THE SENIORS Brandon Eng (left) and captain Eli Nikolopoulos were honored before NR’s Senior Night victory over Essex Tech on Feb. 15. (Eric Evans Photo)


NORTH READING — The North Reading High boys’ basketball team concluded their season with two wins at home to finish up at 7-13 overall.

The Hornets snapped a four-game losing streak by defeating Essex Tech, 84-57, on Senior Night in their final league game of the season on Feb. 15.

North Reading finished their campaign with a 67-56 win over Pioneer Charter School on Sunday.

“We had some growing pains and battled inconsistency this year but overall, I’m pleased with our effort and progress,” said coach Joe Casey.

In their victory over Essex Tech, North Reading had their best offensive output of the year led by a career-high 29 points for junior Matt Myette. Sophomore Jason Berry had 21 points, sophomore Gavin Wesley had 11 and junior Parker Griffin added 10.

Senior captain Eli Nikolopoulos, senior Brandon Eng and their families were honored.

Capitalizing on the Senior Night energy, the Hornets erupted for 24 points in the first quarter led by Myette who had 10 points in the opening frame starting his lights-out shooting night in which he ended up going 10-for-16.

Berry also shot well, scoring 8 in the first, but the Hawks hung with the home team as North Reading took a 24-20 lead into the second.

Myette scored 8 more in the second and Wesley had three strong drive to the hoop for easy points.


MATT MYETTE had a career-high 29 points in a win over Essex Tech on Feb. 15 and concluded his season with 16 in another win over Pioneer Charter on Sunday. (Eric Evans Photo)

Junior CJ Villarroel provided a good effort off the bench getting two baskets inside en route to 6 points on the night.

A Berry buzzer-beater put the Hornets up 41-37 going into halftime.

“We struggled on the defensive end in the first half but the effort was much better in the second half,” said Casey as North Reading held Essex Tech to just 20 second-half points.

Myette led the way again in the second half but it was Griffin who exploded for 10 second-half points including two great moves to the basket, putting the Hornets up 11 heading into the 4th.

North Reading’s bench played well in the final quarter as they outscored the Hawks 21-8 in the fourth to run away with it.

In their final against against Pioneer Charter of Everett, the Hornets knew they had a tough opponent as they won the first matchup by a close 54-47 score.

It was all NR early as they buried six 3-pointers in the first, three from Griffin, two from Berry and one from Myette as they raced out to a 26-13 lead.


PARKER GRIFFIN had a game-high 24 points in NR’s final game against Pioneer Charter on Sunday after scoring 10 in a victory over Essex Tech on Feb. 15. (Eric Evans Photo)

The home team’s offense came to a halt in the second and their struggles from the floor impacted the defensive effort as Pioneer put up 22 in the frame to make it 38-35 NR at the half.

The third quarter was back-and-forth with both teams clamping down on the defensive end. Myette and Berry both led the Hornets in the quarter offensively but the lead was only at 52-50 after three.

Pioneer tied it at the beginning of the fourth but it was all NR from there as again, Myette (7 pts) and Griffin (2 3’s) hit big shots to help them pull away.

Griffin led all scorers with 24 points while Berry and Myette each had 16.

In the end, it was a strong way to end the season for a young team that is expected to return the majority of their roster next season.

“We have essentially our whole team back next year and coupled with some promising younger kids on the JV team, I’m excited for our potential moving forward,” said Casey. “Ultimately, it will be up to the kids to decide what type of commitment they want to make in the offseason to getting better; that will go a long way to determining our success next year.”