Boys’ hoop team 1 win away from D3 playoff berthBy Mike Berger
With last week’s 50-35 win over Fairhaven, the CHS boys’ basketball team now needs just one more win against a Division 3 opponent in order to clinch a spot in the D3 south sectional tournament.
The Bulldogs, who play the majority of their games against Division 2 teams, will get their chance in the final week of the regular season as they are due to play both Foxboro and Fairhaven at home on February 15 and 18.
Last week, the team could only muster one victory as they beat Fairhaven but lost to both Mansfield 81-45 and Milford 54-44 to fall to 4-9 overall.
Despite the two losses, the Bulldogs showed how much they have improved since the beginning of the season, especially in Friday’s game against the 12-1 Milford Hawks, who previously beat Canton by 15 points back on December 18.
In last week’s rematch, the Bulldogs dramatically tightened their defense and held a 44-43 lead with four minutes to go before Milford came back with a 10-0 run to ice the game. The Hawks used their decided height advantage and also made the most of their free-throw opportunities down the stretch.
The Bulldogs were also hurt by the injury to forward Dexter Green, who was having an outstanding overall game when he was sidelined late in the fourth quarter with about two minutes remaining.
The leading scorers for Canton were junior captains Sam Larson (17 points) and Tristin Mullen (12 points), while Green finished with eight points, several rebounds, and a few steals.
“We played excellent defense, limited Milford’s possessions, but we ran out of gas at the end,” said head coach Ryan Gordy after the game. “This game showed who we are: a tough-minded, defensive team who will grind it out.”
Gordy said Canton’s defense also proved to be too much for Fairhaven on Wednesday as the Bulldogs held their hosts to only five points in the fourth quarter. Fairhaven led 9-7 at the end of the first, but the Bulldogs came back to lead 24-18 at the half and 33-30 at the end of the three quarters.
Mullen, who Gordy said has been playing outstanding basketball, led the team with 15 points, followed by Larson with 11.
Earlier in the week, the Bulldogs hosted a one-loss Mansfield team that is considered by many coaches to be the best team on the south shore — and it showed in the results as the visitors scored over 80 points and hit 10 three-point shots.
Canton kept up with the Hornets for one quarter, trailing 17-10. By halftime, the deficit had grown to 37-24, and it was 64-31 by the end of the third quarter. Gordy emptied the bench in the fourth to give his younger players a chance to play extended minutes. Larson led the offense with 17 points, while starting guard Paul Swart added seven. Jonathan Gilmore and Scott Olshaker had four points each, and Brandon Pulido added three points.
The Bulldogs began play this week with seven games left in the regular season, including Tuesday at home versus Oliver Ames. They will travel to North Attleboro tomorrow night and will then host King Philip next Tuesday, February 5.
Short URL: http://www.thecantoncitizen.com/?p=18759