Boys’ basketball lost to Brookline 69-51 at home last Tuesday night. “We are better than we showed tonight,” said special education teacher Paul Connolly, the head coach. “We resorted back to the team we were at the beginning of the year.”
Brookline-the number one team in the state-proved their success through their athletic abilities. Senior Chris Camille led Brookline with a team-high 30 points, including two dunks.
On North’s side of ball, senior Ezra Pemstein, a captain with senior Christian Negrotti, and junior Tom Andreae, contributed strong efforts. “Ezra Pemstein and Tom Andreae just battled for a good 32 minutes. They are so tough,” said Connolly. “They were terrific.”
The Tigers started off the game with strong offensive rebounding, resulting in a 7-2 lead. Pemstein accounted for five of the seven points. Despite the early lead, the team “came out flat,” said Pernstein. “We didn’t have a lot of energy.”
North’s lack of energy allowed Brookline to get back in the game with a dunk from Camille, which sparked a 13-0 Brookline run, allowing them to take the lead.
To start the second quarter, both teams traded threes. As the quarter continued, North slowly began to cut into Brookline’s lead with foul shots. However, a late run from Brookline flipped the momentum, and North found themselves down 33-20 at the half.
North started the second half with several key defensive plays, including a block by junior Grayson Hargens, which led to a layup by junior Khalil Lofton. Later in the quarter, Pemstein blocked a shot that also led to points on the other end. The strong defensive effort resulted in a 9-2 run, decreasing Brookline’s lead to 46-38 after three quarters.
To begin the fourth, Brookline went on a 12-2 run. North rallied in the remaining minutes of the game, putting together a 13-2 run. However, it was too little too late, and Brookline came away with a win on the road.
Despite the loss, Connolly was proud of some individual performances, “I was really proud of some of our guys.,” he said. “Some of our guys really competed tonight. Competed for 32 minutes. Not half the game or a little bit of the game or one end of the court. At both ends, they competed. That is something I take enormous pride in for my players.”
According to Connolly, the team has to work on their offense going forward. “You don’t score, you can’t win,” he said.
North, 9-4, will travel to Natick on Friday at 6:30 p.m.