In Hockomock Heavyweight Match, Stoughton High Boys’ Basketball Outlasts King Philip

The Black Knights edged the Warriors 73-69 on the road Tuesday night, coming away with the win in a battle of 9-1 teams.

The objective was simple for the Stoughton High boys’ basketball team: play the whole game. After giving up the lead against and almost letting  come back earlier this season, falling asleep was not going to be an option against King Philip.

“All we talked about is [playing] 32 minutes or more if we have to,” Stoughton head coach John Gallivan said.

In a jammed pack KP gym, the walked away with an important win. With both schools’ fans bringing the noise, it was the Stoughton fans who had the last laugh Tuesday night.

“It feels good, really good. We came to their home court, they had a crazy crowd and we shut them up,” Stoughton guard Aaron Calixte said.

Stretching the lead to 11 late in the game, the Black Knights beat the Warriors 73-69 in a pivotal Hockomock League matchup between 9-1 teams.

A close game for most of the first half, the Black Knights made their stand in the second half when a switch to the zone defense made life tough for Jake Layman (30 points, 13 rebounds). The Maryland bound senior had 17 points in the first half but made sure that he couldn't get to the basket too easily.

“It took Jake out of the flow of the game,” KP head coach Sean McInnis said. “It was tough to get Jake inside because he was fighting so hard just to get down there, he exhausted a lot of energy just to do that.”

“Marcus is just an animal defensively,” Gallivan said. “He covers everyone’s best player so why should we switch it? He did a great job.”

Struggling to get to the basket, KP was forced to go to the three point shot but couldn’t find success with the outside jumper.

“Our problem was that we took too many threes and stopped going inside which was very successful for us at the start of the third period,” McInnis said.

Once again the Stoughton backcourt of Calixte and Middleton stole the show. The speed of the two guards alone was too much for the Warriors and both players were successful in driving to the basket and drawing valuable fouls. Calixte alone was 17-22 from the line while Middleton was 8-8 with both hitting big free throws at the end of the game.

“Middleton and Calixte were tremendous tonight,” McInnis said.

Calixte ended the game with 29 points, eight rebounds, and eight assists. It was one point shy of the game high set by Layman at 30 points. Layman also had 13 rebounds. Middleton ended the game with 20 points. Sam McDonald scored 13 points for KP.

Stoughton held a 21-18 lead after one, and a 44-36 lead at the half, but KP went on an 11-3 run in the first 4:30 of the third to tie the game at 47. The Black Knights went into the fourth quarter with a slim one-point lead, 53-52, before holding off KP in the final eight minutes for the win.

The victory now gives the Black Knights a Hockomock-best record of 10-1 overall and 7-1 in league play.

The Warriors now fall a game behind Mansfield in the race for first place in the Kelley-Rex Division standings with a record of 9-2 overall and 6-3 in league play.

The Black Knights will host Attleboro on Friday, January 27 while King Philip will travel to Oliver Ames High School on the same night.


Take a look at postgame video reaction from Stoughton Coach John Gallivan and Aaron Calixte in the media gallery above (videos by Ryan Lanigan).

Stephen Mack January 25, 2012 at 01:06 PM
Great Win for the Knights.....!!!!!! I keep saying...."They're only JR's"..... Aaron and Marcus..... Best Backcourt Ever at SHS.... Marcus is a BEAST defensively...... Gotta love the adjustments by the staff... really a fun team.... really a good team.... Such a pleasure to see a team of high school kids that seemingly ENJOY WORKING HARD!!! They know the importance of hard work, and are so focused, and committed to that. I think that's what i enjoy the most from this group... the very high level of athleticism is quite evident, also the fundamental skills for the game can be readily seen (has there ever been a more fundamentally skilled core group at SHS). I really enjoy the Team Defense that this group has.... even if they weren't as skilled, or athletic this team would be great just because of it's committment to defense.... If you haven't had a chance to get out and see them.... do yourself a huge favor..... JUST DO IT!!!!! BTW.... like some of the more successful pro teams in the area..... it just might be easier to catch this team on the road...... Stands fill up quickly at home... (sign of success).... Go Black Knights!!!!! Go Kni
Kevin Berkowsky January 29, 2012 at 04:38 AM
Okay, unless you were at this game against KP, trying to describe what we witnessed wouldn't do the team & their efforts justice. This was a game for the ages & one that fans that attended will be talking about for years to come. An instant classic! With two of the top players in the state in Calixte & Layman facing off against each other, this was a special game that took on greater meaning since both teams are top ranked in the state, both from the Hock & at the top of their respective divisions. Bragging rights definitely at stake. For a regular season game to have the playoff tournament atmosphere as it did, was a testament to how two well-prepared teams prepared for the 32 minutes of basketball that was displayed. Simply, fans from either side were not cheated! With both teams focusing their defensive efforts on the other's best players, this was a game determined by which team would make the key shots & the key stops & who would control the boards. Stoughton was tops in all areas & living at the foul line in the second half & converting the freebies down the stretch when we needed them was the key! Combined with cold outside shooting by KP in the second half & the Black Knights team defense & rebounding was at it's finest! Aaron stepped up big time throughout the game with his scoring & dishing & Marcus' supreme efforts against Layman with help from Stephan, Nuke & Joe was purely spectacular. Thanks men for a most memorable game & continued success!


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