Bombardier sophomore Bryant Ciccio scored less than five seconds into the game off of the opening tip and then hit back-to-back threes, giving Attleboro an 8-0 lead just 1:13 into the game.
Attleboro went on another 8-0 run to start the second quarter, creating a double-digit lead that was never relinquished in a 72-44 win for the Indians.
“In the game of basketball it’s those surges and runs that can make the difference,” said Attleboro head coach Mark Houle. “If you pile those back to back, you can really pull away. We went from a six-point lead to a 14 point lead, and once you get another one, you’re able to cut out any chance of a comeback.
“It’s been a while since we’ve been able to put away a team early and I think today, early in the second half we did that. It started with defense, especially our half-court defense which was pretty solid.”
Dartmouth closed the first quarter strong to stay within two possessions (14-6) after eight minutes. But the separation came early in the second. Sophomore Qualeem Charles (eight points, seven rebounds) converted one of two free throws before sophomore Tim Callahan, fresh off the bench, came up with a steal and easy layup.
After a miss, Charles came up with a big offensive rebound and putback and two possessions later, junior Mason Houle (eight points, three assists) drained a three off a feed from Ciccio to make it 22-8 with just over five minutes left in the third.
“We’re still learning, we turned the ball over a lot against the zone, it’s the first time we’ve seen a zone team,” Houle said. I think we were prepped for it earlier this year but didn’t see it and we just didn’t take care of the ball in the half court as much as we should have. And our transition defense is something we have to work on, things we can’t do going forward.”
Mason Houle banked a three from just over half court at the halftime buzzer, giving Attleboro its largest lead, 33-14, heading into the locker rooms.
While the teams were level for the first four minutes of the third quarter, the Bombardiers put the game away with an 11-0 run over the next two minutes.
Callahan (career-high 15 points) got it started with a triple, then came up with a steal for an easy layup. Ciccio forced another turnover and Nate Douglas (six points) hit a jumper. Ciccio then split the defense and hit a pull up jumper and Callahan capped the run with a strong take to the basket.
“He scored when we needed him too, and he’s capable of doing that,” Houle said of Callahan. “He’s a solid player, and only a sophomore. He’s filling his role very well right now coming off the bench. As soon as he comes in he gets open looks and he’s ready to knock them down. He made some mistakes in some rotations on defense but overall he definitely had his finest game for us.”
Ciccio finished with a game-high 16 points along with three assists.
“I think Bryant really played a solid game for us,” Houle said. “And Bryant’s done that for us the last couple of games. He’s leading us from the point guard position and he’s doing a nice job defensively. He’s getting open looks and he’s hitting shots. He scored the first eight points and they were all from what we want to do. I definitely think Bryant’s last couple of games, both ends of the court, he’s really playing solid for us.”
Attleboro shot 50% (27/54) from the floor overall and hit 12 of its 25 three-point attempts. It marked the third straight game that the Bombardiers hit double-digit threes, following 11 triples against Stoughton and 10 against Sharon. On Wednesday afternoon, five different Attleboro players connected for at least one three-pointer.
“When you can shot 50% from three good things are going to happen,” Houle said. “Guys start running out at you and then it opens things up inside too. We have a nice balance right now. Kids are understanding where the shots are coming from and they are working hard on them. When the ball goes in, it makes it easier.”
Attleboro boys basketball (2-1 Hockomock, 3-1 overall) is back in action on Friday when it welcomes in-town rival Bishop Feehan at 6:30.