SHIRLEY — The Ayer-Shirley Middle School boys basketball team rolled to a 48-28 win over Nissitissit on Monday afternoon. D.J. Richard turned in a strong effort inside the paint and paced the Panthers with 16 points, joined in double figures by teammates Ryan Fillebrown and Peter Bryant with 10 points each. Michael Toneilli also played well, finishing with six points, eight rebounds and three steals.
Joe McCall led Nissitissit with nine points, four rebounds and five steals while Dale Wilkins and Joe O’Neil each added four points.
Ayer-Shirley used its size to advantage and jumped out to a 6-0 lead on three drives, one by Tonelli and two by Richard.
Nissitissit got on the board on a drive by McCall, but Ayer-Shirley extended the lead to 10-2 on two free throws by Richard and a 15-footer by Rudy Graves.
McCall answered back with the final four points of the quarter to draw the visitors to within 10-6 after one quarter.
Ayer-Shirley slowly extended the lead in the second quarter to as much as 11 at 22-11 on a hook shot by Fillebrown, and the Panthers took a 22-13 lead to halftime.
Nissitissit hung tough through the third quarter, cutting the lead to 31-24 after three quarters before the Panthers pulled away in the fourth quarter, outscoring the visitors 17-4, keyed by seven points from Bryant.ß