Boston High School: Will March

D1 North: Everett 77, East Boston 55

February, 26, 2013

EVERETT, Mass. -– Everett's transition offense created a slippery slope for East Boston tonight.

The host No. 7 seed Crimson Tide (15-6) created turnovers in both teams' territories, then consistently beat the Jets down the court to score 21 straight points between the second and third quarters. Trumping No. 10 Eastie (12-8) 77-55, Everett advances to the Division 1 North quarterfinals to play No. 2 seed Lowell (18-3) on Friday.

“The transition game is stuff we live and die by,” said Everett coach John DiBiaso. “We do different drills (with) trapping, converting from offense to defense, (and) looking out for each other. We play at that intensity because we practice at that intensity.”

Senior Tyree Gregory lead Everett with 22 points, while teammate sophomore Gary Clark netted 14 points and grappled five rebounds.

After hitting a layup right before halftime, Gregory finished a wide crossover dribble to lose his defender then hit a deep two-point jumper seconds into the third quarter to start the run at 42-28. Seconds after assisting Clark off a steal, senior Gilly DeSouza converted two steals and a rebound into six points including a one-handed dunk by Gregory for a 51-28 lead with 5:20 left in the quarter.

Everett's standard "Diamond Trap" full-court press aided all three of DeSouza's steals.

“I practice dunking all the time so it is just adrenaline,” said Gregory. “We practice D'ing on the press then running the ball to attack. We put the pressure on them and the offense just came like that.”

Gregory finished a powerful one-handed layup through a foul from a defender then senior Jordan Seldon hit junior Timmance McKinney for a counter attack dunk and the 59-28 advantage at 3:38 in the third.

Jets senior Stanley Harris forced a point off free throws to cut the run 12 seconds later.

“A lot of those points came off turnovers,” East Boston coach Shawn Brown. “You spend a lot of time going over (the press), but there is a difference when you are in the game. When we got in a half court set, we ran good sets”

The Jets trailed since the first basket at 7:03 in the first quarter, but got as close as 25-24 at 3:27 in the second quarter. Seven straight points started with a quick layup off the throw in by sophomore Raekwon Cole and finished on a boxed out layin by senior Will March to cut the score within one.

Thirteen consecutive points including two three-point jumpers by Gregory put the Crimson Tide ahead for good with a 38-24 lead and 1:28 left in the first half.

“We were aggressive, we came out with intensity (and) we kind of physically wore them down a little bit there,” said DiBiaso “We rotate 11 guys so it gives us a lot of options.”

“We always want to go into the locker room at half time with at least a double-digit lead,” added Gregory.

Everett had a 12 man bench, while East Boston only had a five subs.

Much Different Matchup: A lot has changed for the two teams since East Boston won 49-48 in Everett last month.

Eastie entered today with five former JV players and without leading scorers Pat Santos, Kenny Ramos (both seniors) and sophomore Rasheed Bell. Santos did not dress, but was a strong verbal leader throughout from the bench.

“Gets me excited about next year,” said Brown. “We have young guys not used to pressure. You get in a game situation it is different.”

Sophomore Dion Knight lead Eastie with 17 points.

Recap: No. 12 Mission 64, No. 21 Eastie 52

February, 6, 2013
EAST BOSTON, Mass. -- It was just the type of game No. 12 New Mission needed to get its season back in the right direction.

Coming off a final-quarter loss to Brighton last week, Mission went into No. 21 East Boston and beat the Jets 64-52 in a back-and-forth, grind-it-out Boston City League matchup.

“With high school kids, you can’t dwell on the negative,” said Mission (11-5) coach Cory McCarthy. “I was positive with the kids (after Brighton), positive at practice. They had their own team meeting where they said, ‘We’re not going to drop another one like that.’ They came out here and competed tonight. I challenged them to come out and show me heart, and they showed me a little something.”

Mission controlled the first half, going up as much as 14 points with two minutes to go in the second quarter. It took a 36-27 lead into the break. Then, in typical City League fashion, Eastie (10-6) came storming out of the gates in the third quarter, going on a 10-0 run over the first three minutes to take its first lead of the game. Right when one thought the game could go one way, it went in the complete other direction.

From then on, it was a fight to the finish. The lead changed eight times before Mission finally pulled away in the last four minutes. The Titans outscored Eastie 18-7 in the final quarter.

So what was the difference between the two quarters, where it seemed like two entirely different Mission teams?

