By Evan Freedman, BPSsports.com Correspondent
ROXBURY — Madison Park advanced in the first semifinal game against Brighton Thursday night at Madison Park. The Cardinals, the number two seed in the North Division, donned their road uniforms, even though they were playing in their own gym. The game was nip and tuck the whole way, with neither team leading by more than six throughout. Madison Park led by three with 16 seconds left, when Brighton could not connect with a pair of three point efforts as time expired.
Brighton’s Davion Edwards was the three point assassin for the Bengals, knocking down four of them to give Brighton a 34-28 halftime lead. Madison tightened up their defense in the second half, converting defense into easy buckets to take the lead in the third quarter. Down 54-51 after three, Madison Park came back for good in the fourth when senior Rayshawn Matthews knocked down a pair of threes. Madison Park’s defense stood up, and sealed the game 67-64.
Madison Park senior center Dakim Murray was excited about his team’s efforts. “It feels good to win this one,” he said. “Our team didn’t quit. We kept up the intensity, and we had good discipline. We stuck to the game plan and got it done.”
In the nightcap, number one seed in the North, East Boston, downed New Mission 62-43 with good defense and a lot of penetration to the bucket. The score at the half was low, 22-17, but things opened up in the second half, as Eastie scored 40 to New Mission’s 26.
Jets’ senior guard Kyle Fox had 13 in the second half and 17 on the night. Junior forward Will March added nine of his own, all coming in the second half.
“We played hard tonight,” said March following the game. “We’ve got to play tough tomorrow against Madison Park. They’re one of our biggest rivals and they’re playing really well.”
Eastie junior, foward Kenny Ramos, said it feels good to be in the league finals:
“Last year, we left with a bad taste in our mouth. We feel like this is our year.”
Madison Park and East Boston tip off for the league tournament title Friday at 6:30 at Madison Park.
Evan Freedman is a freelance writer based on the North Shore. He also teaches at Catholic Charities North. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org