HARVARD -- The Burncoat Patriots came into the Bromfield High School gym having dropped two straight games to St. Peter Marian and the powerhouse Fitchburg. Burncoat's athleticism and size in the post was too much for the Trojans to handle, as they fell 43-24 Wednesday night.
Burncoat's in-your-face, man-to-man defense caused fits for Bromfield all night on the offensive side of the floor. Bromfield never held a lead in the game, and managed to level the score only once. Bromfield shot an abysmal 25 percent from the field. The Trojans fell victim to the turnover bug 22 times in the loss.
Bromfield was unable to lick their wounds following an 11-0 Patriot run midway through the third quarter. Senior shooting guard Trevor Granville led the Trojans with nine points, six of which came from three-point range. As a team, Bromfield shot just 22 percent from three-point range.
"They were watching Granville and shut him down," said Hill. "We missed four shots in the first half under the basket. If we hit those, we're ahead in the first half. We need to protect the ball and get more physical."
The Patriots jumped out to brief 4-0 run, with back-to-back baskets by Zehmier Brown and Desmond Sicard to begin the game. Freshman point guard Jake Frackiewicz swiped the ball under the basket, and drove coast to coast for the finger-roll in traffic to tie the game at 4-4 with 5:57 left in the first quarter.
Burncoat glided down the other end of the floor, and went to work on the Trojans' zone defense. Carl Evans nailed back-to-back baskets with 5:00 remaining in the first quarter to extend the Patriots lead to 8-4.
Down four with 4:07 remaining in the quarter, Frackiewicz crossed over a Burncoat defender, stepped back and flushed a three-pointer from the left elbow to bring the Trojans within one, 8-7.
Burncoat and Bromfield went into a scoring lull spanning 3:12 before Xavier Ortiz connected on a layup to end the cold streak. Matt Morse hit a jump-shot at the first-quarter buzzer to extend the Patriots lead to 12-7.
The second quarter was one that both teams would like to forget. Both teams combined for just seven points in the quarter. Granville connected a step-back three-pointer with 3:13 left in the half to bring the Trojans back to within three, 13-10. The Patriots connected on three-of-four free-throw attempts to end the half up 16-10.
Burncoat went on a 12-0 run midway through the third quarter, and the Trojans had trouble stopping the Patriots offense. During the run, the Trojans trailed by as much as 16 in the fourth quarter. Pat Sullivan connected on a layup to give the Patriots a 35-19 advantage.
Granville hit a three-point basket from about 22 feet to halt the Patriots run, but the damage was already done. Eli Wood added another basket for the Trojans late in the game, but the Patriots managed to hang on for the 19-point win. Burncoat was led in scoring by senior Carl Evans with 12, and Morse chipped in 11 points.
"Defensively we did a very nice job," said Hill. "We didn't give them very many second shots. On the offensive end, when teams get in our face, we turn to Jell-o."
The Trojans established a strong presence on the glass, tearing down 27 rebounds. Matt Griffin led Bromfield with eight boards in the loss.