“At that point in time (in the third), we didn’t want to score,” said Mission forward Chima Ebele (11 points, six rebounds). “I kept telling Fred Rivers and Shaquan Murray that together, they had to score. If people don’t want to score, they have to score in the post or if they got a one-on-one mismatch, just take them.”

In sharp contrast to what happened a week earlier, Mission closed out the game in convincing fashion. The Titans rebounded, defended, hit free throws, and displayed the killer instinct needed to win on the road.

“In that team meeting, we just said that in games we’re up and we think we have the game, just keep pushing, talk more on defense, rebound better, and just communicate better as a team,” said Sam Freeman. “Everything as a team, just do it better as a whole.”

With the win, Mission put another game between itself and Eastie in the City League North standings. As the season winds down to the final weeks, both teams showed Wednesday that neither will go away quietly, even if they have to scratch and claw their way to victory.

Marching orders: Will March was an absolute force for Eastie Wednesday. The senior finished with 20 points and 12 rebounds, all of which came in the paint. While the rest of his team is undersized compared to the New Mission squad, March still asserted himself and made life difficult for the opposing defense.

“It’s kinda tough (going up against March),” said Mission forward Sam Freeman. “We were able to handle it. We wanted to basically front him and depend on the help in the back or just play good defense with hands up, simple stuff like that to not let him be able to get an easy look at the basket.”

If there was an Achilles heel to his game Wednesday, it was his free throw shooting. When he was sent to the line, he was only 2-of-7. The rest of the Eastie team was a combined 4-of-12.

“He usually gets hit points off of rebounds, so I knew what to do (against him),” said Ebele. “I’ve played with Will before, so I know how he plays.”

Coleman leaves with injury: Midway through the second quarter, the New Mission bench held its collective breath as Isshiah Coleman hit the floor holding his ankle screaming in pain. He went up for a defensive rebound and came down awkwardly. He was helped to the sidelines where he remained for the rest of the first half with his foot elevated.

After halftime, he remained in the New Mission locker room. Eventually, he was wheeled out on a stretcher and taken to a local hospital. The official extent of his injury is not known.

“It looks really bad,” said McCarthy. “I hope it’s not as bad as it looked or as bad as how he felt. He left on a stretcher. We hope he’s in good health and not because of basketball reasons. I know how passionate he is, but more so because he’s a huge part of our team.”

Before the injury, Coleman was putting on a stellar defensive performance. Through a quarter and a half, he pulled down five rebounds and had four blocks. His presence in the middle was making life difficult for the Eastie guards when they drove to the basket.

In his absence, Freeman (12 points, six rebounds) and Fred "Bam" Rivers (six points) had to play extended minutes in the post to help the team.

“I had to step up for him,” said Freeman. “I remember one play in the game where we had the defense, but we knew he was a shot blocker, and I didn’t box out a guy. I didn’t get the rebound and I blocked the opponent and I just kept thinking ,”Isshiah would block this,” or “He would get the rebound.” I basically just had to step up and help the team get the win.”

Recap: No. 13 Eastie 70, Madison Park 63

January, 29, 2013
EAST BOSTON, Mass. -- Pat Santos' magic was a little more subtle this time around, but the effect was all same.

The senior, whose nationally televised buzzer beater propelled East Boston to a 43-42 victory in its previous matchup with Madison Park, scored 10 points and assisted three in the third quarter to complete a 17-point comeback for the Jets.

Aided by fellow senior Will March, Santos and the host No. 13 Jets (9-4, 2-3) overcame Madison Park (4-7, 1-4) in the third quarter for a 70-63 win and a season sweep of its Boston City League A Division rival.

“We won by more and (it) did not have to come down to the last shot,” said Santos. “We are good at the transition so we just had to play good defense and make them turn the ball over. Trap and bring the other guy to help”

East Boston outscored MP 18-10 in the third to grab its first lead since the opening 22 seconds.

After completing an alley-oop off a throw in to March, Santos (16 points) stole a Cardinals pass near half court and finished the counter layup for knot it at 51-51 at 1:50. A shot-clock beating floater and an old-fashion three by the guard edged the Jets ahead 56-51 a minute later.

“I am just the help side so I see the ball,” said Santos. “Once the ball goes I am moving with (it).”

“We talked about taking care of the ball, rebounding and boxing out,” added East Boston coach Shawn Brown.

