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High Schools: Brady boys give Milford a scare before falling short

  • A shot by Bishop Brady senior Matthew Quirk (2) hits the backboard after a clean block from Milford senior Shane Winnett (left) during Monday's game at Bishop Brady High School in Concord. Bishop Brady lost to Milford, 57-48. ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff

  • Bishop Brady's Eero Myliymaki (3) makes a layup during Monday's basketball game at Bishop Brady High School in Concord on Feb. 6, 2017. Bishop Brady lost to Milford, 57-48. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff)

  • Bishop Brady's Bryce Johnson (4) is double teamed during Monday's basketball game at Bishop Brady High School in Concord on Feb. 6, 2017. Bishop Brady lost to Milford, 57-48. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff)

  • Brady’s Joshua LeClaire (23) goes up for a shot during Monday’s game at Bishop Brady High School in Concord. Brady lost to Milford, 57-48. ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff

  • Bishop Brady's Matthew Desmarais (32) finishes off a rebound from Bryce Johnson (4) during Monday's basketball game at Bishop Brady High School in Concord on Feb. 6, 2017. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff)

  • Bishop Brady's Bryce Johnson (4) shoots during Monday's basketball game at Bishop Brady High School in Concord on Feb. 6, 2017. Bishop Brady lost to Milford, 57-48. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff)

  • Bishop Brady's Matthew Desmarais (32) goes up for a shot during Monday's basketball game at Bishop Brady High School in Concord on Feb. 6, 2017. Bishop Brady lost to Milford, 57-48. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff)



Monitor staff
Tuesday, February 07, 2017

The Bishop Brady boys’ basketball team knows it still has a lot to learn 10 games into the season. After Monday night’s showdown against undefeated Milford, the Green Giants also know how close they are to being one of the top programs in Division II.

Brady matched the Spartans shot-for-shot throughout the first half, never trailed by more than nine points and cut Milford’s lead to three with just over two minutes to play. But in what seemed like a flash, the Spartans buckled down in the closing minutes, rattling off a game-clinching 8-2 run to retain their unbeaten status and walk out of Thomas Hardiman Gymnasium with a 57-48 victory.

“Milford’s a good team and we just wanted to come in here, play hard as a team and compete with them and I think we did that,” Brady senior Matthew Quirk said. “There’s just some things we need to get better at during end of the game execution if we want to get where they are.”

That enviable position would be at the top of the standings as Milford (11-0) stands alone in a division where nearly half the teams are muddled in the middle of the pack. Brady (6-4) believes it can get there, it’s just going to take a little more work.

“We’re going to keep working hard as a team, this isn’t the end result (we wanted), but it’s kind of a good way to see where we are compared to the other best teams in the division,” Quirk said. “We know we can beat them now and we also know that there’s some things we need to work on in practice to be there standing at the end of the year.”

For the second straight game, Brady’s offense struggled to find a rhythm and took a loss because of it, but the team’s defensive effort and rotations were a bright spot in a contest where it held a Milford team averaging 64 points per game to one of its lowest outputs of the year at 57 points.

“I mean we played hard as a team and that’s very a important thing,” Brady Coach Cole Etten said. “It’s important for me to be able to put guys in the right spots and for us to be able to work as a team on the offensive and defensive end. We have a lot to learn.”

The Green Giants limited the Spartans to 24 first-half points and hung around throughout the second half thanks to some timely buckets from Bryce Johnson (18 points) and Eero Myllymaki (10 points). But a critical stretch in the fourth quarter is what finally did them in.

“Milford’s a good team, a lot of credit goes to them,” Etten said. “They played hard the whole game and made some extra plays down the stretch and that’s what got them that nine-point lead at the end.”

After Johnson and Myllymaki delivered consecutive 3-pointers at the 4:13 mark of the fourth to energize the home crowd and trim the deficit to three at 49-46, Milford quickly zapped the momentum.

Shane Winnet (13 points) made a strong move to the bucket for a layup, Ryan Banuskevich scored a quick four points and Weston Pare sealed the game with a bucket of his own.

“Everybody gives us a good game,” Milford Coach Daniel Murray said. “We’re good, but we’re not great by any means. ... I think defensively Brady did a really good job with us.”

Brady, which has won three of its last five, will try and return to its winning ways tonight at John Stark (6-5).

(Jay McAree can be reached at 369-3340, jmcaree@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @JayMcAree.)

