Tournament-bound after the previous night’s win again Seekonk, the Foxborough boys’ basketball team looked to continue their success with a win in the Foxborough Warrior Classic finals against Randolph.
After a solid first quarter, it looked like a possibility. Three quarters later, though, it was the Devils getting the championship plaque.
“Everything we did well in the first quarter we didn’t do in the second and third quarter,” Foxborough head coach CJ Neely said.
Despite an 18-10 lead after the first quarter, the Warriors fell to the Randolph Devils, 54-43.
After Randolph jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead, a pair of baskets from Tim O'Halloran and a three from Josh Patkin gave the Warriors a 7-6 lead. A 7-0 run at the end of the first quarter gave Foxborough an 18-10 lead after the first quarter.
The Warriors attempted to maintain the lead and led by six with over two minutes to play but a quick rally by the Devils made it a 29-27 game in favor of Randolph at the half.
Down by two at halftime, the Warriors became overrelliant on the three pointer while Randolph began to increase the intensity of the game. Not driving to the basket gave the Devils all they needed to know about the Warriors’ offense which meant plenty of defensive pressure up front.
“When you start relying on only the three, then I feel like it changes the way they have to guard you and we weren't going to the paint,” Neely said, “Even when we had good opportunities to go to the paint we weren't taking it in there.”
Unable to rebound and get second chance opportunities, the Devils built up a lead of 10 by the end of the third quarter.
“They brought a much higher intensity level to the game in the second and third quarters especially. I thought they were the more physical team, they were on the boards more than us,” Neely said.
The Warriors still had a chance to take back the lead after O'Halloran nailed a three with a little over 2:30 left it the game to cut a six point lead into three. Unfortunately, that would be as close as Foxborough would get as the the Devils ended the game on an 8-0 run to win the Foxborough Warrior Classic.
Patkin led the Warriors with 14 points and was named a member of the all-tournament team. O’Halloran wasn’t far behind with 13 points. Jeff McPherson was the team’s leading rebounder with 11 boards. Tournament MVP D’andre Lopes scored 10 points for the Devils.
The Warriors will play the waiting game for a few days as they wait for the MIAA to release the tournament pairings. Playing better basketball at the end of the season than at the beginning, the odds of Foxborough making some noise has increased as long as they keep improving for postseason play.
“I think we gotta keep defending. I think we have to execute a little better," said Neely. "I think some of our guys on the inside need to give us a little bit more and we can’t solely rely on that chuck it from the outside and hope that is goes in.”
The tournament pairings will be released on Friday, Feb. 24 on MIAA.net.