(Beverly) Lynn Classical was able to survive a frantic final thirty seconds and defeated Beverly, 66-60, in the First Round of Division 2 North on Tuesday night.
The Rams (15-8) move on to play Wakefield on Saturday.
Beverly (14-7) was within two (62-60) after Cam Rogers nailed a three from straightaway with thirty-two seconds left but the Panthers squandered their next two possessions.
The first squander came after Jon Berchoff (14 points) stole the ball from Jalen Brown deep in the backcourt. Instead of getting the game-tying layup Jon’s in-all-alone shot missed.
The Panthers quickly fouled Jordan Brown with twenty-two seconds left. Jordan made the first to put LC ahead by three (63-60) but missed the second. Then came squander #2 after Nick Cross gathered in the rebound as he threw the ball away over the Beverly bench.
Jalen Brown (16 points) followed with two straight free throws with eighteen seconds left (65-60) and his brother Jordan added another free throw with nine seconds remaining to finish the scoring.
This was a game with ten lead changes.
Beverly looked to be cooked in the third quarter when they fell behind, 47-36, with three minutes left. However, the #6 seeded Panthers finished the quarter with nine unanswered points and only trailed by two (47-45) after three periods.
Nick Cross (22 points) had an old-fashioned three and a new-fashioned three in the run back for the home team.
Eraldo Custodio (16 points) returned to the Rams’ lineup in the fourth quarter. He sat out part of the third with three fouls. 6-3 Eraldo made two fine moves to get open for points early in the 4th and enable LC to gain a 53-47 advantage with 6 ½ minutes remaining in the game.
The next three minutes were a nightmare for Lynn Classical. They were held pointless. They turned the ball over five times. They gave up layups to Jon Berchoff and Chris Sinclair off the turnovers.
The total production for Beverly during this segment was eight unanswered points and it gave them the lead (55-53) with 3 ½ minutes left.
But back came the Rams with seven straight. Two free throws by Phillip Rogers (12 points), another fancy move by Eraldo Custodio to get a layup, and a three by Jorge Perez (10 points) provided the LC points. The Rams led, 60-55.
Chris Sinclair followed with a steal and layup for Beverly while Jorge Perez added two free throws. Then Cam Rogers ignited the crowd wearing orange with his three with thirty-two seconds left.
This was the best Beverly could do as the Rams survived the closing seconds to get to play some more basketball.
The Panthers had a 25-20 lead after three minutes of the second quarter but the Rams, led by Jalen Brown’s six points, put a 12-2 run together to close out that quarter and led, 32-27, at the half.
Lynn Classical had defeated Beverly, 66-45, earlier in February.
LC won despite twenty-four turnovers. Beverly was quick to the ball and eager to turn miscues into points.
The Panthers struggled to contain both Eraldo Custodio and Jalen Brown. Eraldo had ten points in the first quarter.
Nick Cross had nine points for the Panthers in the first quarter.
The #11 seed Rams have beaten both Salem and Lynn English twice.
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