Malden Falls Flat at Concord Carlisle, 70-62
Concord: After five straight home games, the Malden High Boys' basketball team set out on their first road trip Wednesday night and the home team was not very hospitable. Using their large size advantage, the Patriots collected 15 offensive rebounds and shot 59% from the field, including a sintillating 7-12 from the 3pt line to hand the Tornadoes their second loss of the season, 70-62.
"We came out really flat tonight, spotted them an 8pt lead at the half and we never really could overcome it." Tornado Head Coach Don "Gipper" Nally said before heading on the long busride home. "I told the guys that they can't just expect to show up at a gym and win. For all the great things we did Friday night (vs. Medford), we gave it all right back with our effort tonight."
The Tornadoes started slowly, spotting the Patriots a 13-9 lead after one quarter. Junior tri-captain Rodney Morton kept his team in the game, sinking his first four shots for 8 1st quarter points. In the second quarter, Concord Carlisle extended their lead, nailing 4 three pt field goals to push the lead to double digits before a mini Tornado run had the lead down to five with less than 30 seconds to go in the half. Another three point field goal did Malden in at the buzzer to increase their deficit to 8 points, 34-26 at the break.
Malden came out aggressively in the 3rd quarter, showing their full court press that was so effective against Medford on Friday night to again close the gap, this time to four points with under 1 minute to go in the 3rd quarter. Another Tornado letdown helped the lead to swell to 9 points, 52-43 after 3 quarters when the Tornadoes turned the ball over twice resulting in a layup and another 3pt Patriots' field goal as time expired in the 3rd quarter.
"We gave up two quarter closing 3 pt field goals in the game." a dejected Nally said afterwards. "Take those two last second shots away and its a 2pt game. We just didn't execute when we needed to, at either end."
Malden's defecit grew to 15 points with under five minutes to play before the team, led by junior guard Terrance Maisonneuve who scored 14 of his game-high 29 points in the 4th quarter, the lead was cut to 8 points with under 3 minutes to play and the Tornadoes had the ball. Unfortunately, a quick, unadvised shot led to another easy Patriot basket and the game was all but sealed, save for each team exchanging free throws down the stretch. Besides Maisonneuve, the Tornadoes were led by Morton's 17 points.
Malden returns right back to action Thursday night, in Everett with the Crimson Tide coming off a huge road win against Somerville this past Tuesday.
"This game will be a good test for our team." Nally said. "We know Everett will be coming into the game sky high, in their own gym, and we'll have to match their intensity if we hope to win the game."