The Stoughton High basketball team was in action Tuesday night, losing at Milford, 69-52, to fall to 6-7 on the season. With the loss, Stoughton needs to win 4 of their last 7 games to qualify for the MIAA state tournament.
Tuesday night was all Milford, who after a slow start in the first quarter for both teams, came out firing in the second quarter and never looked back. Up 8-4 after the first quarter, Milford took a 35-19 lead at the half and led 52-32 going into the fourth.
Stoughton showed heart throughout, not becoming discouraged and fighting back the entire course of the game against the now 13-1 Hockomock League Davenport Division leaders.
Milford received strong games by David Mercier (12 points), Chris Brown (12 points), Mike Soares (12 points) and Chris Trafecante (9 points). Many other Milford players made contributions in which was truly a balanced attack by Milford all night.
Milford was able to use their height to their advantage and had an edge on the glass throughout the game.
But Stoughton did not go quietly despite being down by double digits. The Knights kept their composure and were able to make a run at Milford in the fourth quarter before just running out of gas and time at the end.
Senior captain Marcus Middleton had 17 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists on the night. Seniors Mauro Oliveira and Eddie Grant chipped in with 11 and 8 points respectively. And the junior trio of Joey Wilder (6 points, 5 rebounds), Stanley Sajous (6 points) and Michael Gallagher (4 points) had strong third and fourth quarters.
After the game Stoughton coach John Gallivan talked about what Milford was able to do Tuesday night that helped them come away with the victory.
"The second quarter they were able to come away with four or five 3's which extended their lead to double digits going into the half."
Gallivan added, "We played a little better in the third and fourth but whenever we made a run they would get that one big basket, one of their good players - they have so many of them that can step up and make a play."
"We were definitely playing better in the second half but they were able to stem the tide and push it back from 8 to 10 or 10 to 12 and that's how the night went tonight."
Gallivan then looked ahead to Friday's matchup at 1-12 King Philip.
"It is absolutely a must win game. They are a scary team, even though their record does not necessarily show it. If you look at the scores they have been in almost every game, they have tough and athletic kids," he said.
"They are going to compete on their home court. When you are having a season like that it just takes one. We don't want to be that one."
The Knights will look to get win number 7 when they travel to King Philip, Feb. 1, for a 6:30 p.m. tip-off.