Although Coach Justin Fucile had proclaimed it a “new season” for Swampscott before its victory over Peabody on Tuesday, Friday’s loss against Lynn Classical brought back many memories of previous losses in the season.
Swampscott struggled to get back on defense against the Rams’ high-tempo offense, losing, 63-47, in a game that some considered over at halftime.
After three consecutive baskets by Steven Bowers gave Swampscott an 18-15 lead with 5:07 left in the second quarter, Eraldo Custodio, Phillip Rogers, and Jalen Brown led a 19-6 run into halftime that resulted in a ten-point Classical advantage at the end of the second quarter.
Swampscott had a strong offensive game, mainly thanks to Bowers’ 18 points. However, the Big Blue were not expecting the Rams to play at an incredibly fast tempo. On multiple occasions, Swampscott was caught napping on defense. Once a basket fell for the Blue, they began to fall back into their 2-3 zone. But Lynn Classical was able to inbound and advance the ball at an amazing speed, resulting in easy, fastbreak layups before Swampscott’s defense could even set up.
The Rams came out with equal intensity in the second, outscoring Swampscott, 17-10, in the third quarter. While Lynn Classical’s offense slowed down in the fourth quarter, it was too late for Swampscott to come back. A Custodio basket with 3:45 left in regulation put the Rams up, 60-39, prompting Coach Fucile to begin to sit his starters.
Lynn Classical opened the game on a 9-0 run, mainly thanks to five Swampscott turnovers committed in the first 3:30 in the game. However, the Big Blue regained their composure at the end of the first quarter, thanks to baskets by Sam Walker, Dan Trentsch, and Ryan January. Strong defense and execution at the offensive end by Swampscott halted the Rams’ attack at the beginning of the second quarter, but only temporarily.
Swampscott was without big man Chad Nelson and point guard Steven Scaglione in the loss, both out due to injuries.
Rogers had 22 points for Lynn Classical, while Custodio added 20. Jalen Brown had 16, with the five remaining points scored on an early jumpshot by Jorge Perez, and a three-pointer in the third quarter by Jordan Brown.
Val Temin had eight points in the loss for Swampscott, while Trentsch added seven.
Swampscott starts a stretch of away games on Martin Luther King Day, when it travels to Lynn Tech to take on the Tigers at 5:30 PM. The Blue play Salem next Friday, with games at Lynn English and Winthrop the following week.