Basketball aficionados surely enjoyed the crispness, the emphasis on fundamentals and defense, that Mamaroneck High of New York brought into Spaulding Gymnasium for the three-day Noyes Holiday boys’ Basketball Tournament at Keene State College.
Mamaroneck’s opponents? Maybe not so much.
Mamaroneck ran away with the Red Division title, blowing out all three foes and capping its run with a 62-37 win over Keene High in the championship game Sunday night. The Blackbirds, who turned back ConVal Regional High 60-44 in the semifinals Saturday night, hung in there with Mamoreneck for more than a quarter before the Tigers wore them down with their fast-paced ball movement and relentless defense.
In Sunday’s White Division championship game for smaller schools, Murdock High of Winchendon, Mass., downed the “B” team from Smithfield, R.I., 57-52.
The Birds actually led by six in the first quarter and came out of it tied 11-11, but the Tigers outscored them 44-20 in the middle two quarters to win its second straight title. Mamaroneck defeated Coe-Brown 79-23 in the first round and Smithfield, R.I., 62-40 in a sometimes-contentious semifinal Saturday night.
Keene had few answers for Mamaroneck guard Nicholas McDonald, who scored 23 points on 9-for-12 shooting, including 5-for-7 from the 3-point line. Thomas Plunkett added 16 points for the winners. Charlie Randall, Mamaroneck’s 6-foot-9 center, scored only five points but had five blocked shots and didn’t allow the smaller Birds to establish much of an inside presence.
Still, the Birds showed pluck the entire tournament, particularly against ConVal Saturday, which went 17-1 last season in Division II. The Cougars trailed only 26-22 at halftime before Keene applied the defensive clamps in the third quarter and stretched its lead to 20 points early in the fourth quarter. Three Keene players reached double figures on its balanced scoring sheet, led by Noah Timmer’s 16 points, 12 from Liam Johnston and 11 from Quinn Grover.
The indefatigable Mather Kipka, who played all 32 minutes for the Cougars, scored 13 points, and Connor Buffum had 11.
Keene has yet to play a regular-season game and will now have a few days off before hosting Londonderry High at the Purbeck Gym in its official opener Friday night at 6:30.
The three-day tournament at Keene State featured 16 teams and eight games per day. Here’s a recap of Sunday’s other action:
ConVal 52, Smithfield, R.I. 41 — The Cougars showed no signs of a post-Keene letdown in claiming third place with a win that wasn’t as close as the final would indicate. The Cougars blew out to an 18-7 first-quarter lead, were up 30-13 at halftime and led by 27 at one point in the third quarter. Mather Kipka and Connor Buffum led the way again with 16 points apiece and Del Bonsu-Anane scored 8. Justin Tedeschi scored 16 for Smithfield.
Coe-Brown 68, Monadnock 53 — It was a tough tournament for the Huskies, who lost all three of their games by double digits. They trailed only 36-35 at halftime, but the Bears held them to six points in the third quarter, then went on a 10-0 run in the fourth to stretch their lead to 19 points. Monadnock struggled from the floor, shooting only 37 percent. Jake Kidney led the way with 22 points (8 for 26 from the field) and Nate Doyle added 10.
Wells, Maine 47, Conant 38 — The Orioles dominated much of the first half and led by 13 at one point, but went ice-cold in the fourth quarter — shooting 1-for-12 from the field — in scoring only five points. Colson Seppala scored a team-high 13 points and Anthony Gauthier added 9. Nate Chandler of Wells led all scorers with 22 points. The Orioles went 1-2 in the tournament and finished sixth.
Murdock 57, Smithfield, R.I. “B” 52 — The Blue Devils rallied from a 12-point deficit in the first half to take the White Division title. They went on an 8-0 run in the third quarter and held off Smithfield in the fourth. Luis Maldonado scored 20 points and LJ Hicks added 17 for the winners, while Reilly Bennett had 14 for Smithfield.
Mount Royal 57, Hinsdale 52 — The Pacers ended up sixth in the White Division after losing a seven-point lead in the first quarter and slipping behind for good in the second half. Greg Howard scored 16 points and Arth Patel had 15 for the Pacers, who committed 34 turnovers.
Wilton 73, Fall Mountain 64 — Wilton salvaged seventh place thanks to a 44-point second half. Elijah Gould had a big day for the Wildcats, scoring 22 points on 10-for-14 shooting. Mitch Cormier and Brady Elliott each scored 10 for Fall Mountain. Jake Schwab of Wilton led all scorers with 29 points.
Sunapee 76, Newport 50 — The Lakers claimed third place in the White Division by pulling away from the Tigers in the third quarter. Sunapee led only 35-32 at halftime, but went on a 15-0 run in the third quarter. Zach Belisle scored 20 points for the Lakers, while Newport’s Will Cross led all scorers with 26.