Boys’ loses in championship game, looks towards promising future

Jacob Wu

Boys’ basketball fell 71-59 to Boston College (BC) High in the MIAA state championship game Sunday, March 20 away.

Despite the loss, special education teacher Paul Connolly, the head coach, said he is grateful for the journey the team took to reach the championship. “This was an extremely exciting season to get to the finals,” said Connolly. 

In the first quarter, BC High’s two-three zone prevented North from pounding the paint. However, BC High’s defense left them vulnerable to three pointers, but North struggled to see shots fall. The Tigers played physical defense, forcing BC High players to take tough shots. However, BC High’s explosive play overpowered North’s defensive efforts. 

“We played a really good team, didn’t come out strong but we fought our butts off in the second half,” said junior Lucas Wardly. “ It didn’t end the way we wanted to but we left everything out there on the court,”

In the second quarter, North stepped up on offense. Senior Marat Belhouchet, a captain along with senior Holland Hargans and junior Jose Padilla, scored two consecutive three pointers. However, whenever the tide turned in the Tiger’s favor, BC High answered with a three pointer or forced a turnover. North struggled to cut the deficit, and BC High led at the end of the half, 35-18. 

In the third quarter, North refused to give in. Belhouchet and junior Will Davis strung together multiple scoring drives, which brought the deficit down to as close as seven points at the lowest. However, North’s comeback was short lived, as BC High extended their lead back to double digits. North trailed 49-39 at the end of the third quarter.

In the fourth quarter, North could not gain momentum. With four minutes left in regulation, BC High had limited North to only four points.

According to Connolly, this season was one for the ages. “This kinda thing is rare and takes a lot of work,” said Connolly. “ I’m extremely proud of the team.”

From day one, North’s basketball program puts emphasis on taking good shots, fluid ball movement, and strong defense. This philosophy allows for North to defeat the most explosive and talented teams, according to freshman Teagan Swint. 

Hoping to maintain a similar program, the Tigers have their sights set on a bright future. “We will be back next year—we’re gonna miss the seniors. But, we will be legit contenders with all our returning players,” said Wardly.