St. John's Eagles Boys Basketball '19-'20

Sun, Dec 29, 2019 05:30 PM @ Methuen
Team 1 2 3 4 Final
St. John's 14 15 18 12 59
Methuen 12 13 17 16 58

Methuen falls short in Classic

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METHUEN – For the second time in the three years it has participated in the Commonwealth Motors Christmas Classic, St. John’s Prep has headed home with a championship.

This time around, however, wasn’t as easy as the first one.

The Eagles survived a late Methuen run Sunday night and walked off with a 59-58 victory over the host Rangers to claim the White Division title.

“I told the guys we like coming up here because of the atmosphere and the competition,” said St. John’s Prep coach John Dullea, whose squad defeated Central Catholic 80-68 in 2017. “That game today was a game that will certainly help us in the long run.

“It wasn’t a pretty game by any means. We like to get up the floor and they did a very good job of stopping that. So, we had to win kind of ugly, and we’re just very fortunate to come out of here with a win.”

After the teams combined for 12 lead changes – eight in the third quarter – a St. John’s win appeared secure when the Eagles (4-0) took a 57-50 with 4:44 remaining.

But Methuen (2-3) used five free throws, a scooping reverse lay up by Julian Lopez and an Andrew Lussier put back with 2:40 remaining to close within two off a 9-2 run.

A pair of free throws by Jack Perry with 7.1 seconds remaining lifted the Prep to a 59-55 lead that Mitchell Crowe cut into with a three from the wing with 1.2 ticks remaining. Kevin Garcia, who scored Methuen’s game-winner with 11 seconds left in a semifinal win over Bishop Guertin, was able to steal the inbounds pass on the far side of midcourt, but the senior slipped coming down with the ball and was unable to get off a desperation heave.

“We’ve learned a lot,” said Methuen coach Anthony Faradie, whose squad downed BG 68-67 on Friday. “We need to make some adjustments as coaches. But we’re playing really hard. We were in close games. They were one-possession games, but I’m proud of the guys. We’re showing a lot of character. I think we played the best game we’ve played in two years.”

The teams traded baskets much of the third period, which began with the Prep holding a 29-25 lead. Twice they traded leads on three consecutive possessions, but St. John’s managed to grab a 47-40 lead with a 9-0 run that ended with 36 seconds left in the quarter.

“I think our leadership from (division MVP) Aidan (Callahan) at the end of the game was all over the place. He does so many things for us,” Dullea said of his senior who finished with a game-high 17 points. “And (Haverhill’s) Matt Duchemin had another great defensive game for us with (10) rebounds and (five) steals. We were just making some plays at the end of the game that you can’t really script.”

But instead of letting the Eagles run off, Methuen rallied with a roster Faradie isn’t shy to use as 12 Rangers saw playing time in the first 12 minutes of action.

While Jaleek Urena was leading the defensive charge against Prep freshman Rollie Castinayra, whose eight points were 19 fewer than he scored in the semis, the Rangers were able to overcome their own poor shooting (19 of 53 from the floor and 13 of 22 from the line). All-Division selections Crowe and Garcia led Methuen with 18 and 11 points, respectively

“We’re young and growing as a team,” said Faradie’s who has only two seniors. “We’re learning. I think we executed really well down the stretch, but we just came up a little short. We’re mostly juniors and sophomores out there, so it’s taking a little bit of time for growth. As a coaching staff we’re learning about these guys”


All-Tournament selections

White Division

Kevin Garcia, Methuen

Mitchell Crowe, Methuen

*Aidan Callahan, St. John’s Prep

Rollie Castanayra, St. John’s Prep

Sam Mullett, Bishop Guertin

*-denotes MVP

Game Statistics:

Commonwealth Classic White Division (Lower Seeds) Championships
St. John's Prep (59):
 Aidan Callahan 6 5-7 17, Luke Poirier 2 0-0 4, Rollie Castinayra 2 3-4 8, Sean mcDonald 0 0-0 0, Mason Davis 4 0-0 8, Matt Duchemin 2 0-2 4, Michael O'Brien 0 0-0 0, Jack Perry 4 3-7 14, Mikey Nabbout 2 0-0 4, Eric Wing 0 0-0 0. Totals 22 11-20 59

Methuen (58): Kevin Garcia 4 3-7 11, Isaac Allen 0 8-12 8, Jaleek Urena 0 0-0 0, Mitchell Crowe 7 0-0 18, Andrew Lussier 3 0-0 8, Lawensky Osias 0 0-0 0, Zender Olivier 0 0-0 0, Jordan Polanco 3 0-0 7, Randy Vasquez 1 0-1 2, Olivier Bruno 0 0-0 0, Wildy Santana 0 0-0 0, Julian Lopez 1 2-2 4. Totals 1 2-2 4

3-pointers: Methuen — Perry 3, Castinayra; SJP — Crowe 4, Lussier 2, Polanco

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