While the Norton boys’ basketball team is known for their outside jumpers and three-point shooting, they can still go to the basket and get production. Getting 26 trips to the free throw line in their previous match against Holliston, the Lancers once again went to that strategy, which lead to their 61-27 victory.
“We thought we could drive to the basket again. That was an emphasis we talked about before we played,” said Lancers head coach Marc Liberatore.
Driving to the basket and getting plenty of space down low, the Lancers (13-4 overall, 13-2 TVL) had no problem with the Panthers (4-13, 3-12).
The Lancers jumped out to a fast start with Holliston unable to do anything about it. Getting men down low, the Lancers’ edge in rebounding prevented few second chance points by the Panthers. This was also the case on the other end of the court where the Lancers were able to get 17 offensive boards against the Panthers.
“They just got so many second and third chance opportunities that they’re just getting everything around the paint on us,” Holliston head coach Dan Santos said.
Jumping out to a 21-7 lead after the first quarter, the Lancers got a little sluggish letting the Panthers match them point for point in the second. While the lead was never in danger, the Lancers were a little weak on defense.
“We had a great first quarter and then our second quarter we relaxed a little bit so at halftime I kinda got on them to go back to what we did in the first quarter,” Liberatore said.
Getting back to the first quarter is exactly what they did, by allowing only two points in the third and eight for the entire second half.
Colin Feeney continued to dominate down low. The Norton center was all over the boards and was hot around the low post as no one from Holliston could find an answer to him.
“We didn’t do a good job keeping him (Feeney) off the boards. He’s a good player so if you don’t get a body on to him he’s gonna be active and hurt ya,” Santos said.
With a 26-point lead entering the fourth quarter, the Lancers rested most of their regular rotation in an effort to get more of the bench into the game.
“Its always good when you get to play everybody and get some kids some minutes who haven’t played that much,” Liberatore said.
Feeney ended the night with a game high 19 points and eight rebounds. Zach Ruby had nine points and five assists. Paul Murphy had eight points. Both Steve Burrill and Dan Rafuse had seven points.
Chris Miller led the Panthers with six points.
The Panthers will travel to Dover-Sherborn next while The Lancers will have a pivotal league matchup later this week against second place Westwood. With a win against Medfield the Wolverines can go into the game with a chance to tie for first place.
“They’re (Westwood) a very competitive team. It's a good road challenge,” Liberatore said. “We’re looking forward to it. I’m sure it’s going to be a good game.”
Tipoff is on Friday, Feb. 10 6:30 p.m. at Westwood High School.