March, a 6-foot-3 forward, scored the Jets' first eight points of the third and tallied 12 total in the quarter to prompt the comeback. The forward finished a 45-32 lay-in off a steal and assist from Santos to start his tear then finished another assist in the paint from Santos for the 47-38 edge at 4:40.

“(Stewart) kicked his butt in the first half,” said Brown. “Right now he is taking your lunch money so what are you going to do about it. The second half he came out and he performed.”

Madison Park had previously gone on a 13-2 run midway through the second quarter to grab a game-high 37-20 lead at 3:35. Senior David Stewart bodied a defender and tallied a three-point play to start the tear at 26-18 with 5:44 left in the first half.

Two minutes later, junior Johnny Bowden nailed a quick three-pointer off an inbound, and Stewart added a free throw for the 37-20 advantage.

“We played very aggressive, a lot of composure (and) we did not let the press affect us,” said MP coach Dennis Wilson. “Broke the press with composure, good passes and execution. (It) is affective when you panic, throw errant passes and travel.”

Bowden had rolled off a pick and nailed an end-line trey for the first double-digit margin at 20-19 with 1:32 left in the first quarter. The Cardinals also worked passes to Stewart around the free-throw lane throughout the first half to draw the defense out and open up underneath.

The 6-foot-3 senior center tallied 16 points and eight rebounds, with 12 points coming in the first half.

“They are going to double-team David,” said Wilson. “We have options off our offense when they double team him.”

“That is a key for our guys trying to figure out where he is,” added coach Brown.

Eastie ran a man-to-man press throughout a majority of the game, with the defense proving more effective in the second half.

“We like to push up the tempo (and) try to create turnovers and easy baskets,” said Brown. “We are struggling in the half court so for us our defense it is a way of trying to get easy baskets.”

The former City North champs have won the previous seven matchups between the two squads, including a 60-59 victory in last years' City League Tournament finals.

Recap: No. 12 Eastie 43, No. 19 MP 42

December, 19, 2012
ROXBURY, Mass. -- Up two points in the final second of another heated battle with East Boston, the Madison Park's boys' basketball team looked to have finally found the edge against its crosstown rival.

With the home crowd chanting its goodbyes, Cardinals junior Johnny Bowden strolled to the line to shoot his third and final free throw and try to send the MP Machine to its first victory in six matchups with division foe East Boston.

In a matter of one second, the Jets' Pat Santos grabbed the rebound of the missed foul shot and in the same motion, launched a desperation shot the full length of the court that somehow went in off the middle of the backboard and left the crowd in awe, with Eastie miraculously winning, 43-42.

(You'll be in awe too: CLICK HERE to see video of the shot from the Boston Herald.)

“Three years since I have been (at Madison Park) it has always been tough,” said Santos. “We always have to have faith even with (one second) left. You don't have time to think (just) get the ball and shoot.”

Winning on a buzzer-beater from its senior guard, No. 12 East Boston (4-0, 2-0) bested host No. 19 Madison Park (1-1, 1-1), 43-42, in battle of City League (Division A).

The Cardinals looked to have sealed the victory in the final seconds when junior Jaylen Bell bounce-passed to Bowden, who drew a three-shot foul opportunity off a blocked attempt from Eastie senior Will March along the end line. Bowden took his time to drain the first two attempts for a 42-40 lead, then lobbed the ball off the back rim.

“The kid has got the biggest heart in the gym,” MP coach Dennis Wilson said. “He made plays down the end that got us ahead. (He made) the baseline jumper, the baseline floater, (and) two shots to put us ahead.”

Madison Park scored 12 straight, including six points from senior David Stewart (13 points, eight rebounds), to grab its first lead of the game and go into the final quarter up 32-29. Sophomore Mike Benitez just beat the shot clock on a jumper to start the run down 29-20 with 4:34 left in the third, while Bowden (13 points) rolled in a layup then stole the ball in Jets' territory to set up a two-on-one score from Bell to Stewart for the 30-29 advantage.

A layup by junior Kamauree Williams finished the streak for Division 1 South runner-ups with 30 seconds left in the third.

“We played tough defense,” Wilson said. “They are not a very good shooting team so we went into a zone and made them stop penetration and shoot contested jump shots.”

A corner-of-the-arc tre from Benitez and free throw by senior Kenny Ramos finished a seven-point run by Eastie to open the fourth quarter up 37-32 at 5:28. Four points and an assist from Bowden put the Cardinals ahead for a second time up 40-39 with 1:30 left. Sophomore Rasheed Bell hit one-of-two from the line to even the game with 12 seconds remaining.

