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TOWNSEND — The Groton-Dunstable Middle School boys basketball team featured two things during their 60-44 win over Hawthorne Brook.

The Crusaders showed plenty of balance as six players scored at least six points in the game.

Also, they showed the ability to have an answer whenever Hawthorne Brook made a run.

Groton-Dunstable bolted to a 29-15 halftime lead, but Hawthorne Brook came out smoking in the third period with ten consecutive points to claw to within 29-25. Tony Gravell hit a ten-footer to get the run started, before James Osterfield hit a turnaround jumper. Stephen Valacer then connected on a hook shot, finished off a drive and added a free throw for a conventional three-point play, and tacked on another freebie to slice the lead to four.

But the Crusaders turned momentum around in a big way and put the game away with a scintillating 21-3 spurt to close the quarter. Groton-Dunstable emptied its arsenal during the decisive run, getting strong point guard play from Kyle Romich, and using its size to advantage as Liam Barberich, Ben Icenogle and Will Peregoy all came up big. By the end of the third quarter, the Crusaders built the lead to 22 at 50-28.

Close game early

The teams traded baskets over the first four minutes of the game and the score was 6-6 before the Crusaders got a lay-up from Peregoy and a steal for a basket from Romich to take a 10-6 lead after one quarter.

Groton-Dunstable maintained their momentum to open the second quarter as fast-break baskets from Christopher McKinney and Icenogle made it 14-6.

Two minutes later, McKinney drained a three-pointer to up the lead to double digits at 19-9.

Hawthorne Brook’s Brian Magee finished off a drive to make it 19-11, but the Crusaders closed the quarter with a 10-4 burst, keyed by Ben Chilcoat, who scored three baskets in the final minutes.

Chilcoat paced the Crusaders in the game with 12 points, four rebounds and three steals. Barberich added ten points, 12 rebounds and two steals. Romich (three steals), who orchestrated the offense with aplomb from his point guard position, and McKinney each added nine points while Icenogle finished with eight points and six rebounds. Peregoy chipped in with six points.

Magee led Hawthorne Brook with 11 points and three steals. Valacer added nine points while Osterfield scored eight points and hauled down five rebounds. Gravell finished with four points and four rebounds.

Groton-Dunstable enjoyed a 41-26 rebounding edge, including 16 at the offensive end.

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