Boston High School: Terrell Matthews

Recap: No. 3 New Mission 69, Madison Park 64

January, 12, 2013
ROXBURY, Mass. -- Shaquan Murray is a serviceable defender, a quality athlete, but above all else he is a shooter. So as he mired through a lethargic shooting slump in the first half of a gritty game against rival Madison Park, in the notoriously-unfriendly Madidome, the New Mission junior guard did what many a shooter will do -- he kept shooting.

In need of some spark after some dizzyingly sub-par shot selection through the first 26 minutes, New Mission rode a wave of momentum with back-to-back three-pointers from Murray that knotted the game at 57-57 with less than three minutes to go.

The Titans took the lead for good on a Juwan Gooding three with 1:39 to go, and escaped the Cardinals’ gym with a 69-64 win to remain in first place in the Boston City League’s top tier (6-3, 4-1). With the loss, the MP Machine fell to a surprising 1-5 in the league.

"I know that kid was going to come up big for us," Mission head coach Cory McCarthy said. "That kid, man, he's still learning the game, but he's going to be special. He's going to be special. No matter what, he always lets the game come to him. The game will always find him. He's a good kid, man, good kid."

Murray finished with 15 points, second-most on the team. But prior to his two big fourth-quarter buckets, he was just 4-for-11 from the field.

"You’ve got to keep shooting," Murray said. "When I was struggling, my coach was telling me to go to the basket and be aggressive, and that’s what I was doing. Then when it opened up for me to shoot, I knocked them down when they counted. I kept shooting."

A few minutes later, the sophomore Gooding (17 points, five assists, five rebounds) gave the Titans the lead for good, getting a wide-open look along the left wing directly off an inbounds pass from under the baseline.

Give due credit to Gooding and his feathery, high-arching stroke from deep. But the look was made possible thanks to a heads-up maneuver from junior center Fred “Bam” Rivers (seven points, seven rebounds). Seeing Gooding with plenty of space around the three-point line, Rivers found the MP body closest to the Gooding -- in this instance, near the intersecting corner of the volleyball lines -- and flashed a quick screen.

"Fred was so smart," Mission head coach Cory McCarthy said. "He came off his guy, and just banged the guy. It was a little bit of a flare. That wasn’t the play, but Bam is so smart."

From there, 6-foot-7 senior forward Nate Anderson came up with two big steals to help seal the win. First, he snatched an outlet pass near the scorer's table, and called a timeout. Of the timeout, Gooding fumbled away the inbounds pass. At the other end, however, Anderson sagged deep into the lane and ripped the ball out of a Cardinal player's hands, with under a minute to go.

Gooding was tasked with free throws, and he did his job to seal the win. In the fourth quarter, Gooding was 6-of-8 from the charity stripe.

"Nate's a defensive presence, and he shuts down an entire side," McCarthy said of Anderson. "And I'm very serious. He may not score a ton of points, he'll grab some boards and get you some blocks, but man, there's no stat for how valuable he is this year."

Seniors Isshiah Coleman and Brian Jones were the only other Titans in double-figures, with 10 points each -- in Coleman's case, despite foul trouble for most of the evening.

The last three minutes were quite a turnaround from the way things had started off. The Titans shot 38 percent from the field (12-of-31) in the first half, and through three quarters were just 35 percent. That included a 1-for-18 margin from three-point range.

"Our shot selection was so poor for 29 minutes of this game," McCarthy said. "[The last three minutes] We decided to play New Mission basketball. It's hard when Nate [Anderson] is in foul trouble. Nate can't be in foul trouble, bottom line. He's the key to our defense, and he and Isshiah [Coleman] had three fouls each in the first half."

Senior forward David Stewart turned in a monster game for the Cardinals, leading them with 17 points and 16 rebounds, while junior guard Terrell Matthews added 16 in the loss.

"He played his butt off," MP head coach Dennis Wilson said of Stewart. "He played like a warrior, like the guy I know he is, and has been for me for four years. [He's a] relentless rebounder."

Accusations of 'classless' play: Wilson was none too happy following the loss, going so far as accusing the Titans of using low-brow tactics to gain an edge. Wilson's inclination stemmed primarily from an episode during a free throw attempt in the second half, when a Mission player stood next to a Cardinals player as he spoke with Wilson, and refused to move away when asked.

Wilson was not pleased the with this, and had some choice words for the player; at one point, one of Wilson's assistants stepped between the two.

