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Live Blog: Watertown Faces Whitinsville Christian in the State Final

The Raiders boys' basketball team seeks a third state title today in Worcester.

Watertown could not hit the shots down the stretch. They kept it close, but Whitinsville hit enough free throws to pull away at the end. Raiders players look stunned as they are awarded the runner up medals by WHS Principal Steve Watson.

Final, Whitinsville Christian 42, Watertown 36.

1.6 left 4th, Miersma misses both, Coppola looses ball out of bounds. Coppola fouls, fouls out. Bejema makes one.

9.5 left in 4th, stockdale has to foul, and fouls out, Whitinsville beginning to celebratre. Stockdale fouls out.

14.4 left 4th, Whitinsville inbounds, but the buzzer sounds. Refs allow play to go on, Watertown fouls. Bajema makes both, Crusaders lead 41- 36

17.8 left 4th, Watertown throws ball away, has to foul to prevent time running down. Grant Brown hits  one, but misses second. Donohue gets long board, gives it to Coppola who scoops it in to make it 39-36 Crusaders.

47.9, Whitinsville throws ball away.

54 left 4th, Whitinsville calls timeout to avoid a jump ball. 38-34 Crusaders, who still have the ball.

1:17 left 4th, Coppola fouled, hits both. down 4.

1:27 left 4th, Miersma fouled after Raider miss. Hits both to make it 38-32.

1:46 left 4th, Donohue misses a 3 from the corner. Kelly fouls Koopman after the rebound. Kelly fouls out. Koopman hits one free throw, Whitinsville leads. 36-32

2:20 left 4th, Coppola misses a long three, Miersma hits a short 2 to make it 35-32, Time out Watertown.

3:38 left 4th, Watertown gets board, but Coppola called for travelling. Whitinsville then throws ball away.

4:20 left 4th, Whitinsville misses shot, then fouls on rebound. Richey picks up his fourth foul. Coppola going to the line, makes both,  33-32 Whitinsville.

4:24 left 4th, Kelly called for intentional foul on Miersma who had a close layup. He missed first, hit second, still Whitinsville ball with the 33-30 lead.

5 min left 4th, Donohue hits 3 to tie, Richey sprints down court and lays it in. 32-30 Whitinsville

5:47 left 4th, Correction, Romanelli has only 3 fouls, after commiting one. Then Donohue fouls Miersma who misses the firs of a 1 and 1

5:59 left 4th, Coppola going to the line after being fouled on a drive. Misses front end of one0and-one.

6:34 left, Watertown misses free throw, Stockdale with rebound, but another missed three. Whitinsville called for charge.

7:45 left 4th, Donohue hits a three, Raiders get ball back and fouled on the floor. 30-27 Whitinsville.

End of 3rd, Watertown almost gets the steal, but ball on the line. Whitinsville misses shot and gets long rebound. Misses shot at buzzer. 30-24 Crusaders.

26.3 left in 3rd, Whitinsville multiteaming Coppola, who passes to Stockdale. He is fouled and makes both free throws, 30-24 Whitinsville.

56.7 left in 3rd, Stockdale misses, and Whitinsville gets rebound, calls timeout.

1:55 left 3rd, Bajema gets a rebound and scores, 30-22 Crusaders. Raiders have Patrick McHugh and Meroujan Bagdasarian in for Donohue and Romanelli.

2:39 left 3rd, Coppola fouled, hits both shots. 28-22 Crusaders.

3:00 left 3rd, Romanelli picks up his fourth foul. Then Miersma hits a short jump hook. 28-20 Whitinsville.

3:30 left 3rd, Richey hits free throw. Coppola still in game.

3:39 left 3rd, Whitinsville's Richey fouled on shot, hits a running hook. Coppola commited the foul, which was his fourth. 25-20 Whitinsville, foul shot still to come.

3:48 left 3rd, Raiders miss three straight from the floor. Timeout Whitinsville., still 23-20

4:46  left 3rd, Coppola for three. 23-20 Crusaders.

And we are back,

5:57 left 3rd, Watertown got the only basket now, 21-17, but Bajema goes down and scores for Whitinsville and is fouled. He misses. 23-17 Whitinsville.

End 2nd, Halftime score 21-15 Whitinsville. Raiders facing a tough defense, and have not hit outside shots since Donohue's early threes. Ghey have done well to limit the Crusaders to one shot, but Whitinsville started to run, and have scored their share of shots and have gotten fouled along the way.

1:10 left 2nd, Coppola still looking for his outside shot. Whitinsville's Richey fouled, goes to line misses both

1:35 left 2nd, Steal by Whitinsville leads to a layup. Watertown coach Steve Harrington calls time out. Score 21-15 Whitinsville.

