South Shore Voke rolls past Eagles

HANOVER — The best thing that can be said for Franklin County Technical School’s experience Friday night is that it’s one that it can learn and grow from.

The Eagles were dominated by South Shore Vocational Technical High School, 76-48, in the Massachusetts State Vocational Small Schools Basketball Tournament, and it didn’t even seem to be that close. The Eagles were seemingly beaten to every loose ball and faced a stifling full court press that they couldn’t break all night long. It was clear very early that this would not be Tech’s night.

“Ultimately, we didn’t win, but we did get better as the game went on,” said Eagles head coach Rick Recore. “What we are focused on now is moving forward, and not looking back. They were a better team tonight, and we are looking forward to finding out our seeding for the Western Mass. Tournament [today]. We have to turn the page.”

The Eagles never had a lead in the game, and the closest they got was when they trailed 7-6 with 5:10 remaining in the first quarter, as Brian Como hit two early three-balls. Chris Wetherby (29 points) began to find his stride late in the frame after a slow start, but the Vikings came out of the stanza with a 22-15 lead and never looked back.

South Shore held Franklin Tech to 11 points in the second quarter and took a 46-26 lead into the locker room at the half. The Vikings were incredibly consistent defensively, forcing turnovers, blocking shots and causing general mayhem for the Eagles, who also only managed 11 points in each of the last two quarters. The Vikings were just too big, fast, and strong, and wouldn’t allow the Eagles to claw back into the contest.

“They wanted it more,” reflected Recore. “They played with more intensity, and were bigger, stronger and deeper than us. I was hoping to play more of our guys tonight, but unfortunately we were never in a position to make that happen. This illustrates what I’ve been telling he team, we need to hit the weight room and hit it hard if we’re going to be able to compete against teams like the one we played tonight. It’s definitely one we’ll learn from.”

While Recore would offer no excuses, the deck was stacked against his team from the get-go. The Eagles played their Senior Night game 24 hours earlier, then had to travel for nearly three hours Friday, arriving just minutes before the scheduled start time of 6 p.m. It was obvious from he outset that Tech didn’t have its usual energy and legs, and for that, they paid the price.

Conversely, South Shore had not played since Valentine’s Day, and were extremely fresh and rested. It smelled blood in the water after the first quarter, and were absolutely relentless until the final buzzer.

Wetherby’s 29 points were a game high, but no other Eagle reached double figures. Como finished with 8 points and Brett Martin tossed in 7.

Michael Reale was the high scorer for South Shore with 22, including a trio of 3-pointers, and Joe Draicchio contributed 19. Korey Fitzgerald dropped in 10.

The Eagles will regroup and wait to find out who and where they will play Tuesday night in the first round of the WMass tournament.

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