At another point in the game, the same player fell to the floor after being pushed by a player, but in a manner close enough to possibly be perceived as embellishment. After the buzzer sounded to end the first half, an MP player was given a technical foul for retaliating to some extracurricular play; Percio Gomez hit both free throws to cut MP's halftime lead to 32-30.

"Nothing's wrong with a physical game and being aggressive," Wilson said. "But when you show no class, when you're doing bush league things, when you're going outside the lines, when players are disrespecting the opposing coach, that's not what this is all about. That's not what basketball competing is all about. They need to have more class, they need to understand what real sports is all about -- sportsmanship, compete, battle.

"But the classless stuff, and the disrespect -- players disrespecting the coach, flopping, them trying to start trouble and bait players -- that stuff is sickening to me."

Told later in the evening by phone of Wilson's words, McCarthy reiterated what officials had said -- that what his player in question was doing was within the rules.

"If a player is on the court during a live ball, he can stand anywhere he wants. It’s not to offend the other team, its just he’s staying on his man," McCarthy said. "It’s not like he [Wilson] was calling out plays and we were stealing plays. You're not going to find anybody outside the city that is going to say this is a classless program. Only people in the Boston City League feel a certain way about New Mission, because they feel we haven’t paid any dues.

"As far as the ruling, the referee came over and explained to coach that my player being there is 100 percent legal. Anyone that knows me knows I don’t tolerate my kids doing the extracurricular. If I thought it was wrong, I would have had him move, but the court belongs to the players, not the coaches. And after the game, all his players hugged my players."

Recap: No. 14 Brighton 67, Madison Park 57

January, 8, 2013

BOSTON -- Daivon Edwards took one step towards the front of the three-point line, motioned a shot crisply through the net and smirked over his shoulder at the Bengals supporters. Within seconds the senior nailed another trey along the sidelines to give Brighton its first double-digit lead midway through the final quarter.

It was all too easy for the senior guard and his junior teammate Nick Simpson in the fourth quarter, as the pair totaled five 3-pointers, and 22 of the Bengals' final 24 points, at the Madidome last night.

Combining for 30 points from behind the arc, the Bengals' hot shooters led No. 14 Brighton (4-3, 2-1) to a 69-57 win over host Madison Park (1-4, 0-2) in the teams' first battle as members of the Boston City League's newly-aligned North division.

“It was all about the guards,” said Simpson. “They penetrated and kicked to me, I made shots, and we just worked the ball around as a team.”

Added Edwards, “The last two games I (have) showed up and it feels good for me."

Simpson, a 6-foot-4 forward, scored 28 points -- including six 3-pointers -- and grabbed four rebounds, while Edwards tallied 20 points (four treys) and five rebounds.

Planted on the outer corner of the endline, Simpson buried a pair of three's early in the fourth to prompt a nine-point winning run which left the reigning Division 2 North champs up 54-46 after four minutes. Despite dropping a jumper to MP junior Johnny Bowden, Edwards sandwich a Cardinals' layup with his final two trifectas for a 60-50 advantage with 2:50 left.

“We like to teach the guys (to) take what the defense gives you and it was open,” said Brighton coach Hugh Coleman of his team's deep shot. “If we can get the ball inside and get some layups, the defense will collapse which will open up the wings more.”

A three-point jumper by Cardinals' junior Terrell Matthews cut the margin to 62-54 with two minutes remaining, but Simpson pushed the MP Machine down by double-digits for good with another three just a few seconds later.

Madison Park jumped ahead early in the game by scoring the first nine points, including five from senior David Stewart (13 points, 10 rebounds). A give-and-go jumper assisted by Matthews to junior Jaylen Bell put the Cardinals ahead 9-0 at 4:38 in the first quarter.

“We came out with a lot of energy and confidence,” said MP coach Dennis Wilson. “Malik (James), who is the engine that runs their machine, made some nice passes and shots (to) get the key people involved. It became just a dog fight.”

Trailing 16-3 at 2:30 in the first quarter the Bengals speed up the pace and forced turnovers to score eight straight points and cut the margin to 16-11 a minute and a half later. Simpson scrambled to the back-corner on a counter to nail his first of two falling-over three-points, while junior Malik James followed the effort up with a jumper along the foul line for Brighton's first lead, 20-19 at 6:40 in the second quarter.

