Nashoba Needed This One
BOLTON -- One thing was missing way back on opening night when the Westboro boys’ basketball team had its way with Nashoba Regional in a 17-point victory.
Enter Justin Peirce, who was sidelined for that game with an ankle injury.
On a night when the Chieftains desperately needed a win, the Nashoba senior delivered, as he got to the basket at will and scored a team-high 25 points and the Chieftains earned a hard-fought 79-70 Mid-Wach B league victory over the Rangers on Tuesday night.
With the win, Nashoba ran its record to 4-7 overall and 2-3 in league play, while Westboro fell to 7-3 overall and 4-1 in Mid-Wach B action.
“We executed on both ends of the floor,” said Nashoba head coach Danny Ortiz. “Offensively, I think this is best game we have played this year, because everyone followed their roles. The kids played with a lot of heart tonight against a good team.”
Peirce did a lot of his damage close to the rim and at the free throw line on this night. Over the final eight minutes, Peirce had a pair of three-point plays to help the Chieftains extend their lead to double digits at 64-51. On the evening, the senior guard shot 12 of 16 from the charity stripe.
But like good teams do, Westboro refused to go away easily. Behind some hot outside shooting from junior Michael Doherty (30 points), who canned six of eight shots from behind the arc, the Rangers found themselves right back in it, trailing 72-67 with 23 seconds left.
Down the stretch, Nashoba calmly stepped to the free throw line and iced the game with some clutch shooting.
“Our past couple games, we have had leads and shot our way out of it,” Peirce said. “We have been focusing on driving to the hoop at practice, and it worked tonight. This was a huge win because it keeps us in the playoff hunt.”
In the opening half, both teams played strong on both ends of the court. The game was knotted at 12 after eight minutes and Westboro held a slim 33-29 lead at the break.
While Peirce certainly stood out, Nashoba had a number of players score in double figures. Sophomore Jack Richard chipped in with 18 points and classmate Andrew Ahlquist added 12 points. Breese Hill and Jack Meilleur scored 10 apiece for the Chieftains.
“We had a lot of guys step up tonight,” Ortiz said. “This was definitely a big win because it gives the kids confidence and shows that they can play with anyone. We just need to focus on getting better tomorrow and getting ready for our next big game on Friday.”