Phenomenal Season Comes to End for ST
BURLINGTON -- An incredible fourth-quarter comeback by Weston High put an end to what had been a dream season for the Shawsheen Tech boys basketball team Wednesday night in the semifinals of the Division 3 North Tournament.
Weston 65, Shawsheen 61
Shawsheen led 54-41 at the end of three quarters but the Rams could not withstand the offensive blitz by the Wildcats over the final eight minutes, and Weston came away with a 65-61 victory to earn a spot in the sectional final on Saturday. Weston will take on Dracut High at the Tsongas Center.
No. 3 Shawsheen wraps up its season with a record of 19-5, while No. 10 Weston, which pulled off its third straight upset of the tournament, improved to 13-10.
“Weston is a phenomenal team. All of the credit goes to them,” Shawsheen coach Greg Bendel said. “They played a tremendous second half and in particular a tremendous fourth quarter.”
Shawsheen was led by a 19-point effort by senior Casey Decost, while fellow senior Zack Mickle had 13 points and junior Jalen Massengill added 11.
Weston trailed 61-53 with 3:05 left in the game, but a technical foul against Shawsheen with 2:53 left gave Weston a pair of free throws and possession of the ball. After the free throws, Weston called a timeout, and out of the timeout sophomore Will Van Houten drilled a three-pointer to suddenly cut the Shawsheen lead with 61-58 with 2:35 left.
After a Weston free throw, the Wildcats tied the game at 61-61 with 1:53 left on a bucket by Junior Uga, who had a game-high 25 points. Moments later, Uga came up with a steal and drove for a layup to give Weston its first lead of the game at 63-61 with 1:21 left.
Uga would then seal the game for Weston with another drive to the hoop for a layup with 5.8 seconds left, just as the shot clock was expiring.
Shawsheen led 17-15 at the end of the first quarter and 32-26 at the half, behind eight first half points from Decost, and six from Massengill, while junior Santino Garofalo had eight first-half rebounds.
Despite the heartbreaking loss, Bendel said it could not diminish what was an incredible season for his team.
“I am really proud of their effort tonight and all season,” Bendel said. “I am really proud of all they accomplished and I am grateful for the opportunity to coach them.”