Boys' basketball struck down early in state tournament

Feb 28, 2018

The first game in the state tournament put an end to championship hopes for Old Rochester's boys' varsity basketball team.

The Bulldogs lost to the Norwell Clippers in the game, which ran into overtime on February 27. The loss means that the Old Rochester team is out of the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) State Tournament in the first round.

The Old Rochester Regional High School gymnasium was crowded for the game; Old Rochester Principal Mike Devoll was on hand for the game, as was Athletic Director Bill Tilden. Old Rochester's side of the stands were packed; fans sang nursery rhymes and the alphabet to distract Norwell players.

Benched Norwell players all wore the same shirt over their jerseys. It read "Lawson, #25," in honor of Andrew Lawson. Lawson, who had down syndrome, was a former Norwell student and enthusiastic sports fan, who lost a two-year battle to cancer on Feb. 8. After graduation, he became an assistant coach to the boys' basketball and soccer teams.

The game itself was tense, ending in overtime. The Bulldogs led in the first half, starting the second half of the game 18-16, with a two-point lead.

Despite baskets from Old Rochester players Jason Gamache, Matt Brogioli and Jake Asiaf, Norwell moved into the lead in the third period. The Bulldogs pushed back, ending the period with a 28-28 tie. By the end of the fourth period, the game remained a tie—43-43.  It was time for a 3-minute overtime; whoever had the lead at the end of the game would take the win.

The Bulldogs were able to shoot several penalty baskets, but a last-minute basket landed just a moment too late; they lost the game, 46-48.