Cavs drop first of season
Friday, January 11, 2013
HOLLIS – All the Pembroke Academy boys basketball team needed was a crack, and when it found one in Hollis Brookline’s defense, it took advantage.
The Spartans used a 9-1 run in the third quarter to take control of a close game, and the Cavaliers weren’t able to recover quick enough, falling to Pembroke 61-51 in a battle of unbeaten Division II teams.
Patrick Welch scored 15 of his game-high 22 points in the second half, and Pembroke (6-0) had three other players in double figures – Rene Maher (11 points), Matt Persons (11) and Dominic Timbas (10) – as the Spartans remained the lone undefeated team in the division.
HB (4-1) got 20 points from PJ Flaum and another 16 points from Connor Walsh, but only two other players scored for the Cavs, who were playing in front of one of their largest home crowds in recent memory.
“We played defense,” Pembroke coach Matt Alosa said. “The two guards had a good game and got some shots off. We expected that and we did a good job against everybody else and we controlled the boards. Hollis has a physical, athletic presence on the team. I think we matched it.”
Through two-plus quarters, it was the Cavs doing the counterpunching. Every time it looked like Pembroke would take control, HB responded, twice cutting seven-point deficits to two or three in the first half.
The Spartans went up seven, 29-22, early in the third quarter, but the Cavs kept it close with two free throws from Walsh and a layup by Cole Gallant (eight points) to make it a three-point game.
But Welch hit a 3-pointer at the other end, starting Pembroke’s 9-1 run that made it 38-27 with 2:19 left in the quarter. Walsh hit a 3 to get the difference back down to eight points, but the Spartans ended the quarter with a 43-32 lead.
“They’re too gifted an offensive team that you can’t break down,” HB coach Mike Soucy said. “We had a couple where we helped off the wrong people, or we helped off the wrong side, our rotations should have come from the back side and they came from the ball side. It left a wide open shooter, and give them credit, they made their shots. That’s why they’re a very good team.”
Pembroke took its biggest lead late in the fourth, going up 56-38 on a free throw by Maher with 1:40 left. But HB found ways to extend the game and outscored the Spartans 13-5 the rest of the way.
“That’s the character of these kids,” Soucy said. “They have a real strong commitment to competing and putting their best foot out there and playing to win. They don’t get down and that showed in the fourth quarter. We came right back, unfortunately, we ran out of time. That’s the way it goes.”