WAKEFIELD – Watertown High School’s boys basketball team will return to the North Section final for the 11th time under Head Coach Steve Harrington after beating Pentucket 55-33 Tuesday night.
The Raiders hit from inside and out and hounded the Sachems on defense.
Watertown’s top scorer Tuesday, senior center John Korte, said that offensive game plan unfolded like they practiced. He scored 25 points with hoops from in close, as well as from behind the three point line.
“We knew that their were holes in their zone and a lot of easy driving lanes,” Korte said. “Once I got driving then I could step out for three and the whole game opened up.”
Another key was as defense, particularly stopping Pentucket’s three point shooters, Harrington said. He noted that junior guard Gus Flarerty had more than 70 three pointers from the Sachems this year.
“They have a bunch of good three-point shooters,” Harrington said. “We wanted to make sure that they didn’t even get an attempted three off.”
Pentucket did not hit any shots from behind the arc, while Watertown made five.
Watertown raced to a 18-8 first quarter, led by the eight points from Korte including a three pointer.
The Raiders appeared to be widening the gap in the second quarter, getting up to a 22-8 advantage. Pentucket, however, scored the last six points of the half and kept Watertown scoreless the last four minutes to make it 28-18 at halftime.
In the third quarter, Korte got an old-fashioned three point play – making a free throw after hitting a basket. Senior guard Wenston Rodriguez followed with a basket and Korte hit another two-pointer before senior guard Julio Fulcar scored to make it 37-22 Watertown with 4:07 left in the third quarter.
Korte capped off Watertown’s dominant third quarter by dunking after a Raider steal to make it 46-24 after three periods.
Watertown put on the brakes in the fourth quarter, spending much of the time trying to run out the clock than trying to score. Harrington put in the substitutes with under 2 minutes left in the game. They walked off the floor with a 55-33 victory.
Fulcar scored eight for the Raiders, junior forward Yoseph Hamad had seven, and Rodriguez and freshman guard Gabe Spinelli each had six points. Junior forward Mosab Amleh came off the bench and hit a three.
For the Raiders, it was 11 out of 11 in the North Section semifinals under Harrington.
“We always have good luck in these games and we find a way to get to the next game,” Harrington said. “Tonight we did it with defense. We have been terrific on defense the last two games.”
Next up is either St. Mary’s or Bedford, who are scheduled to face off Wednesday night. The North Final will be played Saturday at Tsongas Arena in Lowell.