Brockton. And out the 6-foot-5 senior went from the game, the ensuing technical foul his fifth call of the game.

"It was an emotional game, and emotions took over -- shouldn't have done that," Burlingame said softly. "I shoulda just calmed down and relaxed, taken a deep breath and thought about it."

And, given what has been a turbulent two weeks, and with no other domineering post presence quite like the bruising 260-pounder, maybe that should have spelled demise yet again. Or maybe not.

Cameron Walker turned in some of his grittiest defensive rotations of the season, Jonathan Fortes gave the Whalers the lead for good on free throws, and 5-foot-4 sophomore Rylin Collazo came up with a game-saving steal through a sprawling scrum in the waning seconds, as New Bedford escaped its own gym with a 59-56 win -- head coach Tom Tarpey's first win over the Boxers in his four years at the helm.

"It's been a tough two and a half weeks, it really has," Tarpey said. "We've all gotten tested mentally, but they came together. That's all a coach can ask for. They came together. This group has been together all summer long -- they play with each other, they know each other, they're all friends, this group we have together right now -- and it showed tonight. They stuck together."

Without directly saying it, Tarpey was alluding to an enduring past two weeks that started with an injury to starting junior guard Steve Wynn, continued with an emotional double-overtime loss to Marshfield, and climaxed last week with the reported arrest and jailing of superstar swingman Jules Tavares. Asked about the affect on the team, Burlingame said he feared for his friend.

"I wish the best for Jules, Jules is a close friend of mine," Burlingame said. "I hope he makes it through this situation, and comes back out on the right path, doing something positive with his life."

Yesterday, keeping with the snakebitten theme, Burlingame and Xavier Barros missed practice with the flu, and the Whalers (11-3) practiced with just eight bodies, most of them also battling some type of sickness.

Regardless, the dynamic completely changes for the Whalers herein, no longer relying on gifted athleticism but instead with brute force and precision. Burlingame, an ESPNBoston All-State selection in football, was glad to provide both in this back-and-forth contest, coming down with a double-double (12 points, 11 rebounds) in spite of foul trouble.

Meanwhile, Walker (15 points, six rebounds) and Fortes (18, nine) battled the full 32 minutes, providing key baskets down the stretch, while the pint-sized Collazo (nine points) carried the defensive swagger with his pressure on the ballcarrier.

"These guys dug in. Everyone counted us out when our team changed a little, but we fought back," Tarpey said. "Our man-to-man defense was tremendous tonight. I was planning on probably trying to play zone the whole game, but they started shooting three's so we had to come out of it...and Rylin Collazo got ball pressure on the point guard that, just, everybody fed off of it."

The Whalers took a slim 27-25 lead into the break, and took their largest lead of the night, 38-31, before the Boxers (12-5) battled back to tie it at 40-all headed into the final eight minutes. Shane Sims (12 points, seven rebounds) broke his man off the dribble and launched up an NBA-length, high-arching three that just beat the buzzer.

That led to a back-and-forth final stanza that saw the Whalers pull out all the necessary stops over the final, Burlingame-less 2:55 of regulation.

First, Fortes cut the lead to 56-55 with 1:52 left when he isolated his defender on the right wing, spun, dribbled to the baseline and sunk a 15-footer. He then followed up a minute later with two free throws to pull ahead by one.

Walker was next, scooping up the loose ball after freshman point guard Jonathan Joseph tried to save his errant three inbounds, drawing an immediate timeout from Tarpey with 33 seconds left.

Chaos nearly ensued as the Boxers, clearly looking to foul, couldn't get one, as an attempted half-court trap gave way to a series of loose ball battles all over the floor, before Collazo came up with the ball and, with the open court, laid it in as time expired.

"We set up a play (in the timeout), but I knew they were going to trap half-court," Tarpey said. "We just wanted to move the ball and then get it to Jonathan with about eight seconds left, let him go and try to make a decision."

Surprised with no call?

"Yeah, my coaches are yelling at me to call timeout, but I thought he got fouled so I didn't want to call one and bail them (the Boxers) out," Tarpey said. "And then when they dove on it, and the ball got loose, I said 'Oh boy'. But it worked out. This was an unbelievable win."

No. 22 English staves off No. 11 Brockton

January, 23, 2011

LYNN, Mass. -- Can we get much higher?

Junior Keandre Stanton dominated for Lynn English this afternoon living above the rim, scoring 21 points, grabbing 15 rebounds, blocking five shots and making two steals, leading the No. 22 Bulldogs in an upset over the No. 11 Brockton Boxers, 73-68.

“I’ll tell you this,” said Lynn English captain Travonne Berry-Rogers, who buried 29 points today. “You cannot get an easy shot off against Keandre. He’ll get a finger tip, finger nail, a whole hand [on your shot]. It’s hard going against him.”

A junior center, Stanton towers at 6-foot-6, but got a nod from Barton yesterday at practice not because of his height, but his hustle and heart.

