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Gendron’s monster shooting night not enough for ASRHS


By Ed Niser

AYER — Ayer Shirley’s Jeffrey Gendron’s three-point jumper was making the net sing throughout the second half. The senior sharpshooter drained six in the final 16 minutes, but it was not enough as Oakmont escaped Ayer Shirley Regional High School with a 66-63 win.

Gendron led the Panthers with 26 points, five points, six assists and two steals.

“Jeff was really shooting the ball well tonight,” Ayer Shirley head coach Justin Carlson said. “That is not something he usually does, but he was feeling it tonight.”

Oakmont used a 13-0 run spanning the end of the second quarter and early in the third to take a 33-26 lead with 7:00 remaining behind a pair of baskets from Keramo Sillah.

Justin Dunn (19 points, 9 rebounds, steal) and Sillah (17 points, 18 rebounds) led the Spartans to victory.

The Spartans extended their lead to as much as 11 points in the third, but Ayer Shirley would not go away.

Ayer Shirley crept back into the game midway through the third quarter, when freshman guard Leo Rosales planted his feet down low and drew the charge. Rosales matched his stellar defensive play by draining a shot down low to bring Ayer Shirley within two at 33-31.

“They were very resilient tonight and battled back from a couple 10 point deficits,” Carlson said.

“A lot of games are going to come right down the wire for us. It is going to be a matter of how many of those we are able to execute and get the win at the end. It is a matter of trying to find the chemistry of this group. To grow, you have to go through some of these games.”

The fourth quarter was a back-and-forth battle — as Ayer Shirley trimmed the lead to one four times.

Oakmont scored 20 of their points at the foul line.

“Oakmont was able to convert the turnovers they got into points,” Carlson said. “Oakmont is big and athletic — they run the floor very well. Their full-court pressure is something that we haven’t seen, yet.”

The Panthers tied the game at 56-56 with 4:21 remaining on a Gedron three-pointer from the corner. Oakmont responded with points from Justin Streeks on a free throw and transition basket.

The Panthers got off to a hot-start, opening the game on a 7-1 run behind the inside scoring from Gendron and Jon Durben (15 points,10 rebounds).

Ayer Shirley senior Peter Fredericks ripped down seven rebounds to go along with two points.

“I thought Peter Fredericks boxed out well for us down low,” Carlson said. “He was able to use his size and keep some of their guys off the boards. Our goal was to make up for their athleticism by diving on the floor for loose balls. A couple deflections just didn’t go our way tonight. We will get back to practice and get ready for the next one.”

Follow Ed Niser on Twitter/Tout:@EdNiser

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