St. John's Eagles Boys Basketball '14-'15

North Andover falls short against the Prep

DANVERS — Looking to make some noise in the upcoming Division 2 playoffs, North Andover took a final opportunity to move above the break-even mark on the season.

While last night ultimately proved disappointing, the Scarlet Knights at least now know what needs work.

"We aren't the biggest team around, so we have to box out a lot more," junior Wabissa Bede said. "Against the taller teams we have to box out and play harder. I mean that was about the biggest team in the state."

That team was Division 1 power St. John's Prep, which took advantage of superior size and depth to hold off a fourth-quarter North Andover charge before running away with a 59-43 victory in the Larry McIntire Board 130 Classic finale. The 9-10 Knights, which have only a make-up date with Lawrence left in the regular season, were unable to build off Monday night's 18-point victory over prep school Pingree.

"We're a pretty tough team," North Andover coach Paul Tanglis said. "But we know we don't match up well with a team like that. The reason we got into this (tournament) was to play good teams like this. We hope this got us better. I think it got us better."

North Andover, which never led, rallied from a 13-point deficit early in the fourth with a Bede spurt. Aided by a couple Robbie Couyoumjian passes on back-to-back threes, Bede scored the seven straight NA points then assisted on a Couyoumjian trey that cut the deficit to 44-39 with 5:32 remaining.

Bede finished with a game-high 24 points, 17 after intermission.

But the Prep (16-4) used the offensive boards to spark a 15-7 closing run, during which NA missed eight of its final nine shots. For the game, the Knights were 14 of 58 from the floor, including a 9-for-29 mark from behind the arc.

"We did not shoot the ball well," Tanglis said. "We sort of live and die with the three at times. And when that's not falling, it's tough for us. Obviously against a team like (SJP) you can hold them off for only so long."

The Eagles appear primed for a strong playoff run with a solid game all around. Nine of the 10 who played scored at least one point while the outcome was still in doubt. They also turned 10 offensive rebounds into 16 points, including 11 points on five fourth-quarter boards.

But if that is what's needed to show his Knights the need to put a body on rebounders, that will work for the coach.

"I don't think we're going to face many in the Division 2 North (sectional) that are going to be as good as (SJP)," Tanglis said. "Hopefully we got from this tournament what we wanted. I think it'll help us in the long run."

Tournament MVP Kareem Davis passed the Prep with 17 points while Spencer Danforth and Jake Burt added 12 and 10, respectively. Plaistow's Ben Judson had eight, one night after burning previously unbeaten Putnam for 21 the night before.

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