Cavs able to hold off Sabers

Every team has that player it can rely on during tough times. For the Hollis Brookline High School boys basketball team, it’s Matt Fothergill.

The Cavaliers picked up a 57-48 win over Souhegan with a boost from Fothergill in the fourth quarter on Friday. It was a matchup of two middle-of-the-pack Division II teams that began as competitive as advertised, but ended with a dominating Cavaliers performance.

Fothergill churned out 11 of his 27 points in the final frame, including seven during an 11-0 run to put the Cavaliers up by 12. Fothergill and Trevor Bowler teamed up to convert several Souhegan turnovers into clean layups and free throws to compose the comfortable lead.

“We finished our layups and got some steals and it got into their heads and made them make some poor decisions,” Fothergill said. “It was definitely a huge momentum turner.”

From there, the Cavaliers, never let their lead shrink lower than seven points while going 10 for 14 at the free throw line.

“We had a couple of things we wanted to do and we fell back into the zone in the second half,” Hollis Brookline coach Mike Soucy said. “It runs some time and is harder to attack. Teams don’t run it regularly in practice so they’re not sure how to attack it. Credit to the boys, they bought in and did a great job tonight.”

It wasn’t always that easy for Hollis Brookline.

Neither team could find a rhythm and run away from the other through the first couple of quarters. The opening quarter saw both teams exchange buckets with quick passing and precise shooting.

“I told the boys, you’ve got to start thinking one step ahead,” said Soucy. “If you do that, it will start to open things up for you. We did that much better in the second half.”

Fothergill gave the Cavaliers a boost from beyond the arch when he nailed his first three attempts, but Souhegan responded each time.

The Sabers caught some fire in the second quarter by sticking to their game plan while Hollis Brookline had trouble getting shots to fall. Souhegan cranked out an 8-0 scoring stretch to give itself a 21-17 advantage at the half.

“I thought the energy was good throughout the game and the execution was better in the first half than the second,” Souhegan coach Peter Pierce said. “We did not shoot the ball well and we’ve got to work on our patience. There were times when we looked good, but there were times when we were not patient enough to execute what we need to execute.”

Hollis Brookline came out of the gates in the third quarter looking like a new team. The Cavaliers offense was more potent with an 8-2 run to take a permanent lead early in the quarter.

Isaac Nevrla led Souhegan’s scoring effort with 15 points, Raju Gandhi tossed in seven and Alex Hill and Thomas Stover had five each.

For Hollis Brookline, Bowler accounted for 14 points and Nick Fothergill added six.