Down Boston United, 65-54, in home opener

Published in the December 21, 2017 edition

THE BOYS’ basketball team  poses with Head Coach Joe Casey after defeating Boston United. It was Casey’s 200th career win as the North Reading head coach. (John Friberg Photo)

By DAN NUNN

NORTH READING — Senior Colin Boucher’s outstanding 25 point and nine rebound performance propelled the Hornets to their 65-54 season-opening victory over the visiting Boston United Lions. Junior Ryan Connor finished with 16 points and freshman point guard Will Taylor had an impressive 8 assists in his high school debut.

With the win, Head Coach Joe Casey now has 200 wins in his 17-year tenure at NRHS.

“I’ve been fortunate to have coached some good basketball players and great kids over the years,” said Casey. “There is no way I get to this accomplishment without having Coach Bisognano with me. I also appreciate the support I’ve gotten from the administration and the community as a whole.”

SENIOR Colin Boucher (32) goes up over two defenders to put up a shot in the lane. Boucher had 25 points and nine rebounds during the Hornets’ 65-54 victory over Boston United on Dec. 13. (John Friberg Photo)

First game jitters were clearly on display as North Reading struggled for most of the first quarter.

But when Taylor came in off the bench late in the first, the tide turned and the Hornets picked up the pace. By halftime NRHS led 31-29.

The game was close for most of the third quarter, but the Hornets slowly pulled away and went up by as much as 14 points in the fourth quarter.

Fall to Newburyport 43-40 in CAL Opener

The visiting Newburyport Clippers handed the Hornets their first loss of the season with a 43-40 victory on Friday night in both teams’ CAL opener. Junior Matt Solecki scored a team-high 14 points.

Both offenses got off to slow starts in the first quarter. NRHS held a slim 6-2 lead almost midway through the first but the Clippers roared back with a 10-0 run to take a 12-6 lead late in the quarter. The Hornets managed to score the final five points of the quarter to cut the deficit to 12-11 after one.

The offensive struggles continued in the second quarter. Each team only scored nine points and Newburyport led 21-20 at the half.

North Reading turned things around at the start of the second half. Taylor scored five points to key an 8-0 Hornet run to turn the deficit into a 28-21 lead at the 4:04 mark of the third. Unfortunately, the Clippers didn’t go away. They responded with a 20-7 run that bridged the third and fourth quarters to make the score 41-35 with 2:05 left in the game. NRHS had their chances down the stretch, but couldn’t pull it out.