Central Catholic Raiders Boys Basketball '12-'13

Wed, Feb 27, 2013 07:00 PM @ Central Catholic
Team 1 2 3 4 Final
Playoff Game
Malden 13 4 17 17 51
Central Catholic 22 18 25 19 84

Central shows off bench in first-round victory

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Wednesday, February, 27 By Jeff Hamrick

LAWRENCE – Entering the postseason minus a couple front-court starters might cause most teams concern.

Not so much Central Catholic – at least not in the first round.

With a first-time starter supplying the ignition, the fourth-seeded Raiders exploded out of the gate last night, needing less than half a quarter to take a double-digit lead en route to an 84-51 rout of 13th-seeded Malden in the Division 1 North Sectional.

Forced to play the rest of how ever long the season lasts without senior Doug Gemmell (the return of concussion symptoms) and junior Nick Cambio (hamstring injury suffered in the regular-season finale), Central coach Rick Nault was forced to look to his bench for starting help. He obviously chose well as junior Aaron Hall, making his starting debut, scored the team’s first four points and added a pair of blocks – in the first 90 seconds.

“I found out earlier in the week that I’d be starting,” said the 6-foot-6 Hall, who finished with eight points and four blocks. “Coach said I’d have to step up. I was a little bit nervous, but I’ve played a lot of games, so I couldn’t let that get in the way. I was just excited and pumped up to play.”

Hall’s quick start jump started the Raiders (18-5). Central took a 13-point lead less than 5 minutes into the first before a 16-2 run to open the second quarter built a 38-15 advantage with 3:06 left in the first half.

“I went with Hall because of his length, and his ability to shoot the ball a little bit,” Nault said. “He’s got nice range, and to have another big guy in there in the middle to clog things up a little was a necessity.”

After Hall’s opening salvo, Central relied on its pressure defense, which forced 23 turnovers and limited the Tornados to 1-of-15 shooting in the second quarter, to quickly remove all doubt from the outcome.

Tyler Nelson scored a team-high 17 points while Joel Berroa added 16.

“They’re very long,” Medford coach Don Nally said. “Obviously (Nelson) is as good as advertised. He’s a good shooter, and (Berroa) is a tough player. They play defense and run their stuff.”

Playing with a lead that grew to 35 before the end of the third quarter, Nault went to his bench early. The reserves responded with 25 points led by Mike Barry’s eight and Austin Perry’s six. Anthony Crespo, the seventh player off the pine, had four nice assists the final quarter.

Next up for the make-shift Raiders is a home date against 12th-seeded Cambridge (13-8) at 7 p.m. Friday. Cambridge knocked off fifth-seeded Waltham 64-52 in the first round.

“That’s our team,” Nault said of the 13 players that saw action against Malden. “(Gemmel) and (Cambio) are still a big part of what we’re doing, but I believe in the other guys and tonight they stepped up huge.”


Game Statistics:

Malden (51): Tommy Steele 2 1-2 5, Anthony Gilardi 8 2-4 20, Rodney Morton 4 2-2 11, Luvenge Fransois 2 2-2 6, Jason Surpris 1 2-2 4, Wily Metellus 1 0-0 3, Fabian Price-Hernandez 1 0-1 2, Michael Asfawa 0 0-0 0, Jensen Ayuk 0 0-0 0, Naleye Aden 0 0-0 0, Mark Roger 0 0-0 0, Steeven Leon 0 0-0 0. Totals 19 9-13 51

Central Catholic (84): Lucas Hammel 4 1-3 9, Tyler Nelson 6 3-3 17, Jamahl Lopez 4 0-0 9, Joel Berroa 7 1-3 16, Aaron Hall 3 2-2 8, Mike Barry 4 0-0 8, Austin Perry 2 1-1 6, Alex Santos 0 1-2 1, Andrew Hamel 0 1-4 1, Nick Boes 2 0-0 5, Ryan Barry 1 0-0 2, Anthony Crespo 0 0-0 0, Neil Sheehan 1 0-0 2. Totals 34 10-14 84 

3-pointers: M — Gilardi 2, Morton, Metellus; CC — Nelson 2, Lopez, Berroa, Perry, Boes.

Next game: vs. 14th-seeded Cambridge at 7 p.m. Friday.

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