By Jerry DiStefano
Under the tutelage of Head Coach Paul Moran, the Saugus High Sachems boys’ basketball team had another impressive week. The Sachems, who had another winning week (2–0), have now qualified for the state tournament.
Saugus was on the road last Friday night; they squared off against NEC rival Gloucester. The Sachems hadn’t seen the Fishermen since their home opener back in early December. Saugus defeated Gloucester on that occasion and was able to sweep Gloucester this season: The Sachems defeated the Fishermen again, 67–59.
The second time around against Gloucester Saugus had a much tougher time, as they trailed (36–30) at the end of the first half. The Sachems stepped up their game in the second half; they outscored the Fishermen (37–23). Saugus was once again led by their three-headed monster: Brandon Wladkowski (18 points, 6 assists and rebounds), Shane Ripley (24 points and 17 rebounds), and Joe Bertrand (17 points and 8 rebounds). This trio had a monster fourth quarter—they combined to score 21 out of the 24 points scored for Saugus.
The Sachems then got to travel back home this past Tuesday, where they had a chance to clinch a spot in the state tournament. Saugus had to get through NEC foe Marblehead to attain this goal. The Sachems received a great all around team effort, as they had four players score in double figures, with two of those recording double-doubles. Saugus went on and defeated Marblehead, 59–49.
Coach Moran is very happy to be back in the state tournament. “It is always a goal every season to qualify for states. My boys have done a great job improving as a team, game in and game out. I am excited [about] tournament time… I know my boys will be ready,” Moran said.
The Sachems jumped out to a double digit lead at the half (28–19). Saugus kept the momentum from the first half and blew the game completely open by the end of the third quarter (44–26).
The Sachems were led by Bertrand, who scored a game high 19 points and added 10 rebounds. Wladkowski ran another efficient game at the point, getting all of his teammates involved (12 points and 10 assists). Ryan Henehan and Ripley both added 10 points each for Saugus.
The Sachems have now improved their record to 10–7.