ASHBURNHAM -- Facing a three-game losing streak, Oakmont Regional was in need of a strong start. Predicated on defense, the Spartans got the beginning they were
looking for and later executed down the stretch, which translated into a 64-53 boys' basketball victory at home against Bromfield Friday night. Oakmont improves to 9-4 with the victory, while Bromfield dips to 1-10 with the defeat. "We want to play as tough as we can on our home court," Oakmont head coach Eric Dawley said. "We wanted to pressure them and thought we could have some success doing so and getting in the passing lanes -- and we certainly did early. I thought Bromfield played great -- they
were tough and physical, and they had to have outrebounded us, which is an Achilles' heel of ours, and I give them a lot of credit."
The Spartans defense forced the Trojans into six first-quarter turnovers, and Bromfield finished the game by committing a total of 26. "We're playing without our leading scorer point guard, and Ryan Kennedy stepped up in his absence," Bromfield head coach Ryan Kilian said. "At times when you have kids playing out of position, things are going to happen."
Oakmont spread the wealth offensively with four players scoring in double digits. Nolan Durkee scored a team-high 15 points, Jonathan Streeks and Mike McGuirl each had 13, and David Quaye had 11 points. Kennedy led the way for the Trojans, netting a team-high 15 points, while C.J. Klem had nine. Oakmont wasted no time setting the tone early, as it sank its first three shots from the elbow, including a McGuirl trey, which made it 7-0. Following a Trojan split free throw trip, Streeks scored in
transition, then sank two freebies to make it an 11-1 start just over three minutes into the game. Bromfield shot 5-of-12 from beyond the arc, which proved to be important in key junctures of the game when the offense was lagging.
Bromfield buried two three-pointers from Mark Schieigershausen and Kennedy, which helped the visitors to inch a little closer at 21-13 after one quarter. Oakmont used a diverse array of shots in the beginning of the second quarter -- with jumpers, drives and leaners -- to help maintain its
advantage. Dominic Romano's two baskets in the paint in the closing minute helped the Spartan lead surge to its highest at 15 points.
Kennedy drained a 3-pointer with two seconds left in the half, which made it a manageable 37-25 deficit at the break.The Spartans' 8-2 spurt in the middle of the third quarter -- with
put-backs from Romano and Quaye -- lifted the lead up to 16, then twominutes later, Quaye capitalized off his own steal, which upped the
lead to 50-34 after the third. Bromfield stormed back to start the fourth quarter, as a friendly roll on a Kennedy shot started an 8-3 Trojan run to begin, then a feed
inside to Nick Wyman and bucket down low from Ryan O'Leary chopped it to 54-46 with less than four minutes to play. Over the next 30 seconds, Oakmont got a free throw from McGuirl and Streeks ended a two-minute field goal drought with a pull-up. Bromfield cut it back down to single digits later on a press break from Ben Neville, but the Spartans launched the dagger when Chad L'Ecuyer drilled a bank shot from the foul line that made it 61-50 with a minute left.
"I thought we looked tired in the fourth quarter," Dawley said. "I don't know what the reason is for that. But I felt our confidence was a little bit rattled, and Bromfield climbed back into it. But at the end of the day we made the plays we needed to make."
Officiating legends were honored prior to the start of Friday's game, Oakmont Regional and the MIAA honored basketball referees Gerry Flynn and Sam Pawlak for their dedicated service on the court and in the community over many years.