LYNN — Every team has a game now and then where nothing goes right. Thursday night, the Tech boys basketball team had a game like that. Turnovers, poor shooting and foul trouble all combined to work against the Tigers in a 80-42 loss to Commonwealth Athletic Conference rival Greater Lowell at home.
“I really don’t understand why we played the way we played tonight,” said Tech coach Stevie Patrick. “We practiced really hard this week and had a good week but we just didn’t show any fight out there tonight.”
Buba Ceesay led the Tigers with 11 points and four rebounds, while Greg Hernandez had nine points and three rebounds. Quasim Abellard added eight points and four rebounds, while Carlos Mateo had four points and 10 rebounds. Mekki Cronin added four points and seven rebounds.
The Tigers were done in by the stellar play of Greater Lowell’s Paul Choate, who finished with 22 points, eight rebounds and three blocks. Choate seemed to be all over the court on both ends, throwing down dunks and hitting threes on offense and then blocking shots and swiping steals on defense.
Things got off to a shaky start in the first quarter, with the Tigers falling behind, 13-4, within the first five minutes. Tech went on a small run to cut the deficit to just three points but Greater Lowell finished the quarter with a flurry and took a 27-11 lead into the break.
The second quarter was Tech’s best, as the Tigers matched the Gryphons in scoring, 18-18. Ceesay and Amari Gaston (three points, two rebounds, three steals) started getting into a rhythm on defense by playing some full-court press, and a number of steals and fast-break opportunities came from it. But poor shooting continued to plague the Tigers as the quarter went on, allowing Greater Lowell to withstand the run and keep its sizable lead. By halftime, the Gryphons held a 45-29 edge.
Things got away from Tech even further in the third quarter, as the Tigers only scored four points and Greater Lowell extended its lead to as much as 29 points.
Reserves for both teams played the majority of the fourth quarter as Greater Lowell coasted to the win.
Tech now has a quick turnaround with a game Friday evening (5:30) against Essex Tech. And as Patrick points out, another game so soon after this loss could go any number of ways.
“It could be a good thing or it could be a bad thing, having a game so soon,” said Patrick. “We’re just going to have to put this loss behind us, come out tomorrow and work hard. That’s all we can do.”
The Tigers are also gearing up for the annual Walter J. Boverini Basketball Tournament next week, which they will be hosting at their gym.
“We’re certainly going to have to be better if we want to compete against the other Lynn teams,” Patrick said. “If we bring the kind of effort we brought tonight, we’ll lose by 100 points.”