Bulldogs start boys basketball season with win over Wareham

Dec 14, 2021

Crowds packed the stands in the Wareham High gym on Tuesday night for the boys varsity basketball game between Wareham and the Old Rochester Regional Bulldogs. 

The Bulldogs pulled ahead early and maintained that lead, winning 77-65. The Vikings hit their stride midway through the third period and were able to narrow what was once a 25 point deficit against the rival school.

“Getting out of Wareham with a win on the road here is a nice thing,” said ORR Coach Steve Carvalho. “This is one of the first times ever I think in my career that we opened up here. So getting this win under our belt against athletic kids, fast kids — I’m happy.”

“We played well in the first half, we shot well, we rebounded well,” Carvahlo said. “And we gave some things back in the second half… We built a good lead, and we were able to bend but not break.”
Carvalho said that he has a good mix of seniors, juniors and sophomores on the team this season — many without much varsity experience due to the limited season last year. 

“This was kind of a baptism by fire,” Carvalho said.

He said Senior Captain Steve Morrell was “a beast on the boards” during the game. 

“We knew we had the size and strength advantage, and that was a key,” Carvalho said.

He also noted the performance of Sawyer Fox and guards Jacob Smith, Liam Geraghty and Braden Yeomans “got roughed up a little but hung tough.”

He said he was proud of the team’s overall performance, including those who contributed a few minutes during the first half as well as those who “had to gut it out to the very end.”

Wareham Coach Steve Faniel said that his team didn’t come out with enough energy, but was able to build pressure against the Bulldogs in the second half, gaining momentum from shots and the roar of the crowd. 

“We couldn’t get stops on defense, couldn’t get a rebound on defense, so therefore we couldn’t set up our pressure and get our transitions,” Faniel said. “I think they learned a valuable lesson: You’ve got to be tough on defense, you’ve got to get rebounds and stops, and then offense becomes easier when you do that.”

Faniel said that when the team made shots, they gained energy.

“We got a bunch of energy when we made shots,” Faniel said. “So you make a shot, you’re able to get into your pressure, get a deflection, get a steal, now you’re making another shot, and all of a sudden, you get the momentum going.” 

He said that the team needs to be best on defense when they’re not making shots.

Faniel said that his team has a mix of all grades, with an eighth grader and some sophomores included in the starters. 

“I think it’s gonna take a while to get to gel together,” Faniel said, noting that a lot of the teammates didn’t grow up playing basketball together.

Ajay Lopes led the team in both offense and defense, Faniel said. 

He described the game as a learning experience against a good team. 

“Once the crowd got going, I think that rattled them a little bit and helped us out,” Faniel said. “It was definitely nice to see the crowd give the team some energy there in the second half.”