By Danny Emerman (Sports Correspondent).
CANTON – The game was delayed in every way imaginable. A flukey fire alarm at the end of the freshman game pushed everything back, the JV team won in overtime, and Canton’s pregame senior night festivities prolonged the tip off even more.
The strange delays and obstacles did not stop the Sharon Eagles from convincingly prevailing, 59-50, over the 2-13 Canton Bulldogs, despite a late-game scare.
With about two minutes remaining, the Eagles cleared the bench with a 15 point lead. Canton then hit a couple threes and, after an uncharacteristic flagrant foul from Matt Miller, cut the lead to six.
“I just put a forearm into the kid to start a box-out off a free throw and the ref said I hit him in the throat,” senior forward Matt Miller said.
Miller, the most mild-mannered and polite player on the team, was shocked at the call, “I didn’t even know what was going on.”
Assistant coach Josh Coran said Canton’s desperate push was too little, too late.
“They weren’t going to have enough time to complete their comeback, especially when we put our starters back in the game.”
Both teams played sluggishly and recklessly, picking up a combined total of 36 fouls and 28 turnovers. This was accentuated in a slow first quarter, where the first points came from a Bryce Smith free throw over four minutes into the game.
Coran claims the team may have a habit of starting with too much energy and not enough focus on executing.
“Sometimes we get overly excited in those first four minutes and everyone’s really amped up and that doesn’t translate to open shots. Everyone tries too hard to make that first big play and that can lead to bad shots and turnovers. It usually takes us a few minutes to get into rhythm and from there we can get moving.”
After winning the first quarter 7-5, the Eagles got going. They scored 21 points in the second quarter and 18 in the third. The approach in the first quarter was reliant on an outside attack against Canton’s 1-3-1 zone, but Sharon found success later in the game pounding the ball inside to Peter Banks (11 points, 14 rebounds) and Mitchell Sirota (6 points).
“I think all year we have been preaching that we want to work inside out,” Coran said. “We’ve always had talented guards in the program but we’ve so rarely had efficient, strong, talented big men. Between Banks, Zola, Sirota, Lorquet, and Miller, we have so many guys that can really produce inside. Coach Ferguson and I are always happy when we can pound the ball inside.”
Senior captain Matt Lowerre once again led the team in scoring with 13 points.
The Eagles enter February break with an 11-6 record with upcoming tests against Cathedral and Foxboro.
Photo Credit: Alex Rabb