Tigers, 7-0, boost intensity on offense

The Newtonite

by Jacob Schwartz
Senior Jared Masinton takes a three-pointer during the Tigers’ home game Tuesday. The Tigers hammered Weymouth, 62-37.

Boys’ basketball, 7-0, likes to switch things up every once in a while.
Especially when it comes to its strategy during practice and play, the team is frequently making adjustments.
The team spent its preseason trying to increase versatility and to tighten up on defense, according to coach Paul Connolly, who earned his 200th win in a 62-37 rout of previously-undefeated Weymouth at home Tuesday.
This defensive mastery was more than evident when the Tigers crushed Milton 66-31 Friday in their home opener.
The Tigers were completely in sync defensively, knowing where all the players on the court were at all times throughout the game and challenging every single Milton shot. Their airtight defense held the Wildcats to only 12 first-half points.
“It was a convincing win, and our defense played well,” Connolly said. Milton, however, gave the Tigers room to do their thing on offense, and the Wildcats sure paid for it.
But, according to senior Mike Thorpe, a captain with seniors Jared Masinton and Luke Westman, the Tigers know it won’t always be that easy.
Now, after getting their defense right where they want it, the Tigers have made offense their top priority in practice, according to Thorpe.
“It’s really the time for us to gear up on offense,” Thorpe said.
“Our practices used to be 70 percent focused on defense, and 30 percent on offense, but now, it’s, for the most part, the opposite.”
The time to spend the majority of practice studying and executing defensive fundamentals has ended, at least for now, he said.
“We’ve been doing a lot more shooting and passing drills during practice,” Thorpe said.
The team has also been scrimmaging a lot more in practice, in order for teammates to get more of a feel for each other on offense, he added.
According to Connolly, today’s road game against Brookline could be an opportunity for the Tigers to showcase their hard work on offense.
“We have games coming up against teams, such as Brookline, that know how to shoot well, and we’ll have to show we can match them on offense,” he said.
Thorpe echoed Connolly’s sentiments, saying that the Tigers’ offense could make a difference, but he added that the team never focuses too much on its opponents.
“Our work on offense will make the game more fun for us, because we’ll be able to compete with them offensively. We’ll be much tougher than before,” he said.
After the road test against Brookline, the Tigers will return home to take on Framingham Tuesday.