The Stoughton High boys' basketball team was in action Friday night as they dropped their season opener at Attleboro, 53-51, thanks to a Tim Walsh game winning 2-point shot with 1.4 seconds left to go in the game.
Walsh took the inbounds pass, and despite tight coverage, made his way near the free throw line and hit a shot from the right elbow.
"It was just a phenomenal shot. He had guys draped all over him," Stoughton coach John Gallivan said. "He was moving sideways, his feet were slipping out from under him, and he just hit it."
Walsh ended the game with 20 points for Attleboro, with none being bigger than that shot to send Attleboro to 2-0 on the young season after opening the season with a win against Durfee High School. Stoughton is now 0-1.
"We got off to a hot start. They were playing man-to-man. We shot exceptional...I think we hit our first seven or eight shots. They switched to zone and it slowed us down and we got some makeable shots and we didn't hit them and we didn't get enough second shots out of it," Gallivan said.
"They just kept hanging around and when you have an inexperienced team and you're on the road, you can't let them hang around."
The Knights came into the game with high hopes for the new season after winning the Division 2 South Sectional Championship before playing at the TD Garden. The result Friday night was not the one Stoughton was hoping for, but a lot of positives can be taken from the game.
For the Knights senior captains Marcus Middleton, Joe Bunce-Grenon and Mauro Oliveria had solid games.
Middleton finished with 18 points and 3 assists, while Bunce-Grenon added 13 points. Oliveria finished the game with 10 points, six of which came off a pair of long 3-point shots.
The Knights finished the game with 5 team steals and grabbed 23 rebounds against the Bombardiers.
There were also some first game errors that the Knights will look to erase moving forward. Friday night the Knights turned the ball over 8 times and only shot 6/11 from the foul line.
Stoughton had a lead the entire game until Attleboro pulled ahead with 1.4 seconds remaining. Part of this was shaky execution down the stretch by Stoughton. In the second half Stoughton only shot 6/28 from the field.
"There's a lot of lessons positive and negative," Gallivan said. "We did some nice things. We played well in a tough environment. We hung tough for most of the game. It comes down to a couple of mistakes. I think when we watch the film with the kids we'll look at the missed box out, a post touch where we don't go hard enough to the basket and don't get the call from the ref and didn't get it all night - neither team did - so you adjust and just go harder to the basket.
"We had some tough misses in the paint when we had the chance to go from up four to up six or up five to up seven [and] all of a sudden it's three and then it's one and then we're down. This league's too good to let one slip away and that's what we did."
Nobody said a return to the TD Garden would be easy and for Stoughton they will look to build and learn from this game, and move onto the next contest when they travel to Davenport Division rival Sharon Tuesday night.
Stoughton Patch editor Jeffrey Pickette contributed reporting.