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Greater Lowell Nips Tyngsboro, 56-52

February 27, 2019
Greater Lowell's Paul Choate skies to defend against Tyngsboro's Jason Kelly on Tuesday. SUN/JULIA MALAKIE Sun staff photos can be ordered by visiting our SmugMug site.

TYNGSBORO -- Having already survived one nail-biter against the Tyngsboro Tigers this season, the Greater Lowell Gryphons weren’t about to let their crosstown rivals steal the rematch with so much more at stake.

And though they coughed up an early 10-point lead and had to dig themselves out of a hole in the third quarter, the No. 4 Gryphons escaped with a 56-52 win over the No. 13 Tigers in Tuesday night’s MIAA Division 3 Central first-round boys basketball game at Greater Lowell Tech.

Greater Lowell improved its record to 16-5. Tyngsboro ends its season at 11-10.

The Gryphons opened the game on a 15-5 run thanks to deadly shooting by Luis Huertas (13 points) and solid post offense by Jacob Burk.

Tyngsboro chipped away thanks in large part to Christian Beck (23 points) and Elcharis Kamuanga (15 points) and eventually made the game neck-and-neck at halftime, with the Gryphons leading just 27-25.

The third quarter opened slowly, but eventually the Tigers took control. Tyngsboro took the lead in the third quarter, its first of the game.

But it would be the only time the Tigers held the lead, as Gryphons head coach Joe Kane got his boys back in the game with a timeout that sparked an 8-0 run. Soon after the lead would increase to nine.

Paul Choate filled up the stat sheet with 13 points, 15 rebounds, five blocks and four assists, but he racked up five quick fouls in the fourth quarter as Tyngsboro began to chip away at the lead again.

With Choate fouled out and Huertas and Burk cut off, the Gryphons needed a closer. They found him in Luis Mota, who sank five of his 11 points in the closing moments with a layup and a devastating stepback three.

Jacob Burke scored 6 points and had a great defensive game, while Jose Lazu (4 points) came up with several key plays on defense for the Gryphons.

Josh Ortiz (8 points) was unbelievable in the second half for Greater Lowell.

The Gryphons will host fifth-seeded Bellingham on Friday at 6:30 p.m. Bellingham routed No. 12 Bromfield, 54-24. Bellingham has a 16-5 record.

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