GROTON – The Marlborough Panthers continued their surprising hot streak to start the season with a 56-33 drubbing of the Groton-Dunstable Crusaders at G-DRHS Friday night.
Marlborough had three players score in double figures: Chris Doherty (15 points, four rebounds, four blocks, three assists) Joe Cappadonna (13 points, four rebounds, three assists), and Brian Short (10 points, six rebounds). Meanwhile, the Crusaders’ leading scorer, Danny Howes, had just eight points and six rebounds, and no starter scored more than five points.
“We were out of sync offensively for whatever reason,” G-D head coach Greg Gillette said. “When we don’t execute well, no one’s going to get good shots, and you end up getting a lot of forces.”
Doherty, Marlborough’s 6’6″ freshman center, was the tallest player on the court, and thus was able to dominate the paint both offensively and defensively, though surprisingly he didn’t record a rebound until midway through the second quarter.
“[Doherty] protected the rim,” Gillette lauded. “I thought our big guys played well against him, but he’s a good player and a good shot blocker, and he made us change shots.”
The Crusaders got to the line far more often than the Panthers did, but only shot 10-of-18 compared to 5-of-6 for the visitors. They were also out-rebounded 35-27, and made just one three-pointer compared to five for Marlborough.
G-D captain Corey Romich, considered one of the best three-point shooters in central Massachusetts, was held to just four points and four rebounds, and did not record a basket from long-distance. Gillette said that he is still “banged up,” coming around the bend from injuries that are not limited to the injury he suffered in the first game of football season.
Despite all this, Gillette felt that the final score belied the effort his team put in.
“We played hard, we just didn’t execute well enough,” he said.
The Panthers, who did not make the state tournament last year, improved to 6-1 (2-0 Mid-Wach B), while the Crusaders fell to 2-4 (0-1 Mid-Wach B). The Crusaders’ next game is Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Nashoba.
To listen to the on-demand audio of this game, click here.
For more G-D sports coverage, visit TheGrotonLine.com.