Marlborough boys basketball defeats Westborough


Marlborough boys basketball defeats Westborough
Marlborough faced off against Westborough on Dec. 16. (Photo/Caroline Gordon)

MARLBOROUGH – The Marlborough boys varsity basketball team defeated Westborough 55-53 on their home court Dec. 16. 

“We got the win, that’s what’s most important,” said Marlborough head coach Graham Asum. 

The team came out strong in the first half, but Graham said the Panthers began to “feel the pressure” in the second half. 

He noted that the team will work on handling the pressure and he will place players in their strongest positions. 

Asum called Westborough “a good team” against whom the Panthers always “battle.” 

While Asum was a student at Marlborough High School, he played against Westborough who was coached by the current head coach Brian Willard. 

“Brian Willard is a great coach, he’s tremendous. He does a great job with the guys, he gets them to play hard all of the time and it is always fun to play against him,” Asum said. 

He added that “things have come full circle” because he played against Willard as an athlete and now as a coach. 

“It’s funny because we will go and talk and it’s funny how time flies. It’s fun to see it though. I think all of these coaches are happy to see me running the program now,” Asum said. 

Willard reflected on Westborough’s loss, noting that “he doesn’t feel good about any losses.” 

However, it was the first game of the season for the Rangers, who Willard said are a young group that “is still figuring out who they are as a team.” 

“We showed a lot of good things. We were down early, but we made a very, very good comeback, so that’s something I guess we can go by,” he said. 

“We didn’t quit. We just fell a little bit short,” Willard added. 

Marlborough senior captain Jason Knollenberg said his team “came out strong” in the first quarter, but “slacked on defense” toward the end. 

“But, we executed and we got the win,” Knollenberg said. 

Knollenberg believes this season will be successful for the Panthers because of the hard work they put into practice. He said the team will “take each day as it comes,” but the Panthers are aiming to qualify for the state championship. 

However, Asum said, “That’s [the state championship] too far ahead. For me, it’s just about beating Nashoba on Tuesday.” 

Senior Sean Deneen credited the win to team effort, noting that “everyone stepped up.” 

“We did what we needed to do,” he added.

Marlborough will face off against Nashoba and Westborough will play Oakmont on Dec. 20.


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