The Stoughton High boys’ basketball squad used a well-rounded, team effort to take down the Cape Cod Tech Crusaders, 95-35, in the first round of the Blue Devils Holiday Classic at Randolph High School.
With the win, Stoughton improves to 4-0.
Junior Marcus Middleton led all scorers with 15 points, while Steffan Jackson added 14. Mauro Oliveira had 11 points, while Aaron Calixte recorded his second straight double-double which came in the form of 11 points and 11 assists.
“I thought that the kids did a good job of controlling the tempo when it started,” Stoughton head coach John Gallivan said. “They got the ball pretty well but that happens when you start out with some easy layups. The rim just seemed a little bigger than normal at times.”
The Black Knights jumped out to a 26-8 lead after the first and then a 47-18 lead at halftime. In the second half, Stoughton used the opportunity to improve in areas where things haven’t been going smoothly thus far this season.
“Honestly, what we wanted to do was clean up some things,” Gallivan said. “We talked at halftime about playing with a lead and how you can get things out of it. We want them to take it very seriously, respect their opponents and clean up the little things and I thought we did that in the second half."
Stoughton shot an impressive 59 percent from the field during the game. They also ran some creative alley-oop plays to Jackson and senior Antonio Ferreira, and each came away with at least one dunk.
Perhaps, however, the highlight of the night might have been Calixte’s ability to locate open teammates without looking. The junior consistently found open players all around the court, including several no look passes to Middleton under the basket.
The Black Knights allowed their bench to see plenty of action and they played the entire fourth quarter. Seniors Donald Saladin (8 points, 7 rebounds) and Raymond Bowdre (9 points) played well in the final quarter, as did sophomore Mike Gallagher (7 assists).
“I thought Mike Gallagher did a nice job of spreading the ball around,” Gallivan added. “Raymond and Donald were playing a little bit out of position because they were playing together. Usually it’s one or the other and they did a nice job adjusting. Andrew Valle and Aaron Mack, I thought they shot the ball well.
For most successful teams, it’s important to have a deep bench as well as experience. Stoughton was about to get their bench key minutes.
“It was a good experience for them,” Gallivan said of the second unit. “They’ve been working really hard and you don’t always get rewarded for your hard work. In a game like this, you take advantage of it.”
Stoughton will play host Randolph in the championship game of the Blue Devil Holiday Classic on Friday at 7:00 p.m.