FRAMINGHAM — The Watertown High School boys basketball team had a bit of deja vu in Tuesday night’s MIAA Div. 3 Final Four game. For the second game in a row the Raiders jumped out to a big lead against a talented Boston school, only to watch the margin dwindle to single digits in the fourth quarter. Once again Watertown prevailed, and the reward is a trip to the State Final.
Watertown (17-7), the second seed in Div. 3, defeated third-seeded Tech Boston (15-8) by a score of 59-50 in the game played at Framingham High School. The Raiders and Head Coach Steve Harrington will play for the school’s fourth state championship over the weekend.
“We held on just enough. They made it hairy there for a little bit, but we held on and got it done,” Harrington said.
The first half went smoothly for Watertown, with Pierre Labossiere leading the team offensively. The senior said he had something to prove after the Round of 8 against New Mission.
“I was kind of bummed out the way I played Saturday,” Labossiere said. “I thought I let my team down, so I just wanted to come here and put it all on the line. So, I am happy with the way I played.”
Labossiere’s performance pleased his coach, too.
“First half he really did take over for us. He kept us in it with 12 tough points,” Harrington said. “I thought … he made some tough baskets for us in the first half and helped us take a lead because we were making stops.”
A Labossiere layup with the clock running out in the second quarter gave Watertown a 24-11 halftime lead.
The Raiders hit some three-pointers in the third quarter to increase the lead. Senior Tyler Timperio hit two, and Spinelli added another to stake Watertown to a 44-26 lead after three quarters.
In the fourth quarter, just like the previous game against New Mission, Watertown’s opponent put the press on and cut into the lead. With 3:11 left in the fourth quarter, Tech Boston had pulled within six, 49-43.
And just like against New Mission, senior Adam Patterson went to the free throw line with the pressure on. He made the first two to increase the lead to eight. Down the stretch he went 6 of 10 from the line to help cement the win. When the final buzzer sounded, the Raiders prevailed by nine.
“I wasn’t as clutch as last time but I made the ones that counted,” Patterson said. “It’s the same thing — we’ve just got to finish. The second time in a row we kind of let it slide, took the foot off the gas, and they came back. We want to be on the free throw line, and I want to finish it, so I am going to try to make them. I practice that. I didn’t make as many as I would like, but we did it.”
The Raiders will play in the State Final against top-seeded St. Mary’s (26-1), an 87-49 winner over Norton. The game will be played at the Tsongas Center in Lowell Friday, March 18 at 7:30 p.m.
The players are excited to play in the State Final.
“This is the first time in anything (for me) so I feel good,” Labossiere said. “We’ve been working on this since we were freshmen.”
Patterson said he looks forward to the game, but the Raiders still have some work to do this year.
“Its’ amazing! This is what we’ve worked for,” Patterson said. “At the same time we talked about this. We knew we were a championship-caliber team, and we want to finish it. We’re not satisfied yet.”