As Expected, Lowell Breezes to Holiday Title
LOWELL -- The IAABO Board 95 Holiday Tournament concluded on Sunday and there were no surprises in the Large School championship game between Lowell High and Dracut.
Lowell capped off a dominant weekend of basketball by easily defeating Dracut, 81-53, in the final at Lowell Catholic’s Keith Gym.
The tournament is sponsored by Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union.
For the Red Raiders, they breezed through tournament action dispatching Haverhill by 31 points and Billerica by 29 points before the 28-point win over the Middies.
Lowell jumped out to another fast start, something it did all weekend. The Red Raiders drilled four threes in the opening frame, including two from senior Deven Okowuga. By the time the dust cleared Lowell had built a 20-6 lead.
They did not let up from there, winning the second quarter 18-7. All told, the Red Raiders had 13 members of their roster score in the game.
Okowuga led the team with 16 points and Treyvon Bun was second behind him with 9, but their balance was on display with nine players scoring five points or more.
LHS coach Bobby Michalczyk, who missed Saturday’s semifinal game to attend the birth of his twin boys, returned to the sidelines on Sunday.
“I thought the kids came out and played hard,” he said of his team’s performance in the tournament.
Michalczyk was sure to praise his assistant coach Brad Caravoulias for stepping up and coaching the team Saturday, earning his first varsity win as a head coach.
“I missed a game, I thought my assistant did a great job, they came right out, didn’t even skip a beat,” he said.
Dracut got a nice performance from freshman guard Adrian Torres. He scored over half of the team’s points in the first half and finished the game with a team-high 15 points.
Tyler Guerriero supported him with 10 points.
Following the game, Torres was named a tournament all-star for Dracut. For Lowell, Deven Okowuga was named a tournament all-star and point guard Nate Siow was named the Tony Romano Sr. MVP of the Cavanaugh/Sheehan Division.
Michalczyk wants to ensure that his team will not be letting their guard down after earning three straight blowout wins this weekend.
“We’ve got a real tough stretch coming up, so we’re going to have to find some way to be motivated if I can’t do it for them,” he said. “We’re getting into the (MVC) now, so it only gets tougher.”
In Sunday’s consolation games, Westford Academy came from behind to top Chelmsford 63-54, Billerica clipped Pelham 74-60 and Haverhill routed Pinkerton 79-31..
Senior captain Ben Lawrence had 19 points for Westford (3-4) and was named to the All-Tournament team. Senior guard Michael Zacharchuk had 21 points and Scott Beattie hit some key second-half shots.
Suubi Nkugwa led the way for CHS with 18 points. Jack Beauchesne added 10.
In Billerica’s victory, Ryan Murphy scored 25 points and Aiden Deady was right behind with 23. Mason Hunt was good for 13 points and Jake Loftin canned 10.
For Pelham, Derek Crowley topped the stat sheet with 18 points. Blake Woekel and Jake Dumont 11 each.
Late Saturday night, Dracut recorded an exciting win over Pelham, winning 61-60 in a game that was tight the whole way.
The teams were tied at halftime 35-35 and the Middies took a two-point lead into the fourth quarter and hung on to get their date in the final.
For DHS, freshman Adrian Torres scored 20 points, 18 of them in the first half as he single-handedly kept Dracut alive.
Mitchell Monette added 14 points and Cam McCullough had 8 points and 10 rebounds.
For Pelham, Derek Crowley scored 22 points and Devyn Tucci had 9.