TEWKSBURY – Before the season began, it was clearly evident that the Tewksbury Memorial High School Boys' Basketball team would take its lumps, since after all the entire starting line-up was brand new and the players who were returning had limited varsity experience.
Through the first six games, for the most part the Redmen have stayed in games, but a quick minute here or there or a tough quarter and suddenly games got away from them.
That happened again on Tuesday night. After starting out strong, showing great energy and hitting some early buckets, the Redmen trailed by a point with 3:49 left in the first half, only to end up losing by 27 as North Andover shot 12 three-pointers in the game to come away with an 82-55 victory played at the Romano Gymnasium.
Tewksbury fell to 0-6 on the season, while North Andover improved to 4-2.
“We have to play with a little bit more urgency. Once we let our guard down for a second or a possession, we're in trouble. We have to value the ball. I have to do a better job of coaching and we have to do a better job of playing,” said first-year head coach Steve Boudreau.
The teams exchanged leads ten times and were also tied another seven times until the Scarlet Knights opened up that one-point lead by ending the second quarter on a 13-5 run to go up 38-27 at the break.
The deficit quickly hit double-digits in the third quarter as NA led by as many as 20 with 30 seconds left, before the Redmen cut it down to 16 after consecutive baskets by Tommy Crawford. His second came with 5:52 left in the game, cutting it to 60-44 but then NA responded with three treys in 71 seconds, before hitting two more the rest of the way to put the game away.
North Andover was led by Drew Connolly and Zach Wolinski who both had 22, pulling off opposite number with 18 in the first half for the former and 18 in the second half for the latter. Jack O'Connell was the third player in double figures with ten.
For Tewksbury, Christian Marsden led with 16 points including two quick threes and four in all. Sophomore Luke Montejo finished with 13 points, Ryan Cuvier had 8, all in the first half and then AJ Seney and Crawford had 6 each.
“I'm really encouraged with this group in flashes. There's been flashes where we've had some really good quarters, we have put together some really good halves and have done well in spurts. Now it's just a matter of learning how to sustain it,” said Boudreau.
Tewksbury's gruesome schedule continues with a home game on Friday against Lawrence, before going to Billerica and Dracut next Tuesday and Friday.
“We have Lawrence, Billerica, Dracut, Andover and Central Catholic in our next five games. Those will be tough games but it is what it is. We need to keep grinding it out,” said Boudreau.
GIRLS ALSO DEFEATED
The Redmen girls traveled to North Andover on Tuesday night and were defeated 50-36 to fall to 2-4 on the season. Tewksbury has now lost three games in a row after beating Lowell on consecutive games.
“We did a lot of good things tonight but we continue to struggle to put the ball in the net,” said first-year head coach Joel Mignault. “We're getting looks but we're not knocking down the shots and not finishing. Then we're seeing some turnovers which has cost us. We are doing some things well, defensively we have been locked in each game which has helped us stay in games, but we're just shooting ourselves in the foot (with the lack of execution on offense).”
Vicki Lavargna led the offense with ten points.
“She did some good things and hit some shots. We were able to get some turnovers late in the game to get some easy baskets, but we're really struggling with our halfcourt offense,” said Mignault.
Tewksbury will remain on the road to face Billerica on Friday before coming home to face Lawrence and then the red-hot Dracut Middies a week from Friday. The schedule will continue to get really difficult after that with match-ups against Andover, Central Catholic and Chelmsford.