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January 17, 2009 Tyler Simms
After suffering their first loss last night, Watertown High School came out flat in the early moments of today’s matchup with Sabis Charter. They were missing a key piece in Cory Stockmal who sprained his ankle last night and it looked like Sabis would make them pay for their lack of energy. However after an early drought, Watertown was able to force numerous turnovers and knock down 12 3-pointers on way to a 62-47 victory.
Freshman Kamali Bey put on a show in the first quarter for Sabis scoring 8 straight points to give his team the early lead. Bey finishied strong in the lane on numerous possessions often inviting the contact and completing the play anyways.
However, Watertown was able to battle back as early misses didn’t deter Cory’s twin brother Kyle from shooting, as all good scorers know. He was able to knock down a 3 and was fouled and hit all 3 free throws as part of a 16-0 run the Raiders used to close out the first quarter up 24-10. 6’1 senior wing Richard Morrissey also chipped in with 7 first quarter points to help build the lead.
Stockmal highlighted the importance of the first quarter run as he said, “Losing our first game last night was tough so it was big that we came out and got a lead early. Also, I think we have more depth than ever with Cory out and it showed with Rich and Tim [Barba] stepping up.”
What Stockmal hit on was the fact that junior Tim Barba stepped up in Kyle Stockmal’s absence along with sophomore Marco Coppola who knocked down 3 shots from behind the arc in the first half. The Raiders shot an incredible 8-16 from deep as Stockmal contributed two 3’s also.
Bey and junior Andre King tried to keep Sabis close as they went on a 10-1 run towards the end of the second quarter. However, that’s when Barba hit one 3 with about a minute remaining in the half. Which he followed with another off of a Stockmal drive and kick deep in the corner just as the buzzer sounded. That pushed the lead to 34-22 in favor of the Raiders after the first 16 minutes.
Sabis scored the first four points of the second half on layups by Bey and King cut the lead to single digits. Barba and Coppola hit back to back 3’s to quickly pushed the lead back up to 14 before the momentum even had a chance to swing towards the Bulldogs. Sabis was able to battle back once again as Bey scored 9 points in the quarter and Anthony Click hit a pair of free throws to get back within 9 after three periods.
However, with only 3 total players scoring for Sabis, Bey, King and Anthony Click, the Bulldogs simply ran out of steam. Bey talked about the importance of taking care of the ball when he said, “Usually, we limit our turnovers but maybe it was the stage that we were on today that did us in. We just didn’t care of the ball and didn’t execute our game plan…no excuses.”
The Raiders were able to hold off Sabis the rest of the way by playing the pressure defense that they are used to. “That’s how we have to play…just get after it on D,” said Stockmal. “We’re not very big so we need to pressure the ball and wings so it doesn’t get inside. But, we know that so we have keep fighting.”
Most Outstanding Player – Kamali Bey (Sturgis) – 28 points (11-21 fg’s)
Most Valuable Player – Marco Coppola (Watertown) – 17 points (4-6 3’s)
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