Sharon Ends Boys Basketball Playoff Run

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Sharon defenders swarm a Walpole basketball player. (Photo/ Julia Adams)

Michael Fortin

Sharon defenders swarm a Walpole basketball player.  (Photo/ Julia Adams)
Sharon defenders swarm a Walpole basketball player.
(Photo/ Julia Adams)

 

Coming into what some were calling the biggest Walpole Boys Basketball game in 10 years, the Rebels were looking to extend their magical season against No. 10  Sharon to get the chance to meet up with Bay State rival Milton in Division 2 South Final.  In one of the most challenging games of the season, Walpole failed to advance to the next round as Sharon’s offensive firepower proved too much for Walpole, as they fell to the Eagles by a score of 72-57.

Unlike what the final score indicates, the first three quarters of the game was a one possession game which could go either way.  The game plan for Walpole was to shut down Sharon’s two 1000 point scorers (something relatively unheard of in high school basketball) Brian Mukasa and James Fritzon.  Playing in front of one of their biggest crowds of the season, Walpole came out of the gate swinging showing no signs of early jitters.

“Playing in front of such a big crowd was intimidating but we didn’t let that effect us and we just played right out of the gate like how we have been playing all year” said senior Captain Adam Quinlan.

Leading the aggressive Rebels early on, senior point guard Ryan Fogarty was nearly unguardable, giving Sharon’s defense fits.  To compliment Fogarty, Quinlan dominated in the paint coming down with a career high 21 rebounds, giving Walpole second and third opportunities to extend their possession.  However, Sharon countered by hitting nearly every three in the first half, especially their star Fritzon.

The Rebels had their biggest lead of the night  in the middle of the  second quarter at 24-19 but the lead quickly disappeared when Sharon’s dynamic duo of guards started to heat up.  The duo gave Walpole’s defense trouble, overwhelming their defense at times.  Despite this, guards Fogarty and junior Pat Donovan would keep the Rebels in the game by finding Quinlan down low, exploiting Sharon’s lack of big men.

Coming out of the half with a 36-32 deficit, the Rebels went right back to Fogarty to jump start the Rebels. However, Walpole could not figure out Sharon’s duo of Mukasa and Fritzon, showing everyone in attendance how they both have reached the 1000 point mark.  Fritzon and Mukasa led the Eagles to start pull away complimenting their game high 29 and 21 points.

Quinlan added, “It was a tough task guarding these two guards, we held them in check for a good portion of the game but playing against players like that they’ll eventually burn you at some point.”

After two Fogarty free throws to bring the Rebels deficit to one while trailing 53-52, Sharon’s duo went right back to work.  This led to a 12-2 run late in the second half, proving too much for Walpole’s defense.  Despite Fogarty’s 20 point night, Sharon’s high powered offense proved too much for the Rebels as Sharon clinched their ticket to the Division 2 Finals.

Despite this loss, Coach St. Martin and the rest of the Rebels had one of the best seasons in recent memory.  After only winning just three games two years ago, the Senior Class’s commitment has helped put the Rebels back on track as they look to improve and make it to the Garden next season.