Central Catholic Raiders Boys Basketball '18-'19

Sat, Mar 09, 2019 07:45 PM @ Central Catholic
Team 1 2 3 4 Final
Lynn English 11 20 17 19 67
Central Catholic 11 23 9 17 60

Central falls to Lynn English in North title game

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Saturday, March, 09 By David Willis
Staff writer

LOWELL — So many chances fell just short for Central Catholic down the stretch.
In the final 90 seconds alone, a 3-pointer that appeared destined for the net spun around and out, a layup took a funny bounce and went free, and a loose ball as the clock ticked down just eluded a few Raider hands before turning into points at the other way.
Trailing by a point with just over minute to play, No. 3 Central Catholic could not find the key shot, and fell to top-seeded Lynn English 67-60 in the Division 1 North championship game at the Tsongas Center.

“It’s a tough game and a tough loss,” said Central Catholic head coach John Walsh. “Lynn English is a terrific team, especially defensively.
They made some big plays late. 
“We had that three go in and out when we were down one point, and they go down and hit a three and that hurt. Things like that are a huge part of the game. And they did a great job.”
This marked the first trip to the Division 1 North title game for Central (21-4) since the 2013-14 season, when the Tyler Nelson-led Raiders topped Andover on the way to the state title game. That was their second straight North crown.
“In a game this tight, it becomes a battle,” said Walsh. “Neither team can really run the sets they want to run. We tried to spread the guys our and run some pick and roll stuff.”
That worked very well for more than a half. Heading into the second quarter tied 11-11, Central Catholic seemed to steal the momentum from English (21-1) heading into halftime.
A 3-pointer by George Smith and a jumper by Jalen Aquino gave the Raiders the lead, and after a quick English run, Aquino knocked down a trey from the corner.
Kevin Constant then drained a rare 3-pointer from the top of the key — three of his game-high 29 points — and a Xavier McKenzie jumper sent the Raiders into halftime leading 34-31.
“Kevin is a really good player that really takes it to the rack hard,” said Lynn English senior Calvin Seng. “Central is a really tough team that plays so well together. Coach told us we had to communicate or we would be in trouble. We tried to sag off of them and let them get some shots off.”
Central senior Cam Homsey knocked down a 3-pointer early in the third to make it 42-38 Raiders.
But, from there, Central fell into a shooting slump. The Raiders didn’t hit another shot for the rest of the third — and the Bulldogs eventually went on a 13-2 run to take a 54-48 lead two minutes into the fourth.
Constant snapped that skid with a pair of layups, and Smith hit a jumper to cut the deficit to 54-52 with just under five minutes to play.
Constant kept rolling, hitting a jumper with just over a minute left to make it 57-56. But the go-ahead shot didn’t fall, and English hit a trey with 53 seconds left to make it 60-56.
The dynamic Constant added two more layups in the final 30 seconds, but Lynn English answered each one to lock down the victory.
“Kevin played his heart out,” said Walsh. “The whole team did. The seniors played so hard. They wanted to win so bad, but so did Lynn English.”
English will now play South champ Newton North in the state semifinals at the TD Garden on Tuesday.
“This is a great bunch of kids that worked so hard,” said Walsh. “You feel bad because it hurts. But they had a very good season.”

Game Statistics:

Division 1 North Finals

Central Catholic (score): Kevin Constant 11 6-8 29, George Smith 3 2-2 9, Jalen Aquino 4 0-2 10, Xavier McKenzie 2 0-0 4, Jonathan Perguero 0 0-0 0, Adrian Rodriguez 0 0-0 0, Cam Homsey 1 5-6 8, Brian Nanje 0 0-0 0, Anthony Traficante 0 0-0 0. Total 21 13-18   

Lynn English (score): Alonzo Linton 7 3-4 17, Jack Rodriguez 5 2-4 14, Jamal Guzman-Snow 8 2-2 20, Joaquin Crespo 2 1-2 5, Mason Jean-Baptise 1 2-2 5, Calvin Seng 2 0-0 5. Totals 25 10-13 67

3-pointers: CC — Aquino 2, Smith, Constant, Homsey; LE — Guzman-Snow 2, Rodriguez 2, Seng, Crespo, Jean-Baptise

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