Norton Boys Basketball Faces Challenging End To Regular Season
Lancers to face three talent-laden teams over the next 10 days.
Riding a six-game winning streak and having won eight of their last nine games overall, the Norton High boys’ varsity basketball team will certainly be put to the test during its final three games of the regular season.
The Lancers are currently 14-5 overall and 11-5 in the league, which is good for third place. Medway (15-3 overall) and Hopkinton (15-1) remain tied atop the TVL standings with identical 15-1 marks. Norton is third at 11-5 with Medfield fourth at 8-7 overall and in the league. Dover-Sherborn is fifth with a 10-8 overall record and an 8-8 TVL mark.
Norton will begin its challenging three-game stretch when the team travels to Medway for a league contest on Tuesday night at 6:30 p.m. The Mustangs handed the Lancers a 58-40 setback at the Lawrence Larocque Gymnasium on January 14.
The Lancers will then host a re-match with rival Medfield on Senior Night on Friday at 5 p.m. Norton will be looking to avenge a 50-42 loss to the Warriors on January 18 in Medfield. Of the Lancers’ five losses this winter, three have come to the top two teams in the league in Hopkinton (twice) and Medway. Norton has also lost to Medfield and suffered an unexpected loss to Millis.
The Lancers will complete the regular season with a trip to Martha’s Vineyard over school vacation, playing the Vineyarders in a non-league game Wednesday, Feb. 23 at 4:30 p.m.
Norton registered a heart-stopping 56-53 verdict over a talented Martha’s Vineyard team at the Larocque Gymnasium last Thursday night. The Vineyarders, champions of the Eastern Athletic Conference this winter, began the week with a 13-3 overall record.
“Those last three games will be challenging as all three are well balanced teams who are very well coached,” said Norton head coach Marc Liberatore. “At the very least we are back to a regular schedule now with no three-game weeks or back to back games, so we will have time to prepare for the challenges those teams will present.
“And these games will definitely prepare us for the tournament as Medway and Martha’s Vineyard will most likely be in the top four as far as seeding goes and no one respects the tradition that Medfield always brings more than us. We will have to play smart and consistent basketball in all three of those contests.”
Norton will then await the pairings for the MIAA Division 3 South Sectional Tournament, which will be announced Friday, Feb. 25.
“We are most competitive when we take care of the basketball, limit our turnovers and play tough, half-court defense,” Liberatore said. “But that becomes more difficult in the tournament with more pressure and better players to guard on opposing teams. We want to try to take away the other team’s strengths. Foul shooting also becomes important in deciding close games.”