By Jerry DiStefano
The Everett boys’ basketball team was able to hold off feisty Malden to the tune of 61–52 last Friday night.
It was a very tight game early on, as Everett led (19–16) at the end of the first quarter. The Tide opened the second quarter with an impressive 10–0 run that took less than two minutes. (Everett led 26–16 with 6:08 left.) Everett had a comfortable 39–25 lead at the half.
The Tide looked to be well on the way to their first Greater Boston League victory of the season, as they led by as much as 20 points in the third quarter (49–29 Everett, 4:29 left). But it became a turnover party for Everett in the fourth quarter, as the Golden Tornadoes took complete advantage of the Tide mistakes.
Malden opened the fourth quarter on a 13–2 run, which shrunk the 20 point third quarter deficit to a one possession game (55–52, 1:20 left in fourth quarter). Malden created seven steals in that time frame!
Everett sophomore Gary Clark was fouled after a nice set up from Tyree Gregory with 1:05 left in the game. Clark made both free throws to push the Tide lead to five (57–52). After a Malden miss on the other end, junior Lubern Figaro made a lay-up on the other end for Everett to push the lead to seven (59–52). That was the end of the Golden Tornado comeback.
Everett Head Coach John DiBiaso thought his team’s play on the inside was the reason why they were able to hold on down the stretch. “We needed baskets down the stretch, and going inside a couple of times with some set plays was very important. Our inside play really did calm us down and create some easy opportunities in the paint or at the free throw line,” DiBiaso said.
Leading the way for Everett was Clark (19 points and 7 rebounds). Clark not only was battling Malden but also the flu. Senior co-captain Gregory chipped in for the Tide with 16 points of his own and other senior co-captain, Jahlil Price, scored 13 points and added five rebounds.