Bell lead the Jets with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Ramos finished with nine points and grabbed six rebounds, while Santos netted 10 points and wrestled four rebounds.

“Rasheed is our offensive attacker,” said first-year East Boston coach Shawn Brown. “He has untapped potential when it comes in terms of offense. He is the one person outside of Kenny that we have to go to (when it comes to offense) so I think we really feed off Rasheed.”

Eastie scored the first 10 points of the game and led for the initial 23 minutes by forcing turnovers for layups and hitting jumpers in or around the free throw lane. Ramos dipped under a blocker, dropped in a layup and yelled to the crowd as Eastie pulled ahead 10-0 with 2:40 left in the first quarter.

Early free throw misses hurt the Cardinals, who failed their first five attempts and finished two of nine in the first half, but Madison Park rebounded in the second half by making six of seven from the foul line.

“We got out on them early (and) my guys got comfortable,” said Brown. “We talk about not taking anyone lightly. I told them 'Your in a dog fight now'.”

Brown replaced former Jets coach and New Mission dean of students Malcolm Smith, who brought Eastie to a Boston City League tournament championship, an appearance in the Division 1 North quarterfinals, and a City League (North) title last year. The first-year skipper grabbed his first win in the newly formed City League (Division A).

“We always stress that (one play can make a difference), but we hope that it doesn't come down to it,” said Brown. “I am new to it, but just knowing the history and being a Boston public school graduate and player (I know that) with the teams that they put in this conference you can expect that. I think you can look forward to some great games throughout this year.”

Recap: No. 20 Eastie 58, St. John's Prep 52

February, 10, 2012

DANVERS, Mass. -- If there's any doubt about East Boston head coach Malcolm Smith's ability to utilize his resources, let tonight's result against St. John's Prep stand as Exhibit A -- and close the case shut.

Dressing just nine players, and without starting forwards Kenny Ramos and Kwandell Bush due to a violation of team rules -- certainly not the first time he's disciplined a key player, nor the last -- the Jets turned in one of their most inspired defensive first halves of the regular season. They held the host Eagles to just 16 points in the first two quarters, then staved off a furious fourth-quarter rally to win, 58-52.

"With this team, it's a bunch of guys that, hey, they just want to do it," Smith said. "They want to do it for their hometown, they want to do it for where they come from. I told them going into tonight's game that, listen, we've got to play this like we're in Dorchester House in the preseason fall league.

"I said fellas, you know, we're undermanned and we've always had some adversity, whether it's dressing five there or seven there, so you've got to take that mentality there. And we always play hard, but you've got to bring it in here a little bit more structured and disciplined, and that's what they did."

The Jets (12-4) dominated the first half, forcing a slew of turnovers with dogged backcourt pressure and sideline traps to make up for their lack of scoring ability at the offensive end. They took a 24-16 lead into the break, and led as much as 41-24 with under three minutes to go in the third quarter before the Eagles (10-6) mounted an impressive rally.

Down 43-32 to start the final frame, Prep cut the lead to 47-45 when Mike Carbone came up with a strip steal at halfcourt and heaved a lob to Steve Haladyna (31 points, eight rebounds), picking up a foul in the process. He missed the free throw, but capped a perfect 5-for-5 start from the field for the quarter with the lay-in.

At the other end, Eastie broke through some intense Prep backcourt pressure to convert some key field goal attempts down the stretch, none bigger than a dunk by Will March (16 points) with under a minute to go. With the Eagles gambling big time in moving their 2-3 zone high up in the halfcourt and converging on guard Pat Santos in the backcourt, he was able to get the ball over the top to a wide open March underneath and make it 57-49.

Freshman point guard Marcos Echevarria hit a three-pointer to close it to 57-52 with 31 seconds left, and fouled Santos to send him to the line and push the lead back out to six. But on the ensuing possession Freddy Shove missed a driving layup with 14 ticks to go, and three bodies converged on the loose board for a jump ball, and Eastie possession.

Helping out: The Jets were most impressive defensively in pressuring the backcourt, and providing help on the perimeter. Anybody who has watched Eastie over the years knows an aggressive press defense is its source of pride, and for the first 16 minutes an array of guards made life difficult for whoever took the ball in, harrassing them from the baseline to over halfcourt. From there, players like Zack Gattereau, Travon Moore, Ian Jones, Andre Senior and Kyle Fox were able to lend a hand.

