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MS BOYS BASKETBALL

Tyngsboro 49

Hawthorne Brook 38

By Ken Blanchette

Sports Editor

TOWNSEND — The Tyngsboro Middle School boys basketball team was strong at the start and finish, surviving a scare from Hawthorne Brook before posting a hard-fought 49-38 win on Monday afternoon.

Balance was a key to the win as the Tigers overcame a yeoman effort by center Garrett Stephenson of Hawthorne Brook, who finished with 28 points, 28 rebounds and seven blocked shots. Tyngsboro point guard Joey Callahan complemented a strong floor game with 15 points, three rebounds and three steals to pace the victory. He was joined in double figures by Drew Hurnawicz, who added 12 points, three rebounds and six steals, coming up big in the fourth quarter when the Tigers pulled away.

Tyngsboro used its quickness to advantage, as the visitors dominated the first quarter. Using the steal (21 in the game) to fuel its transition game, the Tigers raced to a 17-5 lead after seven minutes. The visitors did most of their damage at the end of fast breaks or inside the paint.

Stephenson, who scored his team’s first 11 points, sandwiched a pair of follow-up baskets around a strong drive to fuel a 6-2 second-quarter opening run to draw Hawthorne Brook to within 19-11.

After Callahan extended the lead to 11 with a long three-pointer, a lay-up by Dave Neuhaus and a short jumper by Kyle Priest (four points, two steals) sliced the lead to 22-15.

With a minute remaining in the first half, a lay-up by Stephenson made it 24-19, but Tyngsboro closed with the final five points of the half on a 17-footer by Jack Buckley (six points, three rebounds, six steals) and another Callahan trey to take a 29-19 advantage to intermission.

Hawthorne Brook didn’t go away and clawed its way back in the third quarter. They tightened up the defense and shut out Tyngsboro for the first five minutes of the quarter, and seven consecutive points by Stephenson, capped by a follow up basket made it 29-26.

Tyngsboro’s Jake Keenan ended the drought by banking in a three-pointer to double the lead, but Hawthorne Brook scored five of the final seven points in the quarter, including a 17-footer by Priest to trail just 34-31 entering the fourth quarter.

Alex Collins of Hawthorne Brook finished off a drive and added a lay-up to open the fourth quarter to put his team on top 35-34, but the Tigers turned things around, keyed by the play of Hurnawicz. He drilled a three-pointer to regain the lead and fueled a 12-0 run with 11 points as Tyngsboro charged to a 46-35 lead and put the game away. Hurnawicz converted a pair of steals into lay-ups.

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