Central Catholic Raiders Boys Basketball '09-'10

Sun, Jan 24, 2010 03:00 PM @ Central Catholic
Team 1 2 3 4 Final
Worcester North 9 15 9 11 44
Central Catholic 15 9 14 9 47

Central Catholic wins nonleague showdown

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Sunday, January, 24 By Jeff Hamrick

LAWRENCE — Getting a mid season break from league opponents could pay big dividends for a team with an eye on the postseason.

As long as you go against the right competition that is.

Central Catholic, the second-rated team in eastern Massachusetts, found the right rival yesterday afternoon in Worcester North and discovered their state-title aspirations remain a conceivable goal.

Playing host to the top-ranked team in central Massachusetts, the Raiders not only confirmed they have the ability to contend, but also what they have to work on. The 47-44 victory over the previously-undefeated Polar Bears should provide momentum for a stretch run that includes Merrimack Valley League opponents Andover and Lawrence as well as nonleague foes Bishop Hendrickson and St. John’s Prep the final two games of the season.

“A game like this battle tests us,” Central coach Rick Nault said. “It gets us ready for the (state) tournament. These are the types of games we’re going to play when we go to the tournament. We’ve been through a lot of these wars with different schools.
“Things will continue to get tough for us. We have an extremely touch schedule coming up. But we take things one game at a time despite our success in the past. Our most important game is the next one and that’s how we approach it.”

Although Central (12-1) did enough to eke out a victory, it was the first time the Raiders were held to fewer than 59 points this year. It also was the smallest margin of victory and fourth time in their past six games they won by eight points or fewer.

“It wasn’t a great game,” Central center Carson Desrosiers said. “I guess it was kind of sloppy, but just knowing that we came out on top is good for our confidence. Knowing that we beat one of the best teams in Massachusetts is something we’ll take with us into the rest of our games. Winning a game like this is better than losing (a close game). You know you can come out on top. Confidence wise, we know we can beat them.”

With a strong effort on the offensive boards, Worcester (11-2) took 15 more shots than Central, including twice as many as Central’s 11 in the third quarter. But with Desrosiers blocking 11 shots and altering a slew more, the Polar Bears converted only 18 of their 66 field-goal attempts. The Raiders, who took the lead for good a pair of free throws by Jimmy Zenevitch, also committed 24 turnovers.

“We need to work on taking care of the basketball,” said Nault, who was a college teammate of Polar Bears coach Al Pettway at Worcester State in the early 90s. “I think that every team that sees us play realizes the most successful way to play us is to pressure our guards in the back court. We’ve struggled with that. But the fact that we can struggle with that portion of the game and come out with the victory tells me we’re doing some things right on the defensive end.”





Game Statistics:

Worcester North (44): Emmanuel Tarwoe 1 2-2 4, Cedric Kuakumensah 6 2-4 14, Marquese Berry 4 1-2 10, Quazay McClain 1 0-0 2, Gaetano Iacovone 6 0-0 14. Totals 18 5-8 44.

Central Catholic (47): Jaycob Morales 0 0-0 0, Luis Puello 1 2-2 4, Chris Conlin 1 0-0 2, Jimmy Zenevitch 7 4-6 19, Carson Desrosiers 8 0-1 17, Andrew Ouellette 1 0-0 2, Cam Wroblenski 0 1-2 1, Evan Sheehan 1 0-0 2, Joel Berroa 0 0-0 0. Totals 19 7-11 47. 

3-pointers: WN — Iacovone 2, Berry; CC — Zenevitch, Desrosiers.

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