MARLBOROUGH – The AMSA boys basketball team avenged an early season loss to Assabet with a 65-56 win over the Aztecs on Friday night.
The game, which remained close down to the final buzzer, showcased an intense rivalry between the Eagles and Aztecs.
“It’s always a battle,” AMSA Head Coach Joe Ciolino told reporters after securing the win. “These kids play each other on the playgrounds in the summer [and] in the Boys and Girls Clubs, so they know each other real well.”
AMSA establishes early lead
AMSA opened strong against their Marlborough neighbors, jumping ahead by a score of 15-12 after the first quarter.
They took a 31-25 lead into halftime before Assabet narrowed things slightly in the third quarter. The teams opened the game’s final frame separated by a 46-41 score.
Assabet and AMSA played to that 65-56 final, though, locking in a win for AMSA and dealing Assabet a difficult loss in their own gym.
Ciolino assessed his team’s performance on Friday, crediting some of the win to defensive adjustments made in recent games and practices.
“I think that’s certainly helped us on both sides of the ball,” he said. “When you pick up the defense, it leads to easy baskets the other way.”
Four Eagles score 10+ points
AMSA got big contributions from the likes of Gabe Lemes, Mateo Arelleno, Ethan Saul and Sreeraj Pampati.
Arelleno led the way with 19 points. Lemes followed close behind with 18 points, including nine in the fourth quarter alone.
Saul and Pampati, meanwhile, scored 11 and 10 points respectively.
On the other side of the court, Assabet saw double digit scoring days out of Cristian Vicente, Owen Keenan and Anthony Sousa.
This game marked Assabet’s third straight loss since a win over Parker Charter Essential School on Jan. 10. It now drops the Aztecs’ win-loss record to 2-5 this winter.
AMSA, which lost its last game against Assabet by a narrow margin back in December, has now won three straight games, improving its record to 6-4.