By Yanay Rosen (Online Editor in Chief).
PROVIDENCE, R.I.—The bright lights of the Dunkin Donuts Center energized the Boys Basketball team (3-10) to a 62-53 win over the Canton Bulldogs (6-7).
The Eagles, led by senior captain Ricardo Ripley’s 13 points, led the whole game.
Canton, who beat state powerhouse Franklin (11-3) earlier in the week, scored just six points in the first quarter. The Eagles finished the second half off on a 7-0 run, propelled by Ripley’s buzzer beater, to lead 23-18.
Sharon came out firing in the second half. Threes from Ben Stamm, Jimmy Fitzhenry and Ripley helped Sharon build a 36-29 point lead. A Malik Lorquet putback at the horn was called off for a loose ball foul, sending Canton’s Brian Albert to the line to start finish the third.
The fourth quarter began with a Lester High three-pointer, Ripley bucket and two Lorquet free throws as Sharon began to build a lead with some major bench contributions.
“That’s what you need, guys to step up,” Coach Ferguson said after the game.
“Tommy [Modelevsky] had a big three, Lester [High] had a big three, and Ben [Stamm] hit a big three right at the start of the second half. We need those guys,” he said.
“We’ve been relying on Ricky [Ripley] and Malik [Lorquet], and Jimmy [Fitzhnery] has gotten better, but you have to have those side guys come in and hit shots. And add in Jayvon Monteiro, he played great defense and Sammy Kirshenbaum rebounded pretty well. That’s what we need from these guys day in and day out.”
Although Canton was able to close the lead to seven, foul shooting helped the Eagles secure the win. Sharon outscored Canton 9-3 in the final minutes, hitting seven free throws and
Ferguson says that the team played more actively on defense. “That’s the difference — when we’re not active and we’re not cutting off passes, it’s an ugly defensive scheme,” he said.
“But when we get active, when Malik can control the middle, Xavier [Hackett] helps us rebound, and when we aren’t giving teams second and third chances, we’re a pretty good defensive team. When we start giving up extra opportunities get into trouble.”
Although the girls team lost 58-49, they still fought hard. After trailing by more than 20 points in the third quarter, they clawed back and cut the lead nine.
Canton’s Hannah Jerrier mauled the Eagles for 26 points and 9 rebounds. Head Coach Cliff Tomassian says that Canton was successful because they beat the press.
“We were trying to go full-court press because that worked the first time we played them. Once they beat the press they were able to get it down to [Jerrier] for easy buckets. In the half-court, she’s just tough to defend.”
Tomassian says that he is still proud of his team despite the final score. “We stuck with it. I thought the girls just stepped it up and made some plays. All we ask is that no matter what the score is, no matter who we’re playing is to keep fighting.”
Veronica Wallace scored a team high 12 points for the Eagles. The boys and girls teams both play at home Friday the 3rd against Foxboro.
Photo credit: Emma Avratin