The last time the Norton Lancers and Westwood Wolverines met on the basketball court, the Wolverines were celebrating their upset defeat of the Lancers in last year’s MIAA Division 3 South Sectional tournament. While their latest meeting did not end anyone’s season, the 60-50 Westwood win made an already tight race for the Tri-Valley League title that much closer.
Despite keeping the deficit to only three after the first quarter, a 13-2 run by the Wolverines stretched the lead to 11 as offensive rebounds and second chance points gave Westwood the cushion they needed against the Lancers.
“I think second half was pretty even but the first half for sure, their offensive rebounds got them the lead,” Lancers head coach Marc Liberatore said. “It got them that nice eight, nine point lead in the first half because they completly dominated the boards.”
A three pointer by Levi Kahn followed by a pair of buckets from James Loring helped get the Lancers back to within three late in the first half but five points from John Gebhard sent the Westwood lead back up to six at the half.
Similar to the previous quarter, the Wolverines ran the lead up to 15 with little to no response from the Lancers. Unable to rely on the three point shot and struggling at the free throw line, Westwood face little resistance.
Late in the fourth, five straight points from Loring got Norton back to within five with two minutes to play but a three point play from Jonathan Allegrezza increased the lead back to eight and put the game out of Norton’s reach.
Loring led the game with 23 points for the Lancers as the Norton junior was one of the few Lancers to give Westwood trouble during the evening.
“He (Loring) was pretty much our only consistent offensive player,” Liberatore said. “ (Westwood) did a good job taking out Dan Rafuse and we didn’t get much scoring from our guards. Second half they came out strong and that’s the way we got to start the game.”
Paul Calobrisi led Westwood with 19 points. Jonathan Allegrezza had nine point and 10 rebounds.
The Lancers are now 8-1 while Westwood improves to 5-3. Norton returns home on January 15 to face Bellingham.