“He’s been playing so good that at Saturday’s practice we named him a captain,” said Barton. “He’s been working hard at practice and in the games. He’s a captain for the rest of the year. He’s earned it.”

The teams traded leads at the end of the first and second quarters, Lynn English (10-1) up two then Brockton (7-3) swinging to a 40-37 halftime lead on the heels of junior Shane Sims (21 points). In the third, the Bulldogs outscored the Boxers 24-13, including a 9-2 run to finish the quarter led by Stanton. The forward scored eight points and pulled down seven boards in the quarter, while Berry-Rogers drained seven of his 29 points in the third. Berry-Rogers also had seven assists and three steals.

“(I told them) just to stay focused, and not to get carried away looking at the score,” said Barton during his team’s run. “One at a time.”

In the fourth, Brockton came back to within three at 69-66 with 1:25 left in the game, outscoring the Bulldogs 13-8 in quarter to that point.

“I think we decided to start playing and stopped worrying about all of the things we had worried about,” Brockton head coach Bob Boen said.

Brockton looked like they might stage a comeback, keeping Lynn English from scoring, but unable to produce any offense, the score remained the same until 11.8 seconds remained.

“We unfortunately sent their best shooter to the line at the end of the game,” Boen said of Berry-Rogers, who sank both shots in the 1-1 scenario, pulling ahead slightly at 71-66.

Sims was fouled down the other end of the court and sank both of his free throws with 6.6 seconds left to get back within three at 71-68, but on the following possession, Berry-Rogers was fouled again, and with the game on the line he sank both free throws in the one-and-one scenario, giving his team a five point lead.

“It took confidence,” said Berry-Rogers cooly. “And, uh, I got ice in my veins. You got to have the eye of the tiger. I practice almost 100 free throws everyday at practice, because especially in my home gym, I should be able to knock those down.”

Brockton failed to score on a last ditch effort, leaving the Lynn English faithful a reason to howl together.

“It’s all about defense, hard work and dedication,” said senior Corey McMillan, who had 10 rebounds, five steals, a block and six points. “It’s all about competing. Our coach wants us to be aggressive off of the glass because defense and rebounds wins games.”

“There’s a little rivalry there,” added Barton of the two teams, hinting there could be more to come down the road. “We could definitely see them [Brockton] in the tournament.”

No. 13 Brockton slips by No. 10 Mansfield

January, 5, 2011
MANSFIELD, Mass. -- Brockton pulled it off, barely.

With 2.5 seconds left in the game, Brockton junior forward Jamal Reuben pulled down a rebound off of a Mansfield missed free throw and sunk one of his own to secure the No. 13 Boxers’ second half lead, just squeaking by No. 10 Mansfield, 53-51.

“Jamal’s a very strong player,” said Brockton coach Robert Boen. “So I was very glad to see it come his way. I knew that once he got it that they weren’t going to get it away from him.”

Brockton (4-2) was up by eight points, 48-40, with 5:50 left in the game when Mansfield (3-2) coach Mike Vaughan called a timeout. Mansfield managed to close to gap to 49-46 at 2:33 after Mike Hershman (18 points) hit two free throws. The momentum seemed to be going in the Hornets’ favor after Reuben (six points, 8 rebounds) traveled with 2:30 left, but a Mansfield missed opportunity to score gave Brockton’s Jaylen Blakely (18 points, 10 rebounds) the break to plop in a floater at 1:50 to put the Boxers back up by 5 at 51-46.

Hershman, never one to sit on his laurels for long, came down the other end of the court and drained a three to bring the Hornets within two at 51-49. Blakeley was only able to sink one free throw after being fouled at the one minute mark, giving the Boxers a three point lead and the ball.

Scoring ceased until 20.4 seconds remained and Mansfield senior captain Michael Lofton, Jr. (14 points, 10 rebounds) sunk two free throws to close the gap to one.

Blakely missed two free throws at 16.3 seconds left, and Mansfield got the ball back with the chance to take the lead with a score, but a pass went through the hands of a waiting player in the right hand corner, giving Brockton the ball back. Shane Sims was fouled with 7.7 seconds left, but missed both free throws. He admitted that he did not have a great game, and said it was partly due to Mansfield’s sixth man.

“The crowd got to me,” said Sims, who ended up with 14 points and 10 rebounds. “I felt like they were right in my ear when I was at the free throw line,” commenting on his 1 for 6 from the line performance.

“Shane was 9 out of 10 two games ago,” said Boen. “Everyone we missed was like, ‘When is the nightmare going to end?’”

Lofton was able to get the rebound off of the miss. Senior Leonard Richardson got the ball and was driving towards the basket but was stopped when a Brockton defender fouled him with 2.5 seconds left.

One for the tie, two to pull ahead.

Neither fell.

“No matter how many times you tell them in practice,” said Vaughan, “‘You could be the one at the line with the game on the line’, they’re kids, and they don’t take it serious until they’re at that line. I can tell you that tomorrow, during free throws, the drill will be a lot quieter and more focused.”