In the halfcourt, the Prep is traditionally a tough out for its surgery running the motion offense -- a scheme that, by nature, is difficult to gameplan for. But whenever Connolly called for a pick-and-roll, an Eastie defender was usually in proper place on the help side to take a good angle and try to pick the ball off.

Those two areas led to a number of turnovers, both forced and unforced, including 11 total team steals.

"We worked on that yesterday," Smith said of the pick-and-roll defense. "And I don't really think it settled in. But you know, in the pre-game today, [I told them] 'Fellas listen, on their pick-and-rolls we've got to play it NBA-style'. They liked that, and I just thought it was phenomenal today.

"Ain't much I had to do with it, but we worked on it yesterday and it didn't really go that well. But today they communicated exceptionally well on it, they were able to hedge on everything else."

Recap: No. 24 C'Town 73, No. 21 Eastie 66

February, 1, 2012

CHARLESTOWN, Mass. -- Charlestown's Omar Orriols stepped behind the three-point line along the right wing, and a wry smile came across his visage as he went for his third three-point attempt of the first quarter against archrival East Boston.

After weeks of getting needled by head coach Edson Cardoso about being more assertive with the ball -- a point the two discussed further while he was serving an undisclosed suspension the previous two weeks -- Orriols came out blazing with this: a perfect 3-for-3 start from long distance.

"That felt hot, baby," he laughed later about the shot. "That felt hot. Real good. That felt good."

And so just over a month after getting embarrassed into a 17-for-56 effort from the field in their first meeting with the Jets, and just weeks after playing some of their most uninspired basketball in lopsided losses to St. Peter-Marian and Madison Park, the Townies are roaring back. Behind an even sheet from leading scorers Tyrese Hoxter (17 points), Rony Fernandez (15) and Orriols (15), the Townies (10-3) qualified for postseason with a 73-66 win over Eastie (9-4).

"We succumbed to their pressure [in the first meeting], but I felt like we were under control today," Cardoso said. "We had some turnovers, but not as many as 27 the first time we played Eastie."

As for the more inspired effort on the offensive end from Orriols, who finished 4-of-7 from deep, Cardoso was pleased.

"I told Omar when he gets going with shots, when he's wide open and takes it, it helps us a lot," Cardoso said. "Because he creates a spark. And once he hits one or two 3-pointers, the defense comes out and Tyrese can drive to the basket, and so can Rony. So when he hits three's, it helps us out on offense."

The Townies led 19-10 after one quarter, and 39-24 at the half. In the third quarter, Orriols and Fernandez hit back-to-back three's from opposite wings to take a 45-33 lead. Their shooting, combined with a 2-3 zone -- which looked more crisp than their first experiment with it in Saturday's win over Fitchburg -- gave the Jets problems all night. When they weren't chasing defenders and surrendering points from the weakside due to lack of help defense, they were struggling to hit shots from spots around the elbow.

"[We] didn't close out properly, Omar Orriols cooked us for three 3's...from there we were just scrambling to get back," Eastie head coach Malcolm Smith said. "With the team today -- and this is the first time here at East Boston that I though we had our guys a little timid tonight. We were very scared, to put it point blank.

"I thought we had a great preparation for this, and I don't know if it was the large crowd or what have you, but jitters set into them. When jitters set into them, we just aren't the same team."

Zack Gattereau (11 points) cut Charlestown's lead to 68-64 with 35 seconds to go when he picked his man's pocket at midcourt, off a deflection, picked up a foul on the way up to a breakaway layup, and converted the three-point play. But Hoxter and Orriols both made their free throws down the stretch to ice the win.

Will March led the Jets with 17 points, while Kenny Ramos added 10.

Energy guy: With long arms for his 6-foot-6 frame, flowing dreadlocks and an inclination for chirpiness, Charlestown junior forward Tyrik Jackson serves as the team's spark plug around the paint. The frenetic post player recorded 18 points, 11 rebounds, three blocks, and marked improvement in his assignments playing the middle of Cardoso's zone defense.

In Saturday's win over Fitchburg, Jackson gave up too many easy baskets from the weakside, and was slow to react at times against diagonal passes. Cardoso told following that game it would be a point of emphasis in Monday's practice; and true to his word, the problem was fixed, as Jackson maintained body control and used his long frame to deny penetration and force redirections to the corners.

Three of his eight baskets were overhead slam dunks. When he wasn't doing that, he was jawing it up at times with the fans from Eastie, mocking their various anti-Charlestown chants. All of it comes as a spirit that helps carry the Townies.

