That run came from the King Philip Warriors, who went on a 10-0 spurt that took less than two minutes in the final quarter to pick up a 62-51 win over Stoughton.
The teams were tied at the end of the first quarter (15-15), separated by just two at halftime (29-27 Stoughton) and again knotted through 24 minutes of play (42-42). The largest lead at that point was when the Black Knights led 25-21 late in the first half.
Stoughton scored on its first two possessions of the fourth quarter on baskets from Cam Gomes (12 points) but wouldn’t add another field goal the rest of the way. Nolan Bradley started the run, taking a pass from Pharoah Davis to tie the game at 46 with 5:44 to play.
Seth Sullivan (14 points) took in a defensive rebound and went coast-to-coast for a layup on back to back possessions to give the Warriors a 50-46 lead. Sophomore Kyle Layman (21 points, six rebounds, three blocks) hit a jumper and then found Sullivan on a cut up the middle for a layup to cap the 10-0 run with four minutes to play.
A free throw from Stoughton’s Cam Andrews (17 points, seven rebounds, three assists) followed by two more from Craig Goodrich brought the Black Knights within five (54-49) with 3:08 to play but Justin Vine answered on the other end for KP. After a stop defensively, KP missed on the other end but Will Weir grabbed the rebound and Sullivan converted two free throws with just under two minutes to play to make it 58-49.
“The wins are huge at this point in the season,” said KP head coach Mark Champagne said. “We have to win 11 [to qualify for the tournament] because we have the 21 games. It’s a really good win and we really needed the win too.”
“I think [the run] was all driven by their defense,” said Stoughton head coach John Gallivan. “They just stepped it up a notch and took it to a level that we didn’t have an answer for. A six point lead seemed like 26 when it’s been that kind of game. They stepped it up and we stepped it back, and that’s what happens.”
After missing time in the first half because of an eye injury, Sullivan gave the Warriors a big boost in the second half. The senior scored all of his 14 points in the second half with 10 of them coming in the final quarter.
“We had a lot of adversity int he first half with Seth out, [Tom] Madden sick – I thought he sucked it up and played well – and Noah Goodwin isn’t even here, he’s got the bug. Every team is going to go through the flu,” Champagne said. “That was a good, gritty win. We were tied after three, down two at halftime. We came out and did a good job against their pressure. I thought we scored off of it a lot. Down the stretch, it was a little scary with some of the decisions we made playing against the clock but they had to foul just to get the bonus so that wasted more time.”
Both Layman and Andrews had strong starts for their respective sides. Layman was 4/7 from the field to net nine points in the opening quarter while Andrews was 3/5 (2/2 FT) to lead the Black Knights with nine points as the teams were tied 15-15.
Both sides got help from the bench in the second quarter. While Adrian Castillo and Bradley provided a spark for KP, Stoughton got four points from Izon Swain-Price and two points apiece from Justin Ly, Luis Monteiro and Matt Gallagher to take a 29-27 advantage into the break.
Although King Philip won the game, the Warriors were held without a three point field goal (0/10).
“Seth wasn’t in the game as much, [Justin] Vine stepped in on one he made – Justin did a good job down the stretch and Pharoah was in foul trouble in the first,” offered Champagne. “I thought Adrian Castillo and Nolan Bradley did a great job off the bench. Bradley only had seven points but they were big points.”
The win marked the second time Layman, just a sophomore, went over the 20-point mark this season. He scored a career-high 24 points earlier this month in a win over Taunton.
“It’s becoming more consistent, and as it should be,” Champagne said. “Just like Cam Andrews is for them, he’s a very good player. I think it’s a matter of confidence for a sophomore. Sophomore year is an interesting year but he’s done a great job for us.”
King Philip (4-8 overall, 3-6 Hockomock) will look to make it two in a row when they welcome Sharon to Wrentham on Friday night. Stoughton (3-8, 2-7) tries to bounce back the same night with a trip to Franklin.