Spartans survive nail-biter to take Div. 3 East title and advance to state finals
The Bishop Stang Spartan boys basketball team defeated the Dracut Middies to take the Div. 3 East championship and move on to the state finals.
The March 13 game at the TD Garden was a back and forth battle throughout. The Middies showed just how they made their Cinderella run through the North Division defense.
The Middies’ defense was on full display right from the start by forcing many missed shots from the Spartans. The gritty play was reciprocated by the Spartans, however, and had the team holding on to a slim 26-24 lead at the half.
In the second half, the Spartans held a slim lead for much of the game, but with just over three minutes remaining in the game, the Middies fought back to take the lead at 51-49.
Senior Isaiah Rodrigues took over. Although he did score 10 points in the victory, it was the final four that had the Bishop Stang fans rocking the TD Garden.
With a layup to tie the game at 51, and a steal and a fast break basket with 42 seconds left to take the lead, Rodrigues paved the way to the Spartans victory.
Damien Perry, the teams high scorer with 23 points, ended Dracut’s hopes with 2 free throws to put the game away at 55-51.
The game flow was not a surprise to head coach Colbey Santos.
“We watched a lot of film on them,” Santos said of the Middies after the game. “They are just hard nosed, tough tough kids”, he added. “I’m just glad our kids came out on top.”
The Spartans next head to the Hart Center at Holy Cross College in Worcester on Saturday for the Div. 3 State Finals against the West Division champions, Dover-Sherborn. The game time is 12 p.m.