Vendrell scored 11 big his career-high 17 points in the first half as the Tigers took a 32-29 lead into half. Law – who drained a three before the halftime buzzer to give the Tigers that slim lead – went on to score 15 of his career-high 22 points in the second half.
It was a stark comparison in performances for Taunton, who were limited to just 36 points on Monday in a game at Franklin.
“It was better [than Monday] but we are just not doing a good job rebounding,” said Taunton head coach Charlie Dacey. “With our size, OK that’s an issue but still you have to lay a body on someone and keep them off the boards. It’s almost like they saw our game on Monday, decided to sell out on the boards and send six, seven guys on the boards.”
After a back and forth first quarter – a period that featured five lead changes and three ties – the Tigers held 14-11 lead. A three from Tommy MacLean (nine points, eight assists, four steals, four rebounds) stretched Taunton’s to six but Stoughton rattled off a quick 6-0 run to tie the game again.
The teams traded baskets until the final seconds, when Law drained his free throw just before the buzzer off an inbounds play.
The teams stayed within possession or two of each other for the first half of the third quarter and Colin Sanda’s (career-high 13 points, five rebounds) bucket brought Stoughton within three, 40-37 with just under fourth minutes to go.
But that’s when Taunton was able to gain some separation, rattling off a 14-4 run to conclude the quarter. Freshman Naz Kenian (11 points) got the run going, Law drained a three and Vendrell drove the lane for a quick 7-0 spurt. Stoughton freshman Ajahn Rue converted a three point play for the Black Knights but Vendrell got back to back baskets inside the final minute and Law beat the buzzer once again with another three to hand Taunton a 54-41 lead through three.
“The threes loosened it up a bit for us,” Dacey said. “But our gym is such a comfort zone for us. We play so differently. This gym and Attleboro are the two bugaboos for us.” Taunton shot just 6/22 from three (26/45 from 2PT).
The Tigers had their best offensive quarter of the game in the fourth, dropping 26 points.
Stoughton cut the lead to nine with three minutes to play but Taunton responded with a 9-0 run to put the game out of reach. Kenian drained a three, Lens Esquil (14 points, 10 rebounds) converted a layup and a pair of three throws and Vendrell his a pair of free throws to put the Tigers up 73-55.
Taunton boys basketball (12-6 overall, 7-6 Hockomock) is scheduled to be back in action on Friday when they host King Philip. The Warriors won the first matchup 70-51. Stoughton (3-12, 2-11) will host North Attleboro on the same night.
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