Norton Boys Basketball Preparing For Showdown
Lancers take three-game winning streak into Friday’s contest with first-place Medway.
The Norton High boys’ basketball team prepared for its showdown with Medway on Friday with a dominant 59-39 victory over Bellingham in a Tri-Valley League contest on Tuesday night at the Lawrence Larocque Gymnasium.
The win improved the Lancers to 6-2 overall and 5-2 in the league. A 73-70 double-overtime win in Holliston allowed Medway to maintain sole possession of first place in the TVL as the Mustangs are 7-2 overall and 7-0 in the league. Hopkinton is second at 6-2 overall and 6-1 in the league, while Norton is third at 5-2 in the league. Medfield currently sits fourth in the league standings with a 4-3 record overall and in the league.
As always, Norton rode an impressive defensive effort to its third straight victory on Tuesday. The Lancers held the Blackhawks (1-8 overall, 1-6 in the TVL) to just six points in the first quarter and would eventually built a 14-point lead at the half, 31-17.
A fast start to the second half on both the defensive and offensive ends of the floor would allow Norton to take full control. A combination of terrific defense, along with two three-pointers by junior guard Steve Burrill and another basket by junior forward Colin Feeney allowed the visitors to push their 14-point half-time advantage to 22 points, 39-17.
The Lancers would maintain a comfortable lead for the rest of the game, holding Bellingham to just eight third-quarter points and outscoring the hosts 28-22 in the second half for the final margin of victory, 59-39.
In its eight games this winter, the Norton defense has held its opponents to 51 points or less on six occasions. The exceptions were a 57-50 loss to Hopkinton at home on December 17 and a 63-59 victory in Westwood last Friday night.
Feeney had his second consecutive impressive performance on Tuesday night. Following a 15-point, 12-rebound effort against the Wolverines last Friday, the junior forward contributed a team-high 16 points and 10 rebounds on Tuesday.
Burrill, the transfer from Bishop Feehan, scored 14 points in the game and grabbed an impressive total of nine steals. Senior forward Steve Tessier also continued his terrific play of late, contributing 10 points to the victory.
Senior captain Chris Ruta did an excellent job running the Lancer offense from his point guard position, finishing with seven assists.
Norton now awaits Medway, looking to move up the TVL standings when the team hosts the Mustangs on Friday at the Larocque Gymnasium. The freshman game will begin at 3:30 p.m., followed by the junior varsity contest at 5 and the varsity game at 6:30.
Medway is coming off a harder-than-expected win on Tuesday night over a Holliston team that entered their game with just a 3-4 overall record and 2-3 league mark.
Joe Henry scored 20 points for the Mustangs, finally putting the game away for his team with a key basket in the second overtime. Senior forward Matt Ford also contributed 13 points and 11 rebounds, while senior guard Mike Ozzella had 17 points. Sophomore Matt Ozzella contributed to the cause with 15 points and seven rebounds.
Medway’s two losses this year have come to Charlestown (70-55) and Needham (54-51).