Shorthanded Eagles Upset by King Philip

By Danny Emerman (Sports Correspondent). 

With Bryce Smith, Josh Rotman, Mitchell Sirota, and David Roelke out, the Eagles were out of sync against the 0-6 King Philip squad on Tuesday night.

After a convincing win at Oliver Ames last week, Sharon was beat down by King Philip 52-44, who improved to 1-6. 

“They beat us to every single loose ball. They attacked the basket. They made their open shots,” Coach Ferguson said after the game.

With a barrage of three-pointers and offensive rebounds (12 offensive rebounds in the first half), King Philip started the game with an 18-4 run. The Eagles came out sloppy and lethargic, committing turnovers and missing open shots throughout the first half.

“We’ve had a habit of not starting well. We’ve had a habit of backing ourselves into a corner. Against Oliver Ames, we responded; against King Philip, we didn’t,” Ferguson said.

Sharon, who did not hold a lead in the game, struggled mightily from behind the arc, shooting 2-24 from deep against King Philip’s aggressive zone defense.

“We were 1-11 at halftime and I told them to go to the basket. And then we shot 13 threes in the second half. We couldn’t put the ball in the basket and that’s the name of the game,” Ferguson said.

The starting lineup of Ricardo Ripley, Tyler Smith, Matthew Lowerre, Devon Mann, and Peter Banks did not get the job done. Ferguson opted to relieve them by clearing the bench in the third quarter. Led by Matt Miller, Malik Lorquet, Jimmy Fitzhenry, and Michael Zola, Sharon cut KP’s lead to 10.

“Matt Miller is pretty versatile. Malik is young, he’s learning a little bit. I thought Jimmy [Fitzhenry] and Andrew [Filipkowski] played pretty well, too.”

Ricardo Ripley’s (9 points) three-pointer made it a three point game late in the fourth quarter, but the effort was too little, too late for the Eagles.

This is not the first loss Sharon has suffered to inferior teams. They suffered an overtime loss at home to Milford earlier this season. Coach Ferguson says that “we can’t take anything away” from either team.

“They played a very good game. Same thing when we played Milford. Milford played a very good game. They executed their gameplan and they made a bunch of shots. You can’t take anything away from those two opponents.”

“My worry about this team is how our effort is not always 100%. That has to change immediately.”

Halfway through the season, Sharon has caught the injury bug. Rotman (shoulder) and Sirota (ankle) were injured this week and David Roelke still hasn’t returned from a calf injury. Senior Bryce Smith, however, is set to return around January 23.

Bryce Smith says that the 4-4 Eagles have a tough road ahead, but still have their eyes set on the playoffs.

“6 more wins. We’re not going to look that far ahead, but 6 is the goal. Take it one game at a time,” Smith said.

They have 12 more games to go with two against Hockomock powerhouse Foxboro and one against 7-1 Franklin. Their next contest is home versus Canton on Friday.

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