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Boy's Basketball Fends Off Late Millis Rally En Route To 53-48 Win

James Loring netted 17 points, while Dan Rafuse scored 11 points in Norton's seventh win of the season.

Trailing Norton by seven points entering the final stanza, Millis stormed back with a 12-4 run, which pushed the Mohawks ahead, 44-43 with roughly four minutes remaining.

Norton’s James Loring regained the lead for the Lancers off a right-handed layup on the ensuing possession before Millis retained their advantage with a Sean Heffernan jumper.

Loring then netted the go-ahead bucket off a layup on his team’s next possession, which provided the Lancers with the lead for good.

“We fell apart towards the end, we didn’t stick together, we started getting mad at each other, but we pulled it off luckily,” said Loring.

Loring, Zach Ruby and Chris Huff put the Lancers up by five with less than a minute remaining before Chris Baker converted Millis’ final field goal off a right-handed layup.

Norton responded with a pair at the stripe from Dan Rafuse, which secured a 53-48 victory for the Lancers.

“In our seven wins it’s been a different variety of ways, they’ve all been pretty close and that’s another one,” said Norton coach Marc Liberatore.

“Some teams when they battle back and get the lead, their confidence gets shaken, but to our credit, we then made three or four good plays to get the ball inside and get a good shot.”

Paul Murphy got Norton on the board early, as he sank three trifectas in the opening quarter before the Lancers utilized their transition offense in the second to push their lead to 30-20 at the break.

“In the locker room [during halftime] we were talking about how we had to sharpen things up. We didn’t have any big comments about what we were doing wrong, we just had to sharpen up our defense and our [defensive rebounds] and everything,” said Loring.

Millis began their rally early in the third off a layup by Bauer and jumper by Chris Simmons. Norton responded with a three-pointer from Rafuse before Millis closed the gap with a Bauer free throw and three-pointer.

Kevin Queresio continued the Mohawks rally early in the fourth by sinking three consecutive jump shots before Loring and the Lancers regained momentum to earn their seventh win of the season, sixth in the Tri-Valley League.

“We fell apart toward the middle, but it was good and good to get out with the win,” said Loring. 

Loring led all scorers with 17 points, while Rafuse finished with 11 points.

Bauer, who tallied 16 points in his team’s fourth loss of the year, paced Millis.

Norton will return to the hardwood seeking its eighth straight win on Tuesday when they host Holliston.

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