Saugus Pummels Swampscott, 80-58
Led by head coach Paul Moran, the Saugus Sachems defended their home court by exploiting the holes in the Big Blue defense.
With 2,043 points scored in his high school career, Paul Moran is the only Swampscott basketball player to eclipse the 2,000-point mark in school history. The former Big Blue head coach, with his familiarity with the program, was able to find many weaknesses in the Swampscott defense on Friday night, running a high-scoring offense for his Saugus Sachems similar to the one he ran against his opponents in the 1980’s. With upbeat defensive pressure that forced Swampscott turnovers, Saugus was able to sail to an 80-58 victory.
Saugus Junior Joe Bertrand went 5-6 from behind the three-point line, hitting three three-pointers in a row in the second quarter that led a 17-4 run for the Sachems. With 6:20 left in the second quarter, Swampscott captain Dan Trentsch hit a three-pointer to bring the Big Blue within two points. Saugus quickly answered back with four consecutive three pointers, two coming from Bertrand, that put the Sachems up 29-15 with 3:25 left in the half. After four Trentsch points, Saugus then scored eight consecutive points to stretch the lead to 17 at halftime.
The Sachems opened the third quarter with a 15-5 run, thanks to two three-pointers from Bertrand and one from guard Brandan Wladkowski, that put Saugus up 56-31 with 2:38 in the third quarter. Whenever Swampscott focused on locking up the paint, Bertrand or Wladkowski fired away from deep. And when the Big Blue guarded the perimeter tightly, center Shane Ripley was open for an easy layup. Swampscott would never recover from the three deadly runs.
However, the Big Blue was missing one of its key weapons: Val Temin. The Senior forward, known for his rebounding and outside game, broke one of his fingers over the winter school break. Temin was scheduled to be out for three to six weeks, but a recent visit to the doctor showed that he might be able to return in a week. Swampscott had problems containing Bertrand and Ripley down low, and were not able to adjust without Temin, who has been a staple in the Big Blue rotation since the 2010-11 season.
Trentsch led the Big Blue in scoring, dropping 11 points before fouling out with 5:10 left in regulation. Chad Nelson had 10 points, while senior Josh Joseph put up eight points off the bench.
The Big Blue drops to (2-3) overall, and will face three tough opponents next week. Swampscott faces Marblehead at home at 7:30 on Monday, with matchups against the Beverly Panthers on Wednesday and the Revere Patriots on Friday, both at Swampscott High School at 7PM.