By Steev Riccardo
The previously undefeated Bartlett Indians Boys Varsity Basketball team ran into a powerhouse team this past Friday night, falling to the Quaboag Cougars 72-63 in a Southern Worcester County League match-up in Webster.
The long and lanky Cougars presented problems for the Indians’ offense from the start and although the game was close most of the way, the tough Cougar defense and their long range shooting proved to be too much for the home team.
The Indians jumped off to a quick 6-0 start as junior big man Andrew Meloche picked up a couple of offensive rebounds that resulted in a pair of early lay-ups. The Cougars however started hitting shots from the outside and took a 15-10 lead just before the Indians final possession.
Nick Kobel, who entered the game as the leading scorer in Central Mass, hit a big shot at the buzzer to keep in close at 15-12 after one quarter.
The Cougars were like a three-point machine in the second quarter, hitting five shots from long range but the tandem of Alex Givens-Perry and DJ Kirby-Thomas gave the Cougars fits inside. Givens-Perry had 9 points in the quarter, while Kirby-Thomas added 6 of his own as the Indians trailed 39-33 at the half, but were still very much in the game.
The third quarter was a real battle. Both teams played tenacious defense and hit big shots, but the Cougars outscored the Indians 18-16 to maintain a 57-49 lead heading into the final stanza.
The Indians battled back and cut the lead to 65-61 when Kirby-Thomas made a great save of a loose ball heading out of bounds and found Kobel for a basket with 2:19 remaining.
The Cougars, led by star Thomas Jankins, proved to be too much in the end, though, as they held on to hand the Indians their first loss of the season.
Givens-Perry played another fine game for the Indians, leading them with 15 points, 8 rebounds, and 4 assists. Kobel finished with 14 points, which was very good considering the ferocious defense that was played on him the entire game.
Kirby-Thomas also played a solid all-around game for the Indians finishing with 10 and 7 rebounds. Akeem Belnavis and Meloche each added 6 points and 6 rebounds in the defeat.
These two very good teams will meet again on February 9 in Quaboag and probably somewhere else down the road.
The 3-1 Indians play Blackstone-Millville Tuesday night, and will face archrivals the Southbridge Pioneers in a key conference match-up on Friday night.
The Bartlett Junior Varsity team won the preliminary contest 48-43 to even their record at 2-1. Neil Flanagan led the way with 17 points, while Justin Stately added 14, and AJ Caddell did a great job running the offense at point guard.
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- Monday, 02 January 2012
- Posted in Categories: : Sports