By Ed Niser
WORCESTER — Bromfield found itself stretched thin in Sunday afternoon’s Clark Tournament small school quarterfinal against No. 3 seeded Oxford out of the South Worcester County League.
Oxford fed its trio of thoroughbreds: Jared Buckley (22 points) , Jarod Schutrick (21 points) and Shaun McCarthy (20 points) en route to a 66-61 victory over Bromfield.
Bromfield senior captain point guard Jake Frackiewicz led the Trojans with a team-high 19 points, four rebounds and eight assists. Tommy Jackovitz poured in 15 points off the bench and ripped down 8 boards. Rounding out the top Bromfield performers was senior Ross MacMahon with nine points and four steals.
“He’s a good basketball player and crafty around the rim,” Frackiewicz said of McCarthy. “(McCarthy) is built like a football player and is deceptively athletic. Their size forced a lot of bad matchups for our big guys. We knew Oxford has been putting up numbers all season — they’re a very good team.”
Oxford used a 9-2 run late in the third quarter to extend its lead to 11 — the biggest margin of the night. The Trojans staged a comeback with under a minute to go in regulation when Frackiewicz drained a three-pointer at the top of the key to bring Bromfield within four. Oxford ran out the clock and will face Sutton on Tuesday in the semifinals.
“Oxford comes at you with depth — they’re a really well-coached basketball team,” Bromfield head coach Ryan Kilian said. “I thought we did a decent job against Oxford. I thought we presented some really difficult things for them as well.”
Bromfield led twice in the opening quarter — at the start and at the finish with a 13-12 advantage.
Oxford used a 7-0 run early in the second quarter to go up 19-15 following a Schutrick three-pointer and a pair of layups from the broad-shouldered McCathy.
Frackiewicz quickly brought his team back within striking distance with a spot-up three-pointer from Mark Schwiegershausen at the right elbow to draw the Trojans within one with 4:41 remaining in the half.
Two-minutes later, Jackovitz was hacked at the rim. The senior forward canned both free throws to put Bromfield out in front, 20-19.
“Tommy is going to be a key piece for us, if we want to make a tournament run,” Kilian said. “He was a little slow going out of the gate, but as of late he has really turned it on. He is just athletic, beats kids up the floor in transition.”
Oxford scored the final six points of the quarter. Schutrick swished a three-pointer in front of the Bromfield bench as the shot clock expired to spark the run and put the Pirates up 31-26 at the half.
Oxford sank 40 percent of its shots in the first half — the strong shooting trend continued for the Pirates.
Bromfield chopped the Oxford advantage to three on two occasions behind a Jackovitz jumper and a strong finish at the rim from Ben Neville (12 points, 13 rebounds). That would be as close as Bromfield would get in the third quarter. Oxford led 51-43 at the end of three.
Killian said Sunday afternoon’s loss did show some promise for the Trojans as they prepare for the district tournament.
“Oxford is a top-team in Division 3 Central Mass,” Kilian said. “With our luck, we will be able to meet them again. We knew that we would have to get more volume in shots than them to compete — and we did. We forced 18 turnovers and only gave up eight. At the end of the day, that’s all you can ask for. It was a great basketball game.”