2:02 left 2nd, Stockdale fouls Richey on the way to the hoop. Whitinsville's guard hits one, then second gets stuck between hoop and backboard. 19-15 Whitinsville

3:05 left 2nd, Bajema hits a running scoop shot, 18-15 Whitinsville.

4:13 left 2nd, Miersma gets inbound under hoop for easy layin. Crusaders 16-15

4:29 left 2nd, Steal by Kelly, dishes to Coppola for two Raiders up 15-14

5:12 left 2nd, Bajema for three to give Whitinsville a 14-13 lead.

6:20 left 2nd, Coppola scores, then Kelly gets two after a steal. Whitinsville gets a quick 2, 13-11 WHS

7:35 left 2nd, Tyler VanderAkker fouled makes two from line for Whitinsville. Tied at 9.

End of 1st, Whitinsville scores. Watertown made the basket, but traveled. Teams missed a few shots down the stretch. Score 9-7 Watertown.

2:40 left 1st, Third three for Donohue, 9-2 Watertown. Miersma comes down, misses shot, but gets rebounds and is fouled as he made it. On the line and makes it. now 9-5.

4:10 left 1st, Donohue hits another three, now 6-2 Watertown. Miersma gets too far down and travels when ball gets suck under basket.

12:51 p.m., OK, fixed, game on again.

12:49 p.m., They are still working on the clock. They have collapsed the hoop so the technician can get a closer look.

4:29 left 1st, A delay in the game. Miersma's dunk rattled the shot clock above the basket, which needs to be fixed.

4:38 left 1st, Donohue responds with a 3 pointer. Miersma comes down and dunks, but it is no good due to a travel. 3-2 WHS

5:35 left 1st, Richey scores for Whitinsville after a turnover. 2-0

6:50 left 1st, Both team have missed their first two opportunities.

12:30 p.m. - Starting lineups Watertown: G Danny Kelly, F Cory Donohue, G Tyler Romanelli, C Connor Stockdale and G Marco Coppola.

Whitinsville: F Justin Tienhaara, G Colin Richey, F Peter Koopman, G Taylor Bajema and C Hans Miersma.

12:28 p.m. - Teams getting ready for the introductions. The Watertown students are pumped up and making lots of noise.

12:17 p.m. - The crew from is here, and will be broadcasting the game on cable later. Not sure what time, but they can't broadcast live.

12:15 p.m. - The Crusaders are warming up on my end of the court, and from courtlevel they are certainly a tall bunch of guys. Even their starting guards are over 6-feet tall. Watertown's tallest players, centers Connor Stockdale and Patrick McHugh are 6-3, while Whitinsville's Hans Miersma stands in at 6-9.

12:10 p.m. - The Raiders are in the hallway getting ready to warm up for their game with Whitinsville Christian.

Follow the Raiders' progress in the MIAA Div. 3 boys' basketball state final with Patch's live updates from the DCU Center in Worcester. Watertown faces Whitinsville Christian, the Central Section champs, at 12:30 p.m. Saturday.

The Teams:

WATERTOWN RAIDERS (North Section No. 3 seed)

Record: 19-5

Coach: Steve Harrington

Strengths: The Raiders have beaten teams with their pressure defense and outside shooting, but their run to the state final has been led by guard Marco Coppola. The senior was the leading scorer in Eastern Massachusetts this year, according to the Boston Globe. The Raiders hit eight three-pointers and caused numerous turnovers by Cardinal Spellman in the state semifinal.

Leading Scorers: Guard Marco Coppola, 94 points in four post season games, (23.5 points per game). 

Road to Final: Section Quarterfinal, beat Whittier Tech 61-33; Section Semifinal (at Woburn High School), beat Danvers, 52-35; North Section Final (Tsongas Arena), beat Newburyport, 55-31; State Semifinal (TD Garden), beat Cardinal Spellman 56-36.

WHITINSVILLE CHRISTIAN CRUSADERS (Central Section No. 2 seed)

Record: 22-2

Coach: Jeff Bajema

Strengths: The Crusaders' size has troubled opponents in the state tournament. Senior center Hans Miersma stands at 6-foot-9, and he is joined in the front court by 6-7 forward Justin Tienhaara and 6-5 forward Peter Koopman. Besides scoring 16 in the state semifinal against Lenox, Miersma had six blocked shots.

Leading Scorer: Guard Taylor Bajema, averaged 21.3 points per game in his last three games.

Road to Final: First Round, beat South Lancaster Academy 65-28; Section Quarterfinal, beat Douglas 76-40; Section Semifinal (at WPI), beat Keefe Tech 87-38; Central Section Final (Fitchburg State), beat Quaboag 57-39; State Semifinal (DCU Center), beat Lenox 57-42.

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