NEPSAC BBALL Tourney
posted at 3/5/2007 9:19 AM EST
NESPAC Boys Finals Results:Class A#1 Bridgton Academy vs #2 Brewster Academy 80-67The 2007 NEPSAC Tournament held true to form with higher seeds advancing right to the end. Ultimately, top seeded Bridgton Academy completed a storybook season defeating the second seeded Brewster Academy Bobcats 80-67 Sunday afternoon at Worcester Academy. Out of the gate agonizingly slow for the second game in a row and with big man Justin Burrell in serious first half foul difficulty, Bridgton rode its aggressive defense to turn the first half around and lead at the break 40-36. Brian Rudolph led the charge with 12 first half points and Ronnie (ôWe Gotö) Moss contributed 8 big ones of his own. With Burrell fresh at the start of the second 20 minutes Bridgton immediately seized control of the game and jumped out to a double figure advantage. The offensive balance was highlighted with five players in double figures but more importantly, with different guys stepping up at critical times in the contest. Burrell led the second half attack with 18 points, but the essence of the game was captured by BridgtonÆs play æbelowÆ the rim all afternoon. This team simply found a way to win a lot of games all year in no one particular style. In a league with great parity at the top, Bridgton raised some eyebrows with their dominant performance. After the championship game Coach Lesure shared several of his observations about the game, the season, and the ôthree-peatö accomplishment of Bridgton Academy. MVP was Brian Rudolph Bridgton
The 2007 NEPSAC Championship is the third straight for Bridgton Academy, who will take part in the 2007 National Prep Basketball Championship to be held in Washington, DC, on March 7th and 8th. Class BSt. Andrews vs Marianapolis Prep 63-61Rakim Sanders, scheduled for Boston College in the fall, posted a game-high 28 points in his final high school gameClass C#1 Lawrence Academy vs #3 St. Mark's- 60-40EB Davis (Lawrence) MVP When Lawrence Academy (27-3) took to the court hoping to win one more game and the Class C title, they needed to get past the Lions of St. MarkÆs School (23-6). The previous meeting went LAÆs way by 11 points, 65-54, and considering how LAÆs players had played against both St. SebastianÆs and Nobles, few Spartan fans expected the Lions, a young team, to pose much of a threat. The Lions, however, brought more than a roar to the game. EB Davis scored first for Lawrence from beneath the basket, but Nate Lubick answered with a 3-pointer. LA got a basket from Rudy Taylor and two from the foul line by Denzel Brito after he ran the length of the court and was fouled under the basket. Both teams were running hard and trading fouls close to the basket before EB stole a ball and converted to bring the score to 8-5ùand then returned after another LA score to dunk in 2 at 11:26, leaving the Lions behind, 12-5. But momentum would shift. An 8-0 run helped St. MarkÆs pulled ahead by one at 8:40 after intercepting one of several bad Spartan passes. Twenty seconds later, a jumper by EB helped LA regain the lead, 14-13, and then Stevie Mejia literally pulled the ball from Jay FreemanÆs hands, but LA failed to score on that possession. At 6:50, Denzel was fouled and proceeded to bury both shots for LA to pull ahead slightly, 16-13, before both teams lost possessions and, littering the court with bodies, wrestled for the ball more than once. At 6:19, after EB broke out on a fast break and scored 2 more, the Lions coach called his team to the sidelines for a time-out. The game had grown physical, and neither team seemed to pass well as LA continued to inch forward with EB scoring twice to bring the lead to 10, 23-13. The Lions played for 6 minutes without scoring, but then they began moving well and went on a 6-0 run to come within 4 points at halftime, 23-19, blocking shots by both EB and Stevie.
At 12:49 in the second half, the Lions pulled within one point when senior Salah Abdo won position and tipped in a rebound to put the score at 28-27. Following an LA time-out, EB scored twice from the foul line and Stevie potted a 3-pointer. The Lions scored again, but LA then rattled off 7 points from Denzel (2), Stevie (3) and a dunk by EB, which at 7:35 brought the score to 42-31. Three minutes later, the gap had widened even more to 50-35, thanks in part to stretching lay-ups and smart play by Darryl Cato-Bishop, who in this game was held to only 10 points. Denzel scored twice more, followed by a jumper from EB, and when Rudy Taylor was fouled at 1:34, LA was moving steadily away at 56-38. The final score, 60-40, was more like what the Spartan fans had expected, but the Lions certainly made them nervous more than a few timesùand with so many sophomores on the team, the Lions will certainly be back in hunt next year.
Not surprisingly, 26 points, 10 rebounds, and 6 steals made EB Davis an easy call for the MVP, with Denzel Britoùamong the most composed players on the floorùmaking a strong showing (12 points, 6 steals) and Darryl Cato-Bishop breaking up plays while tossing in 10 points and snatching 11 rebounds as he helped slam the door on the Lions in the closing minutes of play. Never letting up on the Lions playmakers, Stevie Mejia added 3 more steals with his 9 points, and LA had another Class C title!
This from the winning coach: "In the first half, we were playing really well on the defensive end, but we were just not real clean on the offensive end, playing tentatively and not getting the looks we like to get. But St. Mark's is a great team, and we knew it was going to be a grind. When we got warmed up during that 2-3 minutes period in the second half, we were able to stretch it out and got a pretty good lead. It always makes it easier when they have to come out of the zone and chase us."