WORCESTER – The Greater Lowell Gryphons saw their season come to a disappointing end Saturday as they fell to the Bartlett Indians, 96-66, in the MIAA Division 3 Central boys’ basketball sectional final at WPI.
Three players scored 20 points for the Indians (20-3), including two with double-doubles – Tyler Davern (21 points, 20 rebounds), Anthony Grzembski (22 points, 15 assists) and Cody Adams (game-high 27 points).
Ian Kirumira had another fantastic game in his last game in a Greater Lowell uniform, with 24 points, 11 rebounds and three assists, including his 1,000th career rebound, making him the first player in Greater Lowell history to record 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds.
The Indians never trailed in the game as things snowballed from the opening tip for Greater Lowell. The Indians broke the Gryphons’ full-court press, their defense of choice, with ease, leading to wide-open looks, and got the Gryphons into early foul trouble, leading to a 14-of-16 performance at the free throw line in the first half, including 9-of-10 by Grzembski alone. Meanwhile, Greater Lowell didn’t make a free throw the entire game.
“That press has been our bread and butter all year, but obviously [Bartlett] handled it pretty well,” Gryphons head coach Daniel Kane said.
Even with a deep, nonchalant three by Luis Mota (11 points, four steals) at the halftime buzzer, the Gryphons found themselves trailing by 16, with two players with three fouls and two more with two fouls.
The Gryphons got two quick baskets to start the second half, but the 7-0 run was all the momentum they could muster, as the Indians’ offense continued to fire on all cylinders throughout the second half. They finished the game with 23 assists as a team.
For Greater Lowell, (18-5) Paul Choate added 14 points, eight rebounds and three assists, and Luis Huertas had 13 points and four rebounds. Johnny Torres had 10 points off the bench and Logan Paranto had eight points and six rebounds for Bartlett.
Despite losing Kirumira, the Gryphons will be in good hands next year with four starters returning, including Choate, Mota and Huertas.
“Choate’s a good player, he’s talented, he’s really athletic,” Kane lauded. “[Mota and Huertas] have been great for us all year. We’ve got some freshmen coming up that are good… we’ve got a bright future.”