WINCHESTER — The Marblehead boys basketball team ran into a dominant performance from Winchester’s Joe McCarron, falling to the Sachems 64-60 at Winchester High Monday night.
Winchester’s offense ran through McCarron from start to finish, with the senior guard scoring 39 points.
“We knew (McCarron) was a great player,” Marblehead coach Mike Giardi said. “We saw him last year when we played them in the (state) tournament. Once he started feeling it a little bit he’s just tough to stop. I thought Chris Gally did a good job on him, a couple touch fouls that really hurt him, but overall good players are going to get theirs. You just can’t let everyone else get involved. We started letting everyone else get involved and that hurt us.”
Despite the loss some of the Magicians had stand out performances, including Devin Romain (23 points, 10 rebounds) and Brendan Bugler (12 points, eight rebounds).
“Devin played really hard,” Giardi said. “I thought all three of our bigs played well. Michael Rubino (seven points, five rebounds) played an excellent game. Brendan Bugler just did a fantastic job offensively and defensively. He’s not going to be a guy to score a lot but he’s going to take up space, he knows where to be and I thought that opened things up. We just need to have it for all 32 minutes from everyone.”
Both teams went back and forth to start. Sean McCarthy (eight points, eight assists) dished some nice assists to create scoring opportunities and Bugler finished a basket on the Magicians’ last possession of the first quarter to give Marblehead a slight 12-11 lead.
The Magicians played some of their best basketball in the second quarter thanks to Bugler. The senior made four baskets to help Marblehead pull ahead and Romain hit a 3-pointer to put the Magicians ahead 30-21 at the half.
The game started to shift in Winchester’s direction midway through the third. A few costly turnovers and fouls helped the Sachems chip away at the deficit while McCarron hit two clutch 3-pointers . Winchester’s Omar Shakeel added another 3-pointer on the Sachems’ final possession of the quarter to put them ahead 40-39.
“I thought the start of the third quarter we were good and then we got out of sorts a little bit,” Giardi said. “When you start getting out of sorts emotionally and you start letting the flow of the game dictate how you’re going to play it’s not good. We need to do a better job at that and take charge and make sure that we don’t get caught up in all that stuff.
“We’re just not playing disciplined basketball,” Giardi added. “We talk about being disciplined and we’re not. We didn’t do the things we need to and that’s going to be something that we have to work on. If we want to be a great team we have to be smart in what we do. We fired up some shots we didn’t need to and it got out of control a couple of times.”
The fourth quarter was much of the same. With both teams in the bonus late, McCarron was near perfect at the line and Shakeel added a layup to put the Sachems ahead by seven in the final seconds.
Romain hit two 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions but the Magicians couldn’t stop the Winchester offense when it mattered to complete the comeback.
“We have to make sure we don’t play individual basketball,” Giardi said. “We are doing a lot of that. We aren’t trusting the offense and we are firing up shots when we don’t need to. We had some good back door passing and some good cuts to the lane, but in the second half we started getting out of sync. That’s what got us in trouble.”
The Magicians (2-5) will have another tough test Wednesday night (7) when they host English.