By Steev Riccardo
WARREN - The Quaboag Cougars stymied the Bartlett Indians defensively and used some of their own hot shooting en route to defeating their Southern Worcester County League rival 56-40 on Wednesday, January 9, in a game that raised a few eyebrows.
The Indians were coming off a huge offensive performance in which they scored 104 points against Southbridge two days earlier and were on a seven-game winning streak, so no one really expected a role reversal this extreme.
The Cougars had opened an 8-4 lead when Indians’ co-captain Akeem Belnavis broke loose from the pact for a vicious slam dunk to cut the lead to two, but that would be as close as the visitors would get all night.
With an 18-7 lead heading into the second quarter, the Cougars rode sophomore center Jacob Wisniewski, who scored nine in the second quarter, and held a surprising 31-13 lead at the half.
Junior Alex-Givins Perry (eight points) and senior co-captain Matt Huberdault (six points) led a furious Indians comeback in the third quarter but could only get the Cougars lead down to five points.
The Cougars 1000-point plus career scorer Thomas Jankins scored 16 second-half points and no matter what the Indians tried, they could not get closer than six points. It just wasn’t their night.
The Cougars dynamic duo of Jankins and Wisniewski proved to be too much for the Indians. Wisniewski finished with 22 points and an incredible 23 rebounds, while Jankins also had 22 points.
Givins-Perry and Huberdault each had 12 points for the Indians in the loss. Belnavis could only muster the one dunk on the night, which was mostly because of Jankins’s aggressive defense.
The Bartlett jayvees defeated the Cougars 64-38 in the opening contest behind 15 points from Justin “The Machine” Speights and 12 points each from Jacob Simonis and Kody Morio.
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