Boys Basketball Takes Hold of the Herget

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Peter Hoegler

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Walpole’s center takes a shot over a Wellesley center.

What a six game stretch for the Rebels.

When the Boys Basketball team walked out of the Walpole High gymnasium on December 17 after a dissapointing loss to Newton North, the future did not look bright: Walpole was about to go on a six game road trip against some of the most proficient teams in the region. Now the Rebels are coming home–but with an unbelievable 6-1 record.

The last stop of the road trip was at Wellesley High School, where the Rebels took on the Red Raiders, who were also 5-1 at the time, for sole proprietorship of the Herget Division. This clash proved to be the biggest of the bunch as the boys prevailed 63-59 in a game that included eight ties and seven lead changes. The win gave Walpole (4-1 in league play) a one-game lead in the Herget Division over Wellesley and Milton, who comes to town on Friday, January 10.

“Last year we strugged in close games, but this year we’ve already won five games that have been decided by four points or less,” said senior Captain Adam Quinlan. “I think that just shows the maturity of this team and how comfortable we are playing with each other.”

The first quarter was dominated by senior Captain Scott Arsenault and junior Chris Gallivan, who provided a big lift off the bench with 12 points and 7 rebounds. At the end of one, the Rebels led 11-10 and everyone in the gym knew that this game was going to be close until the final buzzer.

The second quarter was highlighted by the sharp shooting of Arsenault, who finished with a team-high 18 points. The “Best Shooter and Massachusetts” hit two three’s that were beyond NBA range and kept Walpole in the game when Wellesley began to go on a run. At halftime, Walpole and Wellesley were knotted at 30.

“There honestly isn’t a shot Scott can’t hit,” said Quinlan. “He takes a lot of pressure off of Ryan (Fogarty) and I when we know we can count on him to make the shot.”

Quinlan provided a much needed boost in the third quarter: coming up with some cluth outside shots and rebounds. The senior center continued to show his evolving game with a balanced scoresheet of seven points, eight rebounds and five assists. All three of his field goals were outside the paint, including a 3-pointer. The bulk of the assists came when finding Gallivan inside. At the end of 3, Boys Basketball led their Herget rival 50-44.

The fourth quarter was much more competitive, however, and Wellesley even took the lead 56-55 with 2:36 remaining. But on the next posession, Gallivan went to the free throw line and made 1-of-2 to tie the game. Senior point guard Ryan Fogarty put Walpole back in front with a pair of free throws with 53.2 seconds left. He also made it 60-56 with both ends of a 1-and-1 with 24.9 seconds left after senior Ryan Gulley came up with a huge steal.

The Red Raiders countered with a 3 to get back to within one possession with 2.9 to go, but sophomore Pat Donovan made the second of two free throws to seal the win.

“That was a great test for us,” said Fogarty, who was this weeks Most Valuable Rebels after winning the MVP award at the Muscato Tournament. “We proved something to the league and the rest of the state that the Walpole Basketball team can win close games on the road.”

The Rebels hope to extend their win streak to seven games against a very formidable Milton team on Friday.