This past Saturday, M-A’s boys’ basketball team defeated Lowell High School by a score of 51-43.
The game started off slow, a defensive battle as both teams forced turnovers. Frequent substitutions were made as M-A’s coach took advantage of the depth on the bench. The quarter ended with a score of 7-7.
The game picked up in the second quarter as senior Mecca Okereke got the Bears going with an impressive basket through a foul. Following the play, senior Ben Eisner carried on the momentum, stealing the ball from Lowell in a play that led to a breakaway layup. Great defense led to offense throughout the night.
Later in the quarter, Okereke got a steal leading to a dunk over two Lowell defenders. As the second quarter came to an end, junior Ben Timm made a three-point shot to give the Bears a 21-12 lead going into halftime.
Okereke attributed the change after the first quarter to the team, “being on the same page, and just taking our time and keeping a steady pace without rushing everything.”
Head Coach Mike Molieri seemed to share this view, stating that the team was, “a little more patient on offense.”
However the third quarter proved that the fate of the game wasn’t decided yet. Lowell came back in full force with a new sense of urgency and intensity with a run that narrowed the score margin. The Bears upped their attack by applying full-court pressure midway through the quarter. With the shot clock ticking to zero, senior Grant Zell grabbed an errant pass deep behind the three-point line and took an off-balance shot from one foot that found the hoop, bringing the gym to its feet. The quarter ended with a score of 27-25, the Bears ahead by two points.
As the fourth quarter began, the Bears launched a barrage of offense, in a 7-0 run, including Eisner hitting a 3-point shot. This streak was interrupted by a point from the line for Lowell, but after that, it was all Bears. A flurry of offensive rebounds, steals, and fast breaks created opportunities that the Bears capitalized on. With time on the clock diminishing, Okereke scored yet another bucket with a foul for M-A, running the length of the court and finishing through the contact to put the Bears up seven points. The game ended with a score of 51-43.
When asked about the team’s performance, Molieri stated that he felt the performance was, “very average.”
“We have a high expectation here, and I know everybody is looking at our six wins in a row, but we’re not getting better,” he said. However, he conceded that, “a win’s a win.”
Molieri added that the team does, “show composure when the game gets kind of close, which shows, because at the end of the game we get some points.”
On the team’s performance, Okereke said that, “in the second part of the game we came out competing hard, we just had to wake up from the first part. We had a little pep talk, and we just came out and played. Don’t think, just play basketball.”