Classwork pays off as Bulldogs rebound vs. Stoughton

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Junior captain Tony Harris had another big game vs. the Black Knights last week. (Mike Barucci photo)

Junior captain Tony Harris had another big game vs. the Black Knights last week. (Mike Barucci photo)

Following an intensive video and classroom session after a disappointing loss to Foxboro, the CHS boys basketball team rebounded with a 70-65 home win over Stoughton last Friday night. The win evened the Bulldogs’ record to 5-5 and kept them in the thick of the playoff race at the midway point of the season.

Head coach Ryan Gordy said he showed his team a tape of the 55-51 loss to Foxboro and the Bulldogs spent two days on instructional classroom work with little physical practice to prepare for the Black Knights.

That approach paid off as Canton opened a 34-17 halftime lead that grew to over 20 points in the third quarter before Stoughton rallied to cut into the lead by the end of the game.

“It was the best three periods back to back we have had the entire season,” said Gordy. “We made a lot of mistakes in the fourth quarter and fortunately we were able to hold on.”

Devin Foster was the leading scorer with 17 points while Tony Harris added 15 points and collected a team-leading nine rebounds.

According to Gordy, guard Jake Verille was the “X” factor, scoring a career-high 14 points and providing good passing and energy on both ends of the court. Danny Hartnett and Austin Maffie also contributed offensively with nine and eight points, respectively.

Earlier in the week, Canton held a five-point lead against Foxboro in the fourth quarter but let it slip away, allowing the Warriors to escape with a win on their home court.

“Mature teams don’t get up on a Friday night at home, win big, and then lose Tuesday night away,” said Gordy. “The Foxboro loss was a very teachable moment and I felt the team was better learning in the classroom. We didn’t compete in that fourth quarter and it was a great lesson for all of us.”

Canton held a slim, 19-17 lead after the first quarter and went into the half trailing 31-30. The Bulldogs led by three at the end of the third and seemed to be in control with six and a half minutes to go. But the Bulldogs went ice cold for the remainder of the game and the Warriors were able to mount defensive pressure and then capitalized on their offensive opportunities.

Harris had 14 points by halftime and finished with a team-high 18 for the game. Foster added 11 points and Maffie cane off the bench to score 10. Center Brian Albert started the fourth quarter with three buckets for six points.

The Bulldogs have a very busy week this week with a home game Tuesday against Franklin, an away game Friday at Taunton, and a special game Sunday against Sharon at the Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence starting at 3:15 p.m. (following the girls game at 1 p.m.). Tickets are $15 per person and covers admission to all high school games at the DD Center that day. Gordy said that 325 Canton tickets were presold.

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