The Stoughton High boys' basketball team was in action Tuesday night to kick off the second half of the season, defeating visiting North Attleboro 85-55. With the win, the Knights improve to 5-6 and find themselves needing to get 5 more wins in the last 9 games to qualify for the MIAA state tournament.
After a back and forth first quarter the Knights played with a sense of urgency throughout the game, in what was truly a must win situation for Stoughton.
Stoughton led by six, 17-11 at the end of the first quarter, and then started to open things up, taking a 39-24 lead into the half, and a 61-39 lead after three quarters, before coming away with the 30-point win.
In what has been a theme for the Knights in their wins thus far, Stoughton had a balanced attack with every active player scoring, grabbing a rebound, and getting a foul against North Attleboro.
The high scorer for Stoughton was senior captain Marcus Middleton who had 24 points, 4 assists and 3 steals.
Junior Michael Gallagher had 13 points, and seniors Andrew Valle and Eddie Grant had 13 points and 11 points respectively. Valle had 4 steals, while Grant added 4 assists.
Senior Mauro Oliveira had a strong game on the boards grabbing 9 rebounds. Junior Stanley Sajous grabbed 8 rebounds on the night.
The win came without senior captain Joe Bunce-Grenon, Stoughton's second leading scorer, who was sidelined with an injury.
North Attleboro received strong outings from Ryan Perron (12 points), Tyrone Jackson (10 points), Jake Lang (6 points) and Greg Gildea (6 points).
Stoughton coach John Gallivan talked about how effective the press was Tuesday night.
"We were just trying to get out of some early game shooting slumps that we have had recently."
Gallivan added, "We thought we would be able to get up and down the court and get a couple of easy baskets, which we did, but we also picked up 15 team fouls so at halftime we decided to back off it a little bit."
Gallivan then talked about how despite winning by a large margin of points, it was in no way an easy win for the Knights.
"The kids even said, it was not an easy win. The first quarter was very competitive and the second quarter was very competitive."
"Sometimes its just a case of, as we know coming out on the wrong end of it before, one team hits a couple shots and one team doesn't," Gallivan continued. "Eventually the lead started to grow a little bit, but they [North Attleboro] fought very hard and it was very competitive."
Stoughton hits the court again this Friday night when they host Sharon at 6:30 p.m.