As the second game of the annual Holiday Tournament on Saturday wrapped up, Coach Born realized whom his team would be playing in the loser’s division the next day.
It was an old friend – Watertown, where Coach Born worked as assistant varsity and JV basketball coach for 17 years. Because both Swampscott and Watertown lost in the semifinals, the two programs would be playing one another in Sunday’s consolation game.
“It’s the matchup everybody wants to see,” said Coach Born on Saturday. “It’s just unfortunate that it’s in the loser’s bracket.”
On the bus ride home from Malden Catholic on Saturday, Born received a call from John Walsh, former assistant coach in Watertown and current coach of the Danvers Falcons. Of course, it was to wish him good luck against their mentor, Watertown head coach Steve Harrington. And before Sunday’s game, Born and Harrington caught up while their teams warmed up.
This was Born’s game to show what his team was capable of accomplishing. He had one huge advantage, as he just about knew every player on Watertown.
But on Sunday, Watertown had the most influential advantage in a basketball game: more talent.
Watertown’s Brendan Hoban scored 20 points, TJ Hairston supplied 18 points along with 11 rebounds, and Cesar Fulcar had 13 points with 9 rebounds in the Raiders’ 88-49 victory over Swampscott.
The Big Blue lost the game in the second quarter, when it was outscored 37-11 for the quarter. Swampscott surrendered 32 turnovers throughout the game, and were out-rebounded 42-26. Watertown's biggest strength, its full court defense, shut down the Big Blue offense throughout the game.
Down 51-22 at halftime, Swampscott was unable to come back as the Raiders coasted to victory. The only bright statistic of the game for Swampscott was Sam Beermann’s 11 fourth-quarter points.
On Saturday, Swampscott took a tough loss, 60-47, at the hands of the Arlington Catholic Cougars. Although the Big Blue kept up offensively with the Cougars for the first quarter, it lost its scoring ability in the second. Swampscott wasted a lot of its possessions with quick, transition three-pointers that refused to fall. Consequently the Big Blue was unable to get back on defense in time, resulting in several fast-break buckets for Arlington Catholic.
In the second half, turnovers killed any chance Swampscott had of remaining in the game while the Big Blue continued to stay cold from the perimeter. On defense, it seemed impossible to contain Arlington Catholic’s Matt Wesoloski (12 points, 15 rebounds), while the Big Blue were outrebounded, 44-26.
Wesoloski was able to control the paint because of his support from his perimeter shooters, specifically Edwin Woods. Woods scored 19 points, with a majority coming from behind the three-point line.
Captain Chad Nelson scored 16 points and had 12 rebounds in the loss, while freshman Andre Reeves scored 14 points. Senior John King, who ferociously attacked the basket throughout the game, added 10 points in Saturday's game.
The Big Blue have the rest of the week off, playing again next Monday at home against Winthrop at 7 P.M.