Malden Outruns Boston English, 80-55.
Malden: After a sluggish start that saw them down 10-3 to start the game, the Malden Golden Tornadoes boys' basketball team ran away from Boston English en route to an 80-55 win. The win was the second straight of the season for Malden as they try to return to the state tournament after a one year absence.
"I told the team that I thought they looked flat in warm-up drills and way too loose to start the game." Malden Head Coach Don 'Gipper' Nally said after the win. "I think they responded well after I reminded them of it early in the first quarter and we were able to really push the ball at them and pull away."
Malden recovered from their slow start to take a 23-19 lead after one quarter and 40-32 lead at the break. The Tornadoes were paced by senior guard Mark Rogers who lit up the gym in the first half, shooting 5 of 6 from 3pt range in the first quarter, keeping his team in it. Sophomore forward Fern Berard picked up where Rogers left off in the second quarter, scoring 9 of his 15 points to help stake the Tornadoes to their halftime lead.
"They sat in a zone in that first quarter and Mark forced them to change their strategy with his shooting." Nally said. "Once they switched to man, the floor opened up for our wing guys, especially Fern."
The Tornadoes blitzed English in the 3rd quarter, outscoring them 25-6 by running the floor and pounding the ball into their two big men, juniors Nate Ilebode and Louie LoConte. Ilebode scored 7 of his 9 points in the second half and collecting 6 of his 7 rebounds. LoConte meanwhile scored all 8 of his points in the 3rd quarter and added 8 rebounds and a career-high 6 blocked shots.
"We were able to utilize our height advantage in the second half and really pulled away from them." Nally added. "I thought our guards did an excellent job of pushing the ball and our big men filled the lanes in transition."
The win improves the Tornadoes to 2-0 on the season heading into 5th annual College Campus Classic, hosted by Salem State College for the second season in a row. Malden will take on Lynn Classical at .