Tough loss for Tech boys basketball

Tech's Qasim Abellard (right) works his way around a Greater Lawrence defender during Friday's game. (Item Photo by Owen O'Rourke)

LYNN — The Tech boys basketball team needed a win Friday night if it wanted to keep its state tournament hopes alive. But Greater Lawrence had other plans as the Reggies took down the Tigers, 56-41 at Tech’s Field House. The loss drops Tech to 6-11 on the year, mathematically eliminating the Tigers from qualifying for the state tournament.

“It was a tough game for us, we just couldn’t hit a shot and they hit all their shots,” said Tech coach Stevie Patrick. “The effort was there all night on both sides of the ball, but the execution wasn’t there.”

Rob Wallace led the way for the Tigers in the loss, putting up a big double-double with 24 points and 10 rebounds. Wallace, a senior, is now just 49 points away from 1,000 for his career with three games left to play.

Qasim Abellard (six points, 19 rebounds) and Buba Ceesay (four points, 12 rebounds) also played well for Tech.

Things started going wrong for Tech early and often in this one. Behind some great defense, Greater Lawrence forced Tech into a number of turnovers and took an early 10-4 lead before Patrick called a timeout to calm things down. It worked for the time being, as the Tigers went on a small run to finish the quarter trailing 16-11.

But the second quarter belonged to Greater Lawrence. The Reggies went on a 9-0 run to open the quarter before eventually stretching its lead out to as much as 15 points. As the game went to halftime, Tech was behind 37-23.

Greater Lawrence extended its lead even further in the second half, getting it to as much as 20 points. But once again, the Tigers went on a run to close the quarter behind some strong defense and only trailed 45-35 after three.

“We played really well in spurts tonight, but it wasn’t anywhere close to enough,” said Patrick. “We’d make a couple baskets and get a couple stops, but then we’d make a mistake a erase a lot of that work. We just could never get over the hump tonight.”

The Tigers could only get it as close as nine points in the fourth quarter, and Greater Lawrence was able to wind down the clock and walk away with the win.

Despite not having the state tournament to look forward to, the Tigers still have things to play for this season. Patrick fully expects Wallace to net his 1,000th within the final three games, and there’s still some unfinished business with teams left on the schedule.

“As a team, we really want that milestone for Rob and we’re going to work hard to get him there,” said Patrick. “And we’d like to get some revenge on Mystic Valley, who beat us earlier in the year, and we’ve never played Pope John before but we hear they’re pretty good. So we just want to end the season on a high note even though we won’t be playing in the tournament.”

Tech is back in action Monday night (5:30) when the Tigers host Mystic Valley for their senior night.

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