ANDREW BOULAS jab steps a Triton defender during North Reading’s 62-55 win on Dec. 20. The junior had 10 points against the Vikings and 12 in North Reading’s next game, a 54-40 win over Shawsheen. North Reading hosts Wilmington on Thursday at 4 p.m. (Courtesy Photo)
NORTH READING — The NRHS boys’ basketball team improved to 2-1 last week with back-to-back home victories over Triton and Shawsheen Tech.
The Hornets beat the Vikings 62-55 on Dec. 20. They topped the Rams 54-40 on Dec. 23.
North Reading led from start to finish against Triton but the visitors kept it close throughout. The Hornets were up 13-10 after one quarter and continued to lean on senior captain Cody Cannalonga for offense. He scored a team-high 15 points.
North Reading also got scoring support from junior Andrew Boulas (10 points) and senior John Jennings (10 points, 8 rebounds).
The Vikings had the size advantage but Jennings and junior Sam Morelli worked hard on the block and the Hornets took a 34-27 lead into halftime and a 47-41 lead into the final quarter.
After shooting 50 percent from the floor in a close loss to Pentucket, North Reading needed to find other ways to win against Triton in which the percentage went down to 30. They pulled through as a team. In addition to the three scorers in double figures, NR also got help from senior captain Quinn Riesenberg who had 7 points despite battling foul trouble, junior Craig Rubino (7 points) and junior Logan Scribner (7).
“It was a good team win,” said head coach Joe Casey.
North Reading also led early against an always tough Shawsheen program in a non-league game.
Cannalonga had three 3-pointers in the first quarter on his way to a game-high 28 points. The senior captain is averaging a CAL-best 22.6 points per game.
North Reading took a commanding 13-4 lead and never looked back.
“We played terrific half court defense led by Craig Rubino who shut down Shawsheen’s best players,” said Casey. “We had the lead throughout but couldn’t shake them.”
The Hornets were up 32-19 at the half and led by as many as 21 in the 3rd, thanks again to great effort on the defensive end.
The 6’2” Riesenberg (13 points) had his best game of the year according to Casey, with a complete game including a nice job both in the paint and outside.
Boulas added 12 points for NR.
The Hornets have been getting ready for another key non-league matchup against Wilmington on Thursday, 4 p.m. as they continue a five-game homestand. They get back to CAL play on Tuesday, Jan. 4 when they host Ipswich at 7:30 p.m.