BOYS’ BASKETBALL

Salem 93, Concord 90, OT

Key players: Concord – Matt Giroux (26 points, 5 rebounds), John Kalisz (14 points, 7 rebounds), Tyler Blodgett (11 points), Tejun Celestin (12 points 9 rebounds)

Highlights/key moments: In a thrilling contest, Concord’s Giroux connected one a one-handed shot to send the game into overtime, but Salem scored the first four points of the extra frame and the Tide could never catch up. Concord stayed in the game by going 25 of 32 from the free-throw line

Coach’s quote: “We made a lot of crazy mistakes at times, but I couldn’t be prouder of how hard they worked.” – Concord’s Dave Chase

Records: Concord 1-10; Salem 5-5

Belmont 61, Prospect Mountain 42

Key players: Belmont – Trevor Hunt (15 points, 11 rebounds), Matt Pluskis (13 points), Derek Stevens (11 points), Doug Price (8 points), Dylan Gansert (great play)

Highlights/key moments: Belmont’s defense held Prospect Mountain to three points in the second quarter to build a double-digit lead at halftime.

Coach’s quote: “It was a good bounce-back win after a loss where we lost our way on Friday at Mascoma. We overcame a tightly called game and maintained our composure to come out with a good win.” – Belmont’s Jim Cilley

Records: Belmont 11-2; Prospect Mountain 2-11

Pittsfield 74, Mount Royal 45

Key players: Pittsfield – Cam Darrah (33 points, 7 rebounds, 6 steals in three quarters), Matt St. George (12 points), Casey Clark (8 points, 4 assists), Noah MacGlashing (5 points)

Highlights/key moments: Darrah and St. George combined for 24 of the 26 points Pittsfield scored in the first quarter with 12 apiece. Pittsfield led 45-17 at halftime.

Coach’s quote: “Matt and Cam came out on fire and really set the tone early. We executed well on the defensive end and were able to get out in transition and get some easy baskets.” – Pittsfield’s Jay Darrah

Records: Pittsfield 12-2; Mount Royal 5-9

GIRLS’ BASKETBALL

Salem 52, Concord 46

Key players: Concord – Haley Munroe (13 points), Emily Otto (12 points), Kasie Maloney (10 points)

Highlights/key moments: The Tide began the contest by going down 19-5, but cut the lead to 10 at the half. Concord tied the game at 40-all in the fourth quarter, but Salem engineered a run late and Concord couldn’t convert on its chances at the free-throw line.

Coach’s quote: “The team showed a great deal of character tonight by continuing to work hard after the first quarter. We had our chances at the line in the fourth, but we were not able to take advantage of it.” – Concord’s Mike Achilles

Records: Concord 2-10; Salem 7-7

Bishop Brady 67, Milford 58

Key players: Brady – Sarah Doherty (24 points, 8 assists), Sam Will (13 points, 10 rebounds), Lauren Roy (12 points, 3 steals), Riley Bennett (11 points, 7 rebounds)

Highlights/key moments: The Green Giants used the third quarter to pull away, scoring 20 points in the frame to give the team some breathing room down the stretch.

Coach’s quote: “It was good to get back on the court and play another game. Milford is a tough place to play and the girls responded well and came to play.” – Brady’s Annie Alosa

Records: Brady 11-2; Milford 3-10

Concord Christian 50, Farmington 40

Key players: Concord Christian – Kara Jarvis (15 points), Jade Bell (13 points), Rebekah Johnson (11 points), Jasmine Bell (11 points)

Highlights/key moments: The Lady Kingsmen took control early and kept the pressure up to pull off the double-digit win.

Coach’s quote: ‘We worked hard to move the ball and penetrate the middle. We played strong defense.” – Concord Christian’s Shelby Purtell

Records: Concord Christian 6-8; Farmington 7-6

Hollis-Brookline 64, Coe-Brown 41

Key players: Coe-Brown – Shannon Riley (15 points, 5 rebounds), Chelsea McCallion (10 points, 8 rebounds), Ahna McCusker (6 points, 11 rebounds)

Highlights/key moments: Hollis-Brookline took it to the Bears early and led 29-13 after the first quarter. Coe-Brown saw its three-game win streak snapped while Hollis-Brookline had lost two of its previous four games.

Records: Coe-Brown 8-6; Hollis-Brookline 10-3

Mount Royal 51, Pittsfield 34

Key players: Pittsfield – Lindsey Massey (11 points, 6 rebounds), Ari Cyr (8 points, 4 rebounds)

Highlights/key moments: Pittsfield started off slow in the first half with only 10 points, and good scoring in the second half couldn’t close the gap as Mount Royal took the win.

Coach’s quote: “We took enough shots in the first half, but we just couldn’t find the bottom of the net. The second half was much better, but we just couldn’t make up the difference.” – Pittsfield’s Heidi Hall

Records: Pittsfield 2-13; Mount Royal 7-7

GIRLS’ ICE HOCKEY

Exeter 3, Concord 1

Key players: Concord – Lilly Vezina (goal), Nicole Jones (assist), Maggie Connolly (assist), Maddy Audet (18 saves)

Highlights/key moments: The streaking Crimson Tide nearly pulled off the upset, but lost for the first time since Jan. 18.

Records: Concord 9-4; Exeter 12-1