Published in the March 9, 2017 edition
By DAN NUNN
Survive furious 4th quarter rally to down Reggies
NORTH READING — The Hornets survived a furious fourth quarter rally to beat the Greater Lawrence Reggies, 66-61, in the first round of the Division 3 North state sectional tournament on March 1.
Senior Bob O’Donnell was terrific with 16 points and 16 rebounds. Senior Cam Davis was the game’s high scorer with 17 points.
Early on in the first quarter the game was tied up at 4-4. But once North Reading turned on, their defense they took over. The Hornets went on a 24-8 run, and at the 7:03 mark of the second quarter, had held a 28-12 lead.
The Reggies refused to go away, though, and clawed their way back. By the halftime buzzer Greater Lawrence had trimmed the NRHS lead to 44-38.
Both offenses cooled off in the third quarter. By the end of the quarter the Hornets maintained a 54-45 lead. By the 6:03 mark of the fourth, North Reading increased the lead to 56-45.
Once again, though, the Reggies refused to go down easily. Greater Lawrence caught fire from beyond the arc and got within one at 62-61 with 40.3 seconds left. Luckily for NRHS Davis hit a huge layup with just under 30 seconds left and the Hornets survived.
Fall to No. 1 Seed Watertown
The No. 1 seeded Watertown Raiders avenged last season’s state tournament loss to the No. 8 seeded Hornets with a resounding 64-39 victory over North Reading in the North quarterfinals last Friday night.
Senior Mike McCauley was the only NRHS player in double figures with 10 points.
Things did not start out well for the Hornets. In the first quarter the Raiders came out of the gates on fire and led 21-10 by the end of one.
North Reading improved defensively in the second quarter and held Watertown to a mere nine points. But their offensive struggles continued as they only scored eight points of their own and NRHS found themselves in a 30-18 hole at the half.
The game went from bad to worse in the second half as the Hornets could not get back in the game whatsoever. The Raiders outscored North Reading 34-21 to cruise to the 64-39 victory.
Hornet rival Lynnfield beat its North quarterfinal opponent Whittier Tech in a buzzer beater, 74-72. The fourth-seeded Pioneers, now 18-4 overall, faced Watertown in the North sectional semifinals last night (after press time).
On the opposite side of the bracket, two CAL teams, Newburyport and Triton, fought it out in the quarterfinals, with the Clippers advancing 59-57.
The Bedford Buccaneers were the victors in their quarterfinal matchup with Weston, 60-49, and advanced to the semifinals against Newburyport Tuesday night (after press time).
The winners on both sides of the bracket will face off for the Division 3 North Championship title to be played on Saturday, March 11 at a time and location to be determined. Bracket updates will be posted at www.MIAA.net.