Mashpee Boys' Basketball Steps Up To Win First SSL Game Of Season
By: Rich Maclone, February 7, 2014
This season has not been short on effort for the Mashpee High School boys’ basketball team by any means. It hasn’t exactly had a whole lot of victories, though. On Tuesday night, the Falcons efforts led to a big win as they scored their first South Shore League win of the year, knocking off Abington High School by a 60-58 score.
The Falcons are now 5-12 overall. Their victory avenges a blowout road loss to the Green Wave from a few weeks back that saw AHS run it up, winning by 35 points.
“It was great to see them get a win after how hard they’ve been working. These kids play hard every night, no matter what. That’s one thing you can definitely say about Mashpee kids, they work,” head coach Rick Boulrisse said.
Mashpee secured the lead for good in the second quarter. The first period saw AHS take a slim 19-17 lead after eight minutes, after Mashpee had led much of the stanza. In the second, MHS surged ahead and grabbed a four-point halftime lead, 32-28. They extended it to 11 by the end of three, and then held on for dear life in the fourth quarter as the Wave came roaring back to make it a two-point game.
Turnovers on offense, some missed shots for MHS and a couple of big makes by Abington made things too close for comfort for the Falcons in the final minute. Abington had the ball, with a chance to tie the game, with 16 seconds left coming out of a timeout, but Mashpee found a way to hold on, thanks to some stellar defense.
It started with center Mike Griffin deflecting a pass, knocking it away from the Wave. Forward Steven DeGrace chased the ball into the corner and saved it from going out of bounds, which saved the game, Boulrisse said, even though it ended up back in Abington’s hands. “If the ball just went out of bounds off of us there, they’d have had a chance to run an in-bound play near the basket with six seconds to play. Instead, they had to scramble to get off a shot,” the coach said.
They never did get off that shot. The Falcons on the floor continued to play strong defense and never let the Wave get a good look at the basket before time expired.
Mashpee’s efforts were led by senior Kevin Frye, who had 14 points in the game. Dan Crowley came off the bench to score 11, nine of which came in the first half as he helped key the run that gave the team the lead. Shawn Hendricks and Griffin both had eight points, while Geno Fellini netted seven. Both Fellini and DeGrace converted some key free throw attempts late in the game, to help the home team hold onto the lead when things were tightening up.
“I was just happy with the way we executed,” Boulrisse said. “We penetrated and passed the ball well and our boxing out was really good on both ends of the court. We were really physical on the rebounding part.”
Boulrisse said that winning a league game is good for the team’s morale, which has not wavered despite tough times. “It’s nice for the kids. They’re always hustling and I’m really proud of the way they’ve played. They’ve always got one another’s backs and they’re always positive.”
Mashpee put a crimp in the Wave’s postseason plans as they handed Abington a loss that they really could not afford, as they dropped to 5-9 overall. Boulrisse said that he hopes his team can continue to hurt potential playoff teams’ chances, starting with Hull tonight on the road.
“We want to burst their bubbles,” the coach said. “We want to be the spoiler. We know that we’re not going to the tournament this year, so if we’re not going to go, let’s take a few teams down with us.”