(Boxford) Masconomet (18-3) scored all the points in the last two minutes and that was the margin of victory (55-48) versus Arlington (10-11) in the opening round of the Division 2 North played at Masconomet on Wednesday night.
Masco (#2 seed) moves on to play Salem at home on Sunday (February 28th) at 4PM. The Salem team took in the Masco/Arlington game.
The Chieftains put together a 21-5 run that started late in the first quarter into the second quarter that turned a 13-11 AHS advantage into a 32-18 deficit with 1 ½ left in the second quarter. The taller Chieftains hit one trey but everything else came from layups, converted rebounds, and free throws. Adam Bramanti (17 points) put up eight points and Collin Burke (14 points) seven points during this surge.
The Ponders, however, scored the last six points of the half to close to 32-24.
Arlington (#15 seed) moved its man-to-man defense to fullcourt and changed the pace away from Masco’s comfort zone. The Chieftains had fourteen turnovers in the second half. Four of those giveaways led to AHS putting a 12-2 run against Masco to tie things at 36-36 with 3 ½ minutes left in the third quarter. Miles Powell (16 points) contributed old and new 3-point plays for the visitors.
The 4th quarter saw Masco build a 48-42 lead with 3 ½ left in the game only to have AHS use a Miles Powell jumper, a Greg Moulton (15 points) trey, and a Brandon Castro free throw to knot things at 48 with two minutes left.
Both teams swapped turnovers before Masco broke out of backcourt pressure and Chris Splinter drove in on the right under significant defense and made a layup with 1 ½ left.
Now down two (50-48) AHS missed a lead-taking three (Miles Powell) and then both team swapped turnovers. With 31 seconds left Masco struggled to get the ball inbounds and burned two timeouts to prevent a turnover. The careful approach paid off because when Masco did get the ball into play Jake London (9 points) was fouled and made both shots. AHS missed a couple of shots before Chris Splinter (9 points) made a free throw. Another missed three and it was Adam Bramanti’s chance at free throws. He made two with two seconds left and Masco reached the 55-48 final score.