South falls in first round of State Tournament

By Denebola
Published: March 2008

By Mark Garrity

After hitting their stride in the middle of the season, the Newton South boys’ basketball team lost steam towards the end, losing to Acton-Boxborough Regional High School, Waltham High School, and ultimately Taunton High School at the state tournament on February 28.
The Lions were the Division I tenth seed at states, and Taunton the seventh seed. The team finished the season with an 11-9 record.
As the players warmed up before states, the atmosphere was charged with excitement for what was supposed to be a very close match-up. The crowd was not sure which Lions team would show up’€the dominant team that went on a winning streak at the beginning of the season, or the unfocused team that had lost its final game to Waltham.
Right off the bat, it was clear the Lions weren’t clicking. Junior Willie Lyons’ attempts to drive into the lane, to shoot, or to kick the ball to an outside shooter were failing. It seemed as though Taunton had done its scouting well, because they were clogging the lane and preventing Lyons from doing anything down low. The early trouble caused the Lions to start shooting too many outside shots.
While the Lions struggled, Taunton’s senior guard Apollos Wade took advantage of his opportunities, sinking all of his open shots.
Fortunately, junior Tyrik Wilson was able to make a couple of mid-range jumpers, scoring four of the Lions’ 12 first quarter points. By the end of the first quarter, the Lions trailed 26-12.
The second quarter was similar to the first, with the Lions still unable to achieve anything on the offensive end. They scored only eight points, no match for the cruising Taunton offense. The halftime score was 39-20 in Taunton’s favor, a big deficit for the Lions to overcome.
The second half was a different story for the Lions, who came out rejuvenated and ready to play. They really stepped it up on the defensive end, making Taunton fight for every basket.
Lyons started to heat up as senior Max Balter entered the game to help South on the defensive end. Lyons started driving the lane, making some spectacular lay-ups and even a clutch three-pointer. He went on to score 12 points in the quarter.
With things going their way, the Lions cut the lead to nine early in the fourth quarter. Momentum seemed to be swinging in favor of the Lions.
However, South could not ultimately climb out of the hole it had dug in the first half.
Taunton played a much more consistent game than the Lions, and came out on top, winning 82-65.
The loss was a great disappointment for South. Lyons ended the game leading all scorers with 23 points, followed by junior Tavon Wynder with 13 Wilson with 12.
Though the season ended sooner than they had hoped, the Lions are fortunate to have a good portion of the team returning next year, including Dual County League All-Stars Lyons and Wynder, juniors Keilan Jackson, Chi Chi Foster, Wilson, Ben Allar and sophomore Alex O’Hagan. For seniors Mattie Shocket, Aaron Zaleznik, Jeff Goldstein, Myles Bellinger, and Balter, this was their last time suiting up to play for the Lions.

Read more

Like it? Share it!


Copyright © Denebola | The Official School Newspaper of Newton South High School | 140 Brandeis Road, Newton, MA 02459.
Site designed by Chenzhe Cao.