Attleboro Bombardiers vs Taunton Tigers It was a closely contested and truly fun game to watch. Late game turnovers were the difference in this one as Attleboro pulls away late to win it 63-60.
It truly was a battle between two of the top scoring teams in the league. The leads for either team never got to double digits and defensively, both teams were engaged from tip-off. Jr. F Dante Law (#24) led THS in scoring with an efficient 20 pts, with Sr. G Michael Quinn (#2) pouring in 12 pts as well. Attleboro's Jr. F Qualeem Charles (#35) led all scorers with 21 pts, as he was a force in the paint offensively and defensively. Late game turnovers for THS is what ultimately did them in as the Bombardiers held on to get a three point victory.
The 1st qtr set the tone for how the game played out as Attleboro really tried feeding Charles early to get him going offensively. THS' Dante Law and Sr. F Wesner Charles (#21) had a great two man game going early as Law found Charles twice in a two minute span to make the game 8-6 Attleboro with about 5:30 left in the 1st. Jr. G Naz Kenion (#3) made a strong move to the rim and did so again on the next possession, but missed on his second attempt. Charles was there to get the OREB, but was fouled on his put back attempt and proceeded to make both FTs to give THS its first lead of the game at 12-11 with 2:45 left in the 1st. Quinn hit a 3 with about a minute left and then Law hit a 3 to end the qtr, giving the Tigers a 19-18 advantage.
Law got the crowd roaring as he dunked it from what felt like a step in front of the FT line about a minute into the 2nd. On THS' next possession, he did it again with a great pass on a fast break by Sr. G Lou Vendrell (#1) to make it 24-19 Tigers with 6:46 left in the 2nd. They could never truly break away from Attleboro though, as the combination of Qualeem Charles and Jr. G Bryant Ciccio (#25) kept the Bombardiers in the game. Bryant hit a contested 3 around the 2:20 mark to cut THS' lead down to three.But Vendrell matched him as he hit a 3 of his own on the next trip down the floor to make it 34-28. Attleboro then closed out the half with a made FT by Jr. F Lorenzo Wilson (#23) and followed that up with a nice post move to make it 34-31 THS going into the break.
The 3rd continued the game's close score trend as neither team had more than a three point lead for a majority of the qtr. Wesner Charles had an OREB and went back up with it to make it 36-35 Tigers. Then it was the other Charles' turn as he scored on three straight possessions to give Attleboro a 39-38 lead. A few plays later, Law made a great cross court pass to Quinn on the fast break, who finished strong at the rim with about 2:55 in the 3rd. THS finished the 3rd strong as they went on a 10-2 run to give themselves a 48-43 lead.
Attleboro's Charles found himself in familiar territory as he made a nice move under the rim at the start of the 4th to cut THS' lead to three. About a minute later, Sr. G John Martins (#4) had a nice take to the basket to put THS back up by five, making the score 50-45. Then it was Ciccio's time to shine as he hit two FTs and made a lay-up on back to back possessions to make it 51-50 Bombardiers with 4:50 left in the 4th. The turnover bug reared its ugly head for the Tigers as they started to make a few uncommon mistakes. Attleboro was starting to pull away late as Ciccio hit two FTs with 2:23 left, bringing the score to 60-53.
Martins hit a 3 on the next trip up the floor to cut the lead down to four with 2:00 left in the game. THS then got a steal as Quinn ran up the court for a fast break lay-up to make it 60-58, which was then followed by an Attleboro timeout. Vendrell then had a steal himself and ran up the court. He was fouled at the rim and made both FTs with 35.4 seconds left, making it 62-60 Bombardiers. THS' late game defensive pressure led to another steal with about 20 seconds left as Charles raced up the court, but an errant pass to Quinn under the rim led to a turnover. With Ciccio at the line, he made one of two FTs with 3.2 seconds left, but with an OREB by Attleboro, it was all they needed to run out the clock. Attleboro held on to win the game 63-60. As disappointing a loss as it was for the Tigers, they never gave up when most teams would have, being down seven with 2:23 left in the game.That effort and intensity plus the experience from this game will serve them well in the future. Their next game is on the road against the Canton Bulldogs, Tuesday, January 22nd. Tip-off is at 6:30.
Jason is a Taunton Alum and sports journalist covering home games and meets at Taunton High School.
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