CONCORD – The Waltham High boys basketball team took care of its business well enough through the regular season that the Hawks now have a chance to play for a championship Friday night.
Waltham bounced back from a 63-50 loss at Boston Latin Friday night with an overwhelming effort on Tuesday as Justin Pettine scored 18 points to lead four players in double figures in a 71-50 victory at Concord-Carlisle. That win – combined with Boston Latin’s loss to Bedford on Tuesday – puts the Hawks in position to earn at least a share of the Dual County League Small title when the teams play at Bedford High Friday night at 7.
“In order to have a chance at that we had to come over here and win to make sure,” Wilder said. “I’m happy with the way we played tonight. Everyone just had to relax a little bit.”
Wilder said things got a bit tight on Friday when the Hawks got behind early, then scored 11 in a row to cut the Boston Latin lead to three, but fall off late after an injury to point guard Billy Sameski and were outscored 16-6 to end the game.
“We hadn’t been there before,” Wilder said. “I think the kids started thinking about it a little too much.”
The hope is to build off that experience when the Hawks get another chance at a title in a jumbled DCL Small. Bedford will enter that game with two DCL Small losses as Waltham, which has three losses, would be able to make up the game with a victory. Bedford also still has to play C-C. Wayland and Boston Latin each have three losses as well.
On Tuesday, Stephen Nicolas scored 16 points, Ryan Power had 13 and Sevag Aboyan had 12 for the Hawks.
Wilder was especially happy with the efforts of Pettine and Aboyan.
“They had been pressing as of late,” Wilder said. “We talked to them about it and maybe that worked. Or maybe they just had it today. We needed those two to play well and they did today. It’s a good sign to get 30 points from them.”
An 18-point Waltham lead was down to 52-41 early in the fourth on Tuesday when Matt Lawn scored from Power and Nicolas hit a free throw for a 14-point lead. Baskets from Nicolas and Aboyan made it a 9-0 run and 20-point gap with 4:57 to play.
After a C-C 3-pointer, Pettine scored four in a row and Power made it 67-44 before Kevin McAvoy’s 3-pointer made it an 18-3 run overall and 70-44 lead with 2:32 to go.
Hawks knock off Boston Latin
Sheridan Blaha scored the final seven points of the first half to bring the Waltham High girls basketball team team and the Hawks were able to hold on late for a 54-53 victory at Boston Latin Friday night.
Waltham was down seven late in the half when Blaha caught fire, including a buzzer-beater to tie the game at 30-30.
Lauren Sampson scored 19 points with four 3-pointers, Breah LaForest had nine points, Blaha had eight points, Devon DeMeo had six points and seven rebounds and Sydney Giugno had six points and eight rebounds for the Hawks.
Giugno's steal at the end of the game sealed the victory with four seconds left on the clock.
Julia Sampson had two rebounds, two assists and a steal and Gena Divito contributed two steals.
Scott Souza can be reached at email@example.com.