The Walpole Rebels tallied 34-points during the final 16 minutes of regulation to beat the Wellesley Raiders Tuesday, 60-55.
“Walpole’s inside game ate us up tonight,” said Wellesley head coach Glen Magpiong
Wellesley started off strong during the first quarter as senior captain Duncan Johnson scored four 3-pointers in a row to help the Raiders secure an early lead.
The Raiders kept the Rebels defense baffled throughout the first eight minutes, as they also watched captain Blake Dowling, Armand Menegay and Mack Jones combine for an additional nine points beyond the arc.
“We make a lot of three (point shots). I love it,” said Magpiong.
The Rebels struggled offensively during the first eight minutes, missing a variety of layups and jump shots, which didn’t make their head coach David St. Martin very happy, as his squad finished the first quarter with only 10-points.
Although, despite dominating the first eight minutes of the game, Wellesley’s offense began to struggle on various offensive series. Not only did the Raiders struggle to put points on the board, but also, they were unable to secure many offensive rebounds.
“We need to do a better job offensively rebounding, but secondly we need to get more two's in the paint," Magpiong said. "We need to get more two’s around the basket.”
Entering the second half, the Rebels appeared rejuvenated, as they outrebound the Raiders in the paint on both offense and defense. Forwards Mike Gilmartin and Chris Collins secured easy baskets underneath the hoop that electrified the home crowd, but left the Wellesley coaches confused.
At times, Magpiong continuously asked his assistants for advice to slow down both Collins and Gilmartin, yet no Raider was able to tackle that particular task.
“(Chris Collins) just played with a ton of heart and he made the difference tonight,” said Magpiong.
Walpole’s energy continued for the entire fourth quarter, as they began on an 8-0 run, which was sparked by both Collins and Gilmartin, who finished the evening with 17 points combined. Following this early lead, Johnson would provide a much needed lift for Wellesley with his sixth 3-pointer of the game, but in the end, it would be Walpole’s sophomore Johnny Adams, who would preserve the win for the Rebels by earning two critical points with 13.8 seconds at the free throw line.
When asked after the loss how his team would improve for their next contest, Magpiong said, “I think we need to work on continuing to protect the ball and defensive rebounds.”