The Bulldogs had had enough.
Frustrated by Joey Ragusa’s first quarter layup, Lynn English sought to take control of Wednesday night’s game. The score was too close for the Bulldogs, the #5 team in the state (according to ESPN Boston).
Lynn English responded to Ragusa’s layup — the first basket of the night — with a 16-0 run. The Bulldogs had a 24-8 lead at the end of the first quarter, and as the game progressed, it would only get bigger.
English senior Fred Hogan scored 19 points and Erick Rosario added 13 points in the Bulldogs’ dominating 84-48 win over the Big Blue.
The combination of English’s full-court press and its high-octane offense took advantage of Swampscott’s mistakes. The Big Blue had 15 turnovers in the first half, most of which turned into layups for the Bulldogs. Lynn English was simply too quick for the Blue.
Swampscott had 22 turnovers in total, most of which were forced by English’s half-court traps, double-teaming of the ball, and defensive awareness. On offense, the Bulldogs rarely missed.
More than anything, the Big Blue lost confidence in its ability to play basketball. One of Swampscott’s weaknesses, as pointed out by Coach Born earlier in the season, is “head hanging.”
There’s something the Big Blue needs to realize as it heads to Lynn Classical on Friday night: it wasn’t playing an average opponent. The Bulldogs, now 6-0, are primed to compete for the Division 1 State Championship this season.
The English backcourt of Hogan and Rosario are almost impossible to stop, while it’s hard to counter the strength and agility of big men Danny Lukanda, Johnny Hilaire, and Cam Burke.
There’s no doubt about it — this was the hardest game on Swampscott’s schedule. Now that it’s done, the Big Blue should forget about it. Although, to Lynn English’s credit, it’ll be hard to forget Lukanda’s alley-oop off a Rosario assist in the third quarter.
It’ll take a lot of maturity for Swampscott to brush this one off. On Friday, at Lynn Classical, this game will have to be an afterthought if the Blue want to win.