By Danny Emerman (Sports Correspondent).
After a devastating loss to King Philip earlier in the week, the Sharon Eagles bounced back to earn a much-needed win versus the Canton Bulldogs on Friday night.
The Eagles held on to their lead late in the game, despite a desperate Canton push in the fourth quarter, to win 47-42.
Shooting a combined 7-39 (18%) from three-point range in their past two games, the Eagles continued their cold streak from deep by shooting 2-11. Because of the shooting struggles, Sharon coach Andrew Ferguson put an emphasis on driving to the hoop.
Ferguson says that when the team attacks the basket and is powered by a balanced scoring effort, the Eagles are tough to beat.
“That’s when we’re a good basketball team,” Ferguson said. “We are in a very big funk shooting the ball right now so we made a commitment to attack the basket and crash the boards. That’s the style of basketball we want to play.”
Sharon scored 17 points in the third quarter without converting a three-point field goal. No player scored in double digits for Sharon, but nine were in the scoring column.
Because of the recent lack of effort, Coach Ferguson elected to shake up the starting lineup. Sophomore Jimmy Fitzhenry and senior Matt Miller each got their first career varsity start. Alongside Miller and Fitzhenry were Ricardo Ripley, Andrew Filipkowski, and Peter Banks. Coach Ferguson says that they all earned the starting spots through hard work and effort.
“I thought our effort was our biggest issue at King Philip. I thought the five players who started today gave us the best effort against KP and during practice. Some guys need a change of scenery once in awhile,” Ferguson said.
Although he didn’t start, sophomore forward Malik Lorquet stood out with a near double-double in his second career varsity game. Coach Ferguson says that Lorquet has great instincts, but he is not the “savior.”
“Malik is a sophomore. We don’t want to put too much on his plate. He’s a very talented athlete, he knows where to be on the basketball floor. But we don’t want to make a sophomore, who started the year on JV, our savior,” Ferguson added.
Malik Lorquet recorded 9 points and 12 rebounds in the win, but admits that he was anxious in front of the home crowd.
“I was a little nervous for my first home varsity game,” Lorquet said, later acknowledging his nerves should be gone for next game.
Senior Matt Miller (8 rebounds) started for the first time in his varsity career, but says that he prepared for the game like it was any other.
“I approached it pretty much the same way. I just tried to be focused and play with a lot of energy,” Miller said.
Peter Banks and Matt Lowerre each scored 9 points in the game for Sharon, while Rishi Jambunathan and Vvoanyan Mahn each poured in 9 for the 2-7 Canton squad.