Boys Basketball Takes Momentum Into Tournament

A+Walpole+guard+drives+to+the+basket.

A Walpole guard drives to the basket.

Peter Hoegler

 

A Walpole guard drives to the basket.
A Walpole guard drives to the basket.

After watching the Herget Division title slip from their fingers in the final four games of league play, the Boys Basketball team took a step in the right direction heading into the postseason with decisive wins against Xaverian and Stoughton in the Walpole Hoop Classic.

Walpole earned the No. 11 seed in the Division 2 South Sectional Tournament after a 13-8 regular season that was capped off with a 65-57 win over Xaverian on Sunday and a 78-53 pasting of Stoughton on Monday to take title. The Rebels will be at No. 6 Dartmouth for their first round clash.

“We feel confident going into the tournament after winning our second straight Hoop Classic championship,” said senior Captain Adam Quinlan, who was named to the tournament All-Star team. “We have been playing much better defensively lately, and we are going to need that against Dartmouth.”

Senior Ryan Fogarty won the Hoop Classic MVP award after having one of his best performances of the season against Stoughton. Fogarty scored 19 points against his former school, Xaverian, and finished with 18 points and 10 assists against Stoughton in the title game.

The only quarter that Walpole would like to take back from the Hoop Classic was the first against Xaverian, in which the Rebels trailed 18-5 after eight horrible minutes. Walpole trailed 31-24 at halftime, but took a five-point lead into the fourth, 46-41. Fogarty scored 13 of his 19 points in the second half while Quinlan finished with 13 after being blanked in the first half and Pat Donovan gave Walpole three in double figures with 11.

In the championship game against Stoughton, the Rebels played much better in the defensive end–allowing their offense to run at ease. Walpole broke the game open in the third quarter and extended the lead to 30 before finally settling at 25.

“Our rules are defense, rebound and run,” said Coach St. Martin. “If we can do those three things, we can get out there and play. I thought we did a good job on the boards, especially on the defensive end.”

Boys Basketball takes their Walpole Hoop Classic crown into the South Shore town of Dartmouth, who will host this No.6 vs. No.11 matchup on Wednesday, February 26 at 6:30. The Dartmouth Indians finished the regular season with a record of 14-6 and will be playing in their first tournament game in six years.

The Indians are led by senior guard Cody Borges, who averaged 19.3 points per game this season. Borges had 61 3-point field goals over the course of the season (which led the Old Colony League) and his 10 3-pointers in a loss against Durfee set a school single-game record.

However, the difference in this first round clash will be the health of Dartmouth’s senior Captain Nick Simonetti, who has 1,120 career points: an incredible amount for a high school player. Simonetti injured his ankle in practice last Tuesday and missed the final two games of the regular season; currently, he is listed as questionable for this tournament tilt. If the senior guard is unable to go on Wednesday, Fogarty should have his way on the offensive end.

The Rebels do have the upper hand in experience with the entire starting lineup having played in the Hingham game one year ago. If Walpole can play well in the defensive end and keep their composure in the fourth quarter, they will be in great position to win this game. But this is the State Tournament; anything can happen.