Late Surge Powers Watertown Boys Basketball Past Shawsheen in State Tourney

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Watertown junior Aiden Didovic celebrates during the Raiders’ State Tourney victory over Shawsheen Tech on Saturday. He led the Raiders in scoring in scoring. (Photo by Charlie Breitrose)

Watertown High School’s boys basketball team kept its cool down the stretch and defeated Shawsheen Tech 53-45 Saturday to advance to the Sweet 16 of the MIAA Div. 3 Tournament.

The 14th-seeded Raiders (14-7) jumped out to a big first quarter lead, but the Rams fought back to bring the lead to just 1 point with 26 seconds left in the game and had a chance to take the lead.

The Raiders defense clamped down, forced a miss, got a rebound, and then Shawsheen was called for a foul. After the play two Shawsheen players received technical fouls. Watertown junior Olivier Labossiere made four of the six free throws to give the Raiders, and Head Coach Steve Harrington, a 50-45 lead.

“We had a big stop down the stretch,” Harrington said. “We kept our composure and finished the game off. The were a really tough opponent.”

Junior Olivier Labossiere made four late free throws to put Watertown over the top in the Round of 32 game against Shawsheen. (Photo by Charlie Breitrose)

Coming into the game, Harrington told his players to shoot more threes than usual, because Shawsheen’s defense plays so deep in the paint. The Raiders hit six three pointers in the first quarter to lead 18-5 at the end of the quarter.

“I think that was a big part for us, us getting a big lead to start, hanging on within a point or so,” Harington said. “And in the second half it was just a possession basketball game. We went up by a couple, they went up by a couple.”

Watertown junior Serge Gebeyan dribbles under pressure from a Shawsheen defender in the State Tournament game. (Photo by Charlie Breitrose)

Shawsheen battled back and narrowed the gap to 26-25 late in the second quarter, and in the third quarter the Rams took a lead, but Watertown hit two threes to lead 39-37 after three quarters.

The Rams changed to a zone defense, making it harder for Watertown to shoot three pointers. Harrington said the Raiders looked to their big man, sophomore Will Carty, late in the game.

“Down the stretch we made a few plays, Will made some tough twos — we only had like four two-point baskets — he made some tough baskets down the stretch to put us up by a couple of possessions,” Harrington said.

Watertown sophomore Will Carty celebrates during the Raiders’ victory over Shawsheen in Saturday’s State Tournament game. (Photo by Charlie Breitrose)

The Raiders top scorer was junior Aiden Didovic, with 17 points. Carty scored a dozen points, and junior Serge Gebeyen scored 11.

The Round of 32 game was postponed from Friday night, following the collapse of a referee at the end of the Watertown-Old Rochester girls basketball tournament game on Friday night. A moment of silence in memory of Don McGillicuddy was observed before the boys’ game.

Senior captain Jeffrey Herbin handled the ball for the Raiders in the State Tourney victory against Shawsheen Tech. (Photo by Charlie Breitrose)

On Monday, Watertown will travel 130 miles to take on third-seeded Pittsfield (16-5) in the Sweet 16. The game will be at 6 p.m.

“They are athletic. They are a good team: fast, they score a lot of points. It’s going to be a tough opponent,” Harrington said. “They full court press at times. We’re going to have to handle the basketball. But, you know if we can get it over (half court) we have some guys in particular that can score in the quarter court. Obviously Will is the biggest guy out there. If we get it over, we get the right defense, I think we’ll have a chance.”

Pittsfield Community Television will livestream the game. Watch by either downloading the PCTV Select app on Roku, AppleTV, Amazon Fire, iOS or Google play; or go to and click PCTV Select 1.

The Raiders celebrate with their fans after beating Shawsheen 53-45 in the State Tournament. (Photo by Charlie Breitrose)

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