“(Madison Park) did a great job of getting the ball inside and getting layups,” said Coleman. “We got to a slow start in terms of hitting (our) shots and turning the ball over. We just tried to tell the guys to be patient.”

After being tied 30-30 at half, the teams traded leads four times and end the third quarter with MP up a slim 46-45. Free throws hurt MP, which was 11-of-24 from the foul line.

The Emperor and His Chess: Wilson threw out a wide variety of defensive fronts in hopes of keeping the Bengals from reaching a rhythm. His zone attacks included a 1-2-2, an extended 2-3, a 1-3-1, and a diamond-and-one with the focus on James (11 points) at the guard position.

“You have to change the pace, (because) it is a chess game,” said Wilson. “I got a young team (and) I lost four starters from last year. You have to close out (on jumps shots) and make them put the ball on the floor.”

MP has only three seniors from last years' Div 1 South finalist squad.

Recap: No. 19 Eastie 61, Madison Park 59

January, 6, 2012
ROXBURY, Mass. -- Sometimes, it’s better to look at the scoreboard than the state sheet.

That is something that East Boston boys basketball coach Malcolm Smith will have to remind himself after Thursday night’s 61-59 win over Madison Park. The stats did not paint a pretty picture for the visiting Jets. They made just 2-of-25 free throws in the second half (yes, you read that right). Madison Park out-rebounded the Jets by a 45-27 margin.

However, Eastie forced Madison into 32 turnovers –- including 20 in the first half –- and the Cardinals (6-1) could not capitalize on the Jets’ inability to put the game away late.

“I’ll take any win,” said Smith, whose team improves to 5-2. “As I told everybody before, we’re just not that really good. We just play with a lot of emotion and we play very hard.”

And they play suffocating defense at times, which Eastie them build a 40-27 halftime lead. Led by Dakim Murray (18 points, 16 rebounds) and Rayshaw Matthews (19 points), Madison began to chip away in the third quarter, twice getting within four points. But baskets by Eastie's Kyle Fox and Kenny Ramos pushed the advantage up to 51-41 heading into the final stanza.

A drive into the lane and finish from Madison's David Stewart (seven points, 12 rebounds) cut the deficit to 53-48, before a put-back from Ramos and layup by Pat Santos off another Madison turnover made it 59-49 with just 2:10 to play.

The game was not close to being over, though, as the Cardinals -- led by Murray and Matthews -- went on an 8-1 run to make it 60-57 with 50 seconds left.

Eastie continued to miss free throws, and Terell Matthews of Madison made a pair with 21 seconds left to make it 61-59.

But despite the Jets missing four more freebies in the final 17 seconds, the Cardinals could not get any quality looks in the final moments and Eastie escaped with the win.

It's in the Books: The first quarter took about as long as most halves because of problems with the scoring books. First, East Boston was hit with a technical foul because Algeno Jean went to the free throw line but was apparently not in the Madison Park book. That ordeal lasted maybe 10 minutes.

Shortly after, the game was stopped again because of an inaccuracy over the score. While East Boston was up, 15-10, the Madison Park scorekeeper had it at just 12-10. The delay caused some frustration and confusion all over the gym, but was eventually sorted out.

The Eastie Swarm: The East Boston halfcourt press made life miserable for Madison Park in the first half and it proved to be one of the keys to victory. One reason why the Jets can play with such a ramped-up intensity level is their depth. While East Boston does not have a ton of size, the Jets do have a seemingly endless well of aggressive guards to bring off the bench and act as pests to opposing ballhandlers.

On Thursday night, the player who stood out the most for his effort was senior Travon Moore. Despite coming off the bench, Moore led Eastie with 12 points, and his hustle set the tone when other facets of Eastie’s game were not up to par.

Cards Control the Crease: Although Madison played inconsistent, especially against Eastie’s pressure in the first half, part of that had to do with the Cardinals missing starters O’Shea Joy (asthma) and Dane Lawladownie (ankle).

However, the Cardinals can take solace in the fact that they had a very strong effort in the paint. Murray is 6-foot-4 and burly enough to push his way into position, while Stewart is an athletic presence at 6-3 who can go up and snatch rebounds away from taller players. If the Cardinals can get healthy and take better care of the ball, they will be a tough out in the city.

“We only have ourselves to blame,” said Madison Park coach Dennis Wilson. “We missed too many foul shots and made too many turnovers. But that’s what happens with a young team.”