Watertown’s boy’s basketball team celebrates victory over Stoneham in the North Section Final in Lowell on Saturday. Photo by Charlie Breitrose
By Charlie Breitrose
The Raiders will return to a familiar place after a three year hiatus after Watertown defeated Stoneham 48-34 in the MIAA Div. 3 North Section final at the Tsongas Center on Saturday.
Watertown is heading to the TD Garden in Boston for the EMass final on Tuesday. On Saturday in Lowell, senior point guard Cesar Fulcar and sophomore guard Brednan Hoban led the way for the Raiders, with 15 and 14 points respectively. Senior guard Kevin DiPietrantonio chipped in another 11.
Coach Steve Harrington’s team played the style Watertown had become known for, a high paced offense and pressure defense game.
“We utilize our strength, which is speed and quickness,” Harrington said. “We have real active hands. I thought we got a lot of deflections and loose balls. Then we have a tremendous rebounder in Tim Hairston to kind of clean things up for us. We were able to use our skill and speed on offense to kind of space them out and we made enough three’s to kind of separate the game I thought.”
Hairston grabbed 11 rebounds in the game.
Stoneham provided a familiar opponent, with the teams already playing twice this season. The teams went back an fourth in the first quarter, with the Raiders eeking out an 11-10 lead.
“We were familiar with them, but it was difficult because they were familiar with us,” Fulcar said. “They play good defense and it was a struggle for us at times to score a bit.”
In the second quarter, the Raiders surged ahead, making an 11 point run to open the quarter, including threes by Fulcar and Hoban. At the half, the Raiders held a 27-14 lead.
Watertown sophomore guard Brendan Hoban drives against Stoneham. He scored 14 points in the North Section final. Photo by Charlie Breitrose.
Watertown just built on its advantage in the third quarter, building a 42-20 lead with baskets from Hoban, Fulcar, junior center Michael Hagopian and DiPietrantonio. In the fourth, Stoneham could only get as close as 16 points, and the Raiders booked a spot in the Div. 3 EMass final against South Section champion Cardinal Spellman at 4 p.m. on Tuesday.