WOBURN — If the English boys basketball team makes a deep run in Division 1, Monday night’s game against powerhouse Brookline could be one the Bulldogs reflect on as a turning point.
The Bulldogs handed Brookline its first loss of the season with a 65-63 win in the Division 1 championship game of the IAABO Board 27 Comcast Tournament at Woburn High’s Carl J. Torrice Gymnasium.
With the win, English finished the regular season at 18-2 and awaits the Division 1 North state tournament pairings.
“This win was huge, especially going into the tournament,” English coach Antonio Anderson said. “We felt a lot of people say ‘the league you’re in is not as good,’ but we play some tough teams. A lot of our teams are top-5 teams in Division 2 North, seeding-wise. Playing teams like Brookline and Needham (Sunday), that’s only going to help us.”
Sophomore guard Jack Rodriguez turned in perhaps his best performance of the season and led English with 23 points. Alonzo Linton scored 20 points and Jarnel Guzman finished with nine.
“I think Jack thrives off games like this,” Anderson said. “When he’s playing guys who are athletic, guys who talk a little trash, those are his type of games. He struggled a little bit Sunday against Needham but (Monday) he got it going. He gave us a spark. He kept us going until Alonzo got going and Jarnel made some shots. It was huge for Jack because we needed that third person. He stepped up.”
Rodriguez and Linton each hit a pair of baskets to put English ahead 8-2 out of the gate. Justin Fitzpatrick netted a 3-pointer and Rodriguez added a layup, forcing Brookline to use a timeout down 15-6. Guzman capped the first quarter with a 3-pointer and English led 18-8.
Brookline’s press defense helped the Warriors climb back into the game in the second quarter. English’s offense hit a funk with a handful of turnovers, allowing the Warriors to knot the game at 25-25 with a minute left in the half. Rodriguez hit consecutive buckets to give English a 29-25 lead at recess.
The third quarter belonged to Linton (14 rebounds), who put the Bulldogs on his back by dominating in the post. Linton scored 13 points in the third quarter and finished the period with a layup at the buzzer after a nifty pass from Guzman. English led 48-43 at the end of the third quarter.
A hard-fought, back-and-forth final period was the fitting way to end it. Brookline’s Ben Murray banked in a 3-pointer to slim English’s lead to one point (52-51). Guzman gave English breathing room with back-to-back three’s, stretching the lead to 58-53.
After Linton fouled out with 1:50 remaining, Brookline grabbed a two-point lead (63-61) thanks to Murray’s free throws with 34.4 seconds to play. Guzman hit the game’s biggest shot, a 3-pointer with 15.6 seconds left to put English up 64-63. Mason Jean-Baptiste added a free throw in the closing seconds to seal the win.
English now turns its attention to preparing for states.
“Now we’ll just prepare for the rest of this week,” Anderson said. “We’ll see who we play and we’ll take it from there.”
KIPP 70, Lincoln-Sudbury 64
Winfred Sanchez scored a game-high 25 points, while Abdoul Barry added 22 points off the bench. Wallace Reed, who hit the go-ahead 3-pointer late in the game, finished the game with 15 points.
Swampscott 62, Marblehead 46
The Big Blue closed out the regular season on a high note with a win on senior night.
Jackson Byrne had a huge game, hitting 11 3-pointers en route to a 35-point performance. Seniors Max Pegnato and Jake Goldman also hit some big shots, while fellow seniors Cole Cassidy and Jack Leahy each had four rebounds.
Swampscott (9-11) now awaits its seeding in the upcoming Division 3 North tournament.
Winthrop 58, St. Joseph’s Prep 40
The Vikings clinched a spot in the state tournament for the third straight season with a win on Monday.
Sophomore Cam Conway led the way for Winthrop with 20 points, while senior Chrono Washington added 15 points in the win.
Gloucester 66, Bishop Fenwick 50
Ben Oliver drained eight 3-pointers for Gloucester en route to a game-high 27 points, while tournament MVP Marcus Montagnino scored 24. The Fishermen (14-6) enter the MIAA Div. 2 North tournament having won nine of their last 10 games.
