To say Tuesday night’s game was eventful would still be a huge understatement. Between the pregame celebration of the senior players and cheerleaders, and the in-game celebration of , it was easy to consider the night a success for the .
But somewhere between all of that, there was a game to play. Stoughton was able to carry the positive energy from the pregame ceremony into the game and take down Canton, 72-52, improving to 15-2 on the season.
Behind a monster performance from Calixte – who tallied 32 points, 9 rebounds, and 8 assists – the Black Knights were able to pull away in the second frame and finished with strong runs in each of the final two quarters.
“I thought in the second half we were much better defensively,” Stoughton head coach John Gallivan said. “Offensively, once we started moving without the ball, we were much tougher against their half court defense, which was very good.”
The went similarly, with the Bulldogs sticking around for the first half before Stoughton prevailed in the second. Canton head coach Ryan Gordy had nothing but good things to say about Calixte last game, and the junior’s performance Tuesday night certainly didn’t change anything about that.
“Once again, hat’s off to Calixte,” said Gordy. “He’s a fantastic player. We did everything we could to stop him. He’s a legitimate division one player and he’s got a nice basketball future and career ahead of him. Talent won tonight.”
Calixte scored his on a three-point shot with 6:14 left in the fourth quarter, becoming just the 13th player in school history—boy or girl—to reach the plateau.
The Black Knights turned in a strong effort on the glass, with multiple contributors coming down with a high number of boards. Beyond Calixte’s 9 rebounds, senior Raymond Bowdre had 8, senior Antonio Ferreira had 7, and junior Marcus Middleton had 7.
“I thought we did a good job attacking the glass on both ends,” Gallivan said.
The Bulldogs (9-9) were paced by a pair of seniors and a sophomore. Joe McCabe had 18 points, while classmate Chris Murray had 15. Sam Larson finished with 13.
“We were executing and we were running but shots weren’t falling,” Gordy added. “They went box-and-one for a couple of possessions on Joe and that took us off guard a little bit.”
With the game tied at 22 in the second quarter, it was a pair of juniors that extended the Black Knights’ lead to 8 in just a matter of seconds. Joe Bunce-Grenon (12 points) was able to drain a three from the corner and after a quick stop, Middleton (8 points) was able to drain a three from deep. After a Calixte steal, he found a streaking Middleton for an easy layup.
From there, Stoughton was able to pull away en route to the 20-point win.
Before the game, the Black Knights honored senior cheerleaders Stephanie Amaral, Lauren Cellucci. Nicole Fuentes-Vargas, Lily Lamplough, Rachel Resurreccion and Keion Lugay. They also honored their four senior players: Ferreira, Bowdre, Steffan Jackson, and Donald Saladin.
“We have four good guys that have given a lot to the program,” Gallivan said. “It’s sad to see them go but we’re also glad it’s not over for them.”
Stoughton will now travel to play in the first-place game of the Hockomock Crossover, a team that Stoughton has on the season.
“It’s always hard to beat Franklin once, never mind three times,” Gallivand said. “We’ll go, we’ll enjoy the bus ride and we’ll play and see what happens. Right now we’re just trying to get ready for the state tournament.”