Boys Basketball Drops Season Opener to Wamps, 54-46

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The captains at practice prior to Friday’s game (Photo/Tyler Creighton).

Jake Moser

The captains at practice prior to Friday's game (Photo/Tyler Creighton).

Coming off a 12-9 campaign in 2010, Dave St. Martin’s Rebels looked to open the 2011 season in a similarly successful fashion.  After countless hours of preparation, the Rebels were unable to prevail against the Braintree Wamps, losing by a score of 54-46 in the season opener last Friday.

The game started out in Braintree’s favor from the opening tip-off, which was won by Rebel senior center Tim Merrigan, but fell into the hands of a Braintree player who strided in for two points almost immediately.  This play was surely a sign of what was to come for the Rebels: plays that just didn’t go Walpole’s way.

For the entire first half, The Rebels trailed closely behind the Wamps.  Braintree center Pat Delano was a force, not only in the first half, but the entire game.  Delano led all scorers on both teams with 25 points, as well as racking up numerous rebounds.  Senior Tom Donnellan led the Rebels in the first half with 8 points, including two 3-pointers.  At the end of the half, both teams went to their respective benches with the Wamps leading the Rebels, 27-24.

The Rebels came out of the half-time huddle with an entirely different mindset.  The Rebels defense improved greatly, due in part to improved rebounding by Walpole, especially juniors Johnny Adams (6 rebounds), Mike Cabral (8 rebounds), and sophomore Nick Cordopatri (6 rebounds).  The improved defense led to just 5 points by Braintree in the 3rd quarter, and the Rebels took the lead for the first time in the game.  Unfortunately, the Rebels would eventually lose both Merrigan and Adams for the rest of the game due to foul trouble.

With Merrigan and Adams out of the game, the Wamps took control again and retook the lead.  Precise shooting from junior Brian Lotsbom, who scored 12 points including two 3-pointers, kept the game close but to no avail.  “Coach Harris has been telling me in practice that I need to bring energy off the bench and at that point in the game I felt that we needed a spark because we were struggling a little offensively, but once you make the first few the rest come easier because you have your confidence under you,” said Lotsbom.  Despite Lotsbom’s efforts, the Rebels succumbed to the Wamps by a score of 54-46 at the end of the game.

The Rebels now look to their Tuesday game  against Natick.  “The game is going to be tough. Natick always has a good team so we have to come out of the gates hard,” says Adams.” I think if we play with the same intensity as we have been in practice and do the little things then it should put us in a great position to win. We just have to limit some of the mental mistakes and cheap fouls. If we play aggressive and smart defense and capitalize on the offensive end we’re in a great spot.”