All-Tournament selection Nik Pignone scored 10 for the Crusaders (11-9) after a 33-point performance on Sunday.
Saugus 61, Essex Tech 36
Christian Correia led the way for Saugus with 20 points, while Mason Nickolas had 13 points, Mason Israelson finished with a career-high nine points.
The Sachems (3-16) close out the season Wednesday with a home game against Matignon.
Everett 68, Salem 51
Bobby Jellison had 15 points and five rebounds for Salem in the loss, while Tommy Beauregard had a solid game with 12 points and four steals.
Salem (15-5) awaits its seeding in the upcoming state tournament.
Beverly 81, Masconomet 60
In the consolation game of the Larry McIntire IAABO Board 130 Classic, Toskany Abreau (21) and Jack Crowley (18) combined for 39 points in a Beverly (13-7) rout.
Masconomet 50, Bishop Fenwick 37
Fenwick only trailed by three points early in the fourth quarter, but Masconomet was able to hit a few 3-pointers in a row to separate and the Crusaders fell in the final round of the Larry McIntire IAABO Board 130 Classic.
Sammi Gallant had 26 points and Elizabeth Pica and Sam Tache played great defensively.
Fenwick (10-9) closes out the season against Mystic Valley on Wednesday.
Beverly 58, Revere 52
In the consolation game of the Larry McIntire IAABO Board 130 Classic, Sabrina Beaudry scored 14 points to lead the Panthers (10-10), who qualified for the MIAA tournament in their last game.
Erika Cheever scored all 17 of her points in the second half for the Patriots (11-9).
Bedford 31, Saugus 30
Taylor Bogdanski led the Sachems with five points in the low-scoring affair.
“Our defense played well all night, we just couldn’t find a way to string together enough points to get the win,” said Saugus coach Mark Schruender.
Saugus (13-7) now awaits its seeding in the upcoming state tournament.
St. Mary’s 73, Amesbury 36
The Spartans won the Spartan Classic. Tournament MVP Pamela Gonzalez scored 17 points while Nicolette D’Itria added 12. All-tournament selection Jannise Avelino scored 11 and hauled in nine rebounds for the 15-7 Spartans.
Lowell 6, Lynn 2
John DiFilippo scored both goals for the Jets in the loss.
St. John’s Prep 2, Malden Catholic 0
Freshman goalie Jackson Irving notched 25 saves in a shutout victory, while Zach McKenelly and Ned Malolepszy each had one goal. Patrick Moran and Jack Riley each had one assist in the win.
The Eagles (8-7-3) travel to Babson College in Wellesley for a game against Needham Wednesday night (8).
Bishop Feehan 5, Marblehead 3
Will Shull, Ben Gansenberg and Loch Sheridan each scored one goal in the loss, while Brendan Locke, Jacob Garfield and Charlie McGurrin each had one assist.
Marblehead (13-4-3) closes out the regular season with a road game against East Longmeadow at Olympia Center in West Springfield Thursday (2).
Division 3 State Meet
The Marblehead/Swampscott wrestling team brough five wrestlers to the Division 3 state meet Saturday.
At 113 pounds, Jorge Maldonado Rios was allowed in as an alternate and right away he did some damage to the brackets by pinning the 113-pound West Champion in his first match. He then went on a stretch where he lost by fall, won by fall and lost by fall again, and then he earned a win by pin in his final match to place seventh on the day.
Connor O’Brien, at 106 pounds, was the first to start of the tournament, winning by pin in his opening match. He then lost his second match, and after that loss Connor earned a win to stay alive. But he then proceeded to lose his next two matches by fall and finished in ninth place.
At 138 pounds, Michael Hopkins went 0-2, with both of his losses coming by fall.
At 170 pounds, Cole Patrick was also an alternate allowed into the tourney. His first draw was a doozy in defending state champion Anthony Ostrander of Triton. Patrick got off to a good start before succumbing by fall. Patrick then drew a forfeit in the second round as his opponent had been disqualified from the tournament. His final match was a loss by fall.
Andrew Rosa, at 220 pounds, was the lone senior representative for the Black and Blue this season. In the opening round he lost by a late fall, then he earned a win by fall. His final match was a loss.