PHOTO BY BOB ROCHE
Matt Mortellite and the Pioneers cruised to a 55-40 win over Rockport.
By ANNE MARIE TOBIN
LYNNFIELD — The Lynnfield boys basketball team rolled to a 55-40 win over visiting Rockport last night, but, truth be told, this one was over long before the final buzzer.
The Pioneers dominated the glass at both ends of the court, taking advantage of a decided edge in size and jumped out to a 17-2 lead after one quarter, thanks to a big quarter from junior point guard Billy Arseneault, who relentless attacked the basket and scored seven first quarter points. He finished with a game-high 13 points.
Rockport, whose only points in the quarter were a pair of free throws by junior guard Quinn Murdoch, did not hit its first basket until two and a half minutes into the second quarter when junior forward Benjamin Bradley (nine points) drained a three-pointer to cut the Pioneers’ lead to 22-5.
Lynnfield responded with a 7-2 run to take its largest lead of the game at 29-7.
Junior forward Dan Jameson (seven points) started the run with a steal and free throw. After a Rockport turnover, senior captain Louis Ellis (six points) grabbed a big offensive rebound and dished to Arseneault, who in turn, threaded the needle to Jameson for two more. Senior captain Mike Carangelo (nine points) went coast-to-coast after a big block by Ellis, then Jameson capped the run with a pair of free throws. Lynnfield closed out the half with a couple of offensive rebounds and a jumper from the top of the key by Carangelo to go into halftime with a comfortable 34-13 lead.
While Rockport (1-6) showed some life in the third quarter, outscoring the Pioneers 14-10 to close to 44-27 going into the final eight minutes, the outcome of the game was never really in doubt.
“The plan was to come out in the third quarter with our starters for a couple of minutes, then get the bench in, so I was glad we were able to do that tonight,” Lynnfield coach Scott MacKenzie said. “They gave us some really good minutes, and I was especially pleased with the play of the three seniors – Brian Basilesco (four points, one assist), Brendan Bey (seven points, five rebounds) and Andre Padovani (two assists, one steal) in the fourth quarter. These guys are so unselfish, they work so hard and their only mission is to do whatever it takes to make the team better, so I was really happy they did such a great job tonight when they got their chance.”
Rockport came into the game without the services of Northeastern University baseball commit Dan Ryan, who is lost to the season with a sprained MCL suffered over the Christmas break.
“He is a big loss for us and it showed tonight,” Rockport coach Phil Whitley said. “The big thing that hurt us was the glass, we were giving them too many chances on the defensive glass. Lynnfield is an outstanding defensive team and they totally took us out of our rhythm.”
For Lynnfield, seniors Bryant Dana and Matt Seelig and junior Zachary Shone had three points each.
Lynnfield (5-1) looks to make it three in a row next Tuesday when the Pioneers travel to Hamilton-Wenham at 6:30, while Rockport (1-6), after six straight games on the road, will entertain Triton at home next Tuesday (6:30).
Anne Marie Tobin can be reached at [email protected]