The started their game Friday night with a 12-0 run and never looked back. They picked up their seventh victory of the season and head coach 100th career win by defeating the North Attleboro Red Rocketeers, 67-31.
“Our kids came in with a mindset that we had to bounce back from Tuesday night’s loss [against Mansfield],” Gallivan said. “They did a good job getting up early and staying up, and taking advantage of the situation as it presented itself.”
Despite another strong performance on the court from the players, the biggest story was the milestone win for the very humble head coach.
“Honestly, it doesn’t feel any different,” Gallivan said of the win. “Not to sound Belichickian, but a win’s a win. It would have been nice to get it earlier but we take ‘em when we get ‘em. It’s not an individual thing. I’ve been blessed. I’ve had a lot of talented players and a lot of talented assistant coaches that have given so much for the program. It’s just 100 wins for the program since I started.”
Stoughton junior led all scorers with 21 points, on a combination of three-point field goals and mid-range jumpers. Gallivan said Middleton is shooting 76 percent from inside the arc this season.
“Marcus can help in so many ways,” Gallivan said. “It doesn’t have to be three pointers. He can score going to the hoop. He can score in a lot of different ways. Just his defense alone, any coach would take him never mind any offense. We’ll take whatever he gives us and tonight he gave us a ton.”
Although North Attleboro has yet to record a win this season (0-8), Stoughton wasn’t taking them lightly entering the game, especially after blowing a fourth-quarter lead against this past Tuesday.
“When we looked at the scores, it seemed like they had been in every game with every team,” Gallivan added. “This gym has been a house of horrors for us over the years. That’s why it was so important to get out to a good start.”
Stoughton’s defense looked the best it has this season, limiting the Red Rocketeers offensive rebounds for most of the game. North Attleboro shot only 27 percent from the field, including just 1/17 from beyond the arc. It is the fewest amount of points allowed this season for the Black Knights.
“The kids did a good job of limiting them to one shot. I haven’t seen the stats yet but they didn’t get too many offensive rebounds. That hurt us the other night [against Mansfield] and we have to do a better job as we go forward limiting teams to just one shot, one possession.”
The Black Knights got a well-rounded performance from other players as well. Juniors Aaron Calixte had 4 points and 6 assists, Mauro Oliveira had 8 points, and Joe Bunce-Grenon hustled hard to grab 5 points and 6 boards. Seniors Raymond Bowdre (4 points), Donald Saladin (4 points), Steffan Jackson (9 points) and Antonio Ferreira (4 points, 8 rebounds) all played well down low on both sides of the ball. Sophomore Joe Wilder chipped in with 6 points and 6 boards.
Stoughton, now 7-1 on the season, led 18-4 after the first quarter and took a 36-13 lead into the half. The Black Knights limited North Attleboro to just 5 points in the third quarter, building a 57-18 advantage heading into the final eight minutes of play.
The 36-point win (67-31) marked the sixth double-digit win of the season for Stoughton and the fourth win by 30 or more points.
Stoughton hosts Sharon on Tuesday, January 17.