Gryphs, LC Fall Just Shy
LOWELL -- The four-day IAABO Board 95 Holiday Tournament rolled on at Lowell Catholic High School on Saturday with the two Small School Division championships.
The annual hoop tourney is sponsored by Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union.
In the Romano Division final, Bedford used a decisive fourth quarter to take down Greater Lowell, 69-63. In the Skaff Division final, Pentucket Regional edged Lowell Catholic, 72-69.
Bedford outscored the Gryphons 22-8 in the fourth and forward Panayiotis Kapanides scored 11 of his game-high 30 points in the frame to power the Bucs to a victory.
“I think we were probably tired. (Kapanides) kind of dominated underneath,” GL coach Joe Kane said. “He’s a good player -- he’s strong -- that definitely hurt us. We were trying to figure out ways to stop him.”
The first half was tightly contested with Bedford building a 32-29 advantage prior to the break. Paul Choate (21 points) poured in seven points in the first half to keep Greater Lowell in the game.
The second half originally looked as though it was going to be Greater Lowell’s game to win. The Gryphons scored 26 in the third quarter, including eight points from Choate and seven from Jacob Burk. At the end of the frame, the Gryphons had a 55-47 lead.
But in the fourth Kapanides took over on both sides of the court and the Buccaneers followed.
“Their defense was excellent,” said Kane. “They hustled, they played hard, we didn’t shoot well and it is what it is now.”
The defining stretch of the game was when Bedford made three straight 3-point field goals in the fourth quarter. Ibrahim Muhammad-Denson made one to cut the lead to one, that was followed by a Jeffrey Moscali three to tie the game at 57, then Kapanides drilled one to give Bedford a 60-59 lead.
Choate was named a Romano All-Star for his performance in the tourney.
Lowell Cathoic 69
The Crusaders trailed Pentucket, 65-53, with 4:32 left to play in the game and then went on a serious run.
Isaiah Taylor had 11 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter and the Crusaders closed out the game on a 16-7 run to fall just short.
Coach Mike Isola gave a simple reason for how his team was able to get back into the game.
“The effort and the intensity on the defensive end,” he said. “We actually did a halfway decent job of stopping the ball going by us and then started causing some turnovers.”
Lowell Catholic (5-1) started wreaking havoc defensively and forcing turnovers, which led to the late push.
“We’re an up-and-down team, so when we’re tasked to slow down, it makes some things challenging for us. With us being such a young team, we make a lot of young mistakes,” Isola said.
Jake Etter led Pentucket with 17 points.
Taylor led LC with 21 and just behind him was Keenan Rudy-Phol, who had 18 points and made three 3-pointers.
Isola looks to use the loss as a positive for his team.
“Being in a tournament like this, playing Pentucket -- they’re undefeated, a well-coached team, very athletic -- it helps us for our level,” he said. “We’re playing several schools at a higher level, which we feel is going to help us come tournament time.”