"Tyrik man, he's definitely the X-factor of the team," Orriols said. "Without him, it's going to be hard to crowd the boards, to block shots. Tyrik is dominant down low for us."

Said Cardoso, "Having him out there, 6-6 in the middle, he gives us a lot of energy and confidence...Tyrik brings it every day in practice, and brings it every game."

Long way to go for Grullon, but intriguing: One of the most interesting storylines to keep an eye on over the next year is the development of Charlestown's 6-foot-10 New York City transfer, junior Jon Grullon, who checked into the game in the second quarter to a loud ovation from the crowd. Built like an offensive lineman but with very limited mobility due to knock knees and conditioning, he only saw eight minutes of action and visibly has a ways to go to developing into a post player.

In one of his first possessions on the floor, Grullon hunched into position on a jump shot, only to watch his defender nearly a foot shorter than him easily mettle his way in front and out-jump him for the rebound. A few possessions later, Jackson fed Grullon a perfect touch pass across the paint that skipped off his hands out of bounds. When the Townies went to the line for free throws, Grullon often retreated to the other end rather than line up on the blocks.

Grullon just got his first action last week in a win over Snowden, and high school hoops is still fairly new to him. Grullon transferred into Charlestown last summer from Boys and Girls High, a nationally-recognized powerhouse out of the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, but never played a minute on the basketball team, according to Cardoso.

As for the knees, he has three more games before shuts it down on February 8 and undergoes surgery on his right knee, where a screw will be inserted to stabilize the knee, which lacks a good amount of cartilage. The plan is to rehab for "three or four months", according to Cardoso.

"Getting him mobile, getting him to understand the game of basketball is what we're trying to do with him right now," Cardoso said.

The knee problem might scare off some college coaches, but there is reason to keep tabs, however loose, on the big man. For one, he is a legitimate 6-foot-10 with a wide body.

And for another, he's apparently a decent swimmer. Asked about his conditioning, Cardoso points with his thumb to the swimming pool down the stairs from the gymnasium and says, "When you see him in the pool, he's very active."

Added Orriols, "Oh yeah, he works out there a lot, man."

Recap: Bp. Loughlin (N.Y.) 59, East Boston 54

December, 28, 2011

DORCHESTER, Mass. — East Boston (3-2) got tripped up in the first round of the Shooting Touch Shootout with a 59-54 loss to Bishop Loughlin (N.Y.) yesterday at the Kroc Center.

It wasn’t the performance that head coach Malcolm Smith has come to know from a program that has produced gritty, heady, defensive teams that locks down opponents and forces them to play at the Jets’ frantic pace.

Smith saw that for spurts, but didn’t see that team on a consistent basis yesterday.

The Jets were forced into 21 turnovers, several of them unforced and silly giveaways, and offensively they lacked any type of flow as only Will March (12 points) and Zack Gattereau (11 points) reached double figures.

“We were sloppy from the beginning of the game to the end of the game,” said an emotionally frustrated Smith after the game. “That was a poor performance. Anybody that has been associated with East Boston basketball knows that that was a poor performance.”

What made the game even more maddening for Eastie was the fact that it was still in the game until the very end.

Bishop Loughlin went on a 11-0 run that stretched from the end of the third quarter to the beginning of the fourth, but the Jets mounted with 12 of the next 13 points to grab a 53-52 lead with 2:08 left in the quarter.

Kenny Ramos had his hands all over a rebound, but some how it slipped through his grasp and right into the waiting arms of Khadeen Carrington, who scored a game-high 21 points, for a lay-in to take back the one-point advantage.

The Jets came right back down the next play and had a costly turnover and after a timeout, Michael Williams got free on the inbounds play all alone behind the Jets defense for the two possession advantage.

“I don’t know if it was the nerves of this crowd or what,” said Smith. “We didn’t deserve to win that game. We didn’t deserve to be that close at all. It was turnover after turnover.”

Shywann Spencer sunk two clinching free throws with 18.1 seconds on the clock to officially stamp home the win and a date against Hudson Catholic (N.J.) in the championship round tomorrow back at the Kroc Center.

“I’m not taking any positives out of this game,” said Smith. “That team beat us and they deserved to win.”


There were no shortage of whistles for physical play and handchecking during the game as East Boston finished the night with 26 calls against them, while Bishop Loughlin finished with 17.

When Eastie did get to the line, they couldn’t connect and finished 9-of-21 from the stripe.