HOLLIS – The Hollis Brookline-Milford High School boys basketball rivalry started out in full form on Friday night, but crumbled into a lopsided affair early on.
The Cavaliers ran away from the Spartans with a 63-49 victory that became one-sided in a hurry.
Through the first several minutes both teams exchanged baskets on their possessions until the Cavaliers (4-2) broke out onto a 13-0 run putting them up 21-9 early in the second quarter, a lead that was never relinquished.
All the while, the Spartans (1-5) struggled to establish an offensive rhythm among turnovers and a stingy Cavaliers’ defense. The Cavaliers clamped down on the Spartans inside the arc with the aid of 6-foot-6 forward Shea Whalen.
Center Seth Hopkins, Milford’s best threat under the hoop and a carbon copy of Whalen at 6-foot-7, went toe to toe with the lofty forward and came out of the half with two field goals.
“Defense was okay,” Hollis Brookline head coach Mike Soucy said. “Our rotations were a little bit slow tonight. I think fatigue set in, but overall I think our defense covers a lot of area and clogs things up really well.”
Meanwhile, the Cavaliers offense was sharp enough to capitalize on the Milford miscues on the other end of the floor to take a 34-16 lead into the halftime break.
In the second half, Hollis Brookline stayed consistent and grew a lead as large as 22 points, but the Spartans were able to eliminate their mistakes from the first two quarters to find more success on offense, outscoring the Cavaliers 44-29 in the final two frames.
Hopkins ended up with 12 points on the night for Milford, Mitchell Banuskevich claimed 10 and Drew Lesmerises chipped in with six.
The Cavaliers spread out the wealth on offense with all 14 of its varsity roster putting up points. Daniel Bentall had nine, Ryan Papineau claimed eight and Whalen put up seven.
After a disappointing loss to Pembroke on Tuesday night, the win over rival Milford was a boost in confidence moving onward for Hollis Brookline.
“We don’t worry about what happened in the previous game,” Soucy said. “We focus on what’s next on the agenda. This group is able to do that.”