HARWICH ─ The Monomoy boys varsity basketball team put doubters in their places last Thursday night when they defeated Cape Cod Tech 78-63 to claim the Cape and Islands League Championship outright.
“One of the best things in life is doing what others say you can't,” said Monomoy senior and team tri-captain Chris Mazulis. “They said we wouldn't get three wins and we proved them wrong by making the tournament and winning the league.”
The Sharks got off to a bumpy start against their league rival Crusaders, with the crosstown hosts at Cape Tech jumping out to an early seven-point lead in the first quarter largely on shots from Sharborne Carter, along with a three-pointer from Drea Georgas.
Meanwhile, Monomoy scrambled to catch up, finishing the first quarter trailing 25-19. But after a quick break between the first and second, the Sharks roared to life, outscoring the Crusaders 26-9 to take a solid 45-34 lead into the half.
The third quarter again saw Tech eke past the visitors in shooting, with Tech netting 17 points to Monomoy's 12, but the Sharks, aware that the championship was on the line, rolled through the final frame with 21 points to the Crusaders' 12.
Overall, the Sharks had four players posting double-digit scores, with Mazulis adding a game-high 21, followed by teammate Isaiah Stafford with 17.
“Isaiah just had a career game,” said Monomoy head coach Keith Arnold. “He has an uncanny ability on the left side of the court to make these running left-handed shots. Very quick, very intelligent, getting the transition hoops. He just had his kind of game.”
Also in double-digits were Sam Reed and Nick Meehan each with 10, while Eli Nickerson contributed nine, Jake Wisniewski five, and Jason Masiello, Ryan Lacerra, Alyn Pierre, and Tommy Graham with two each.
“Nick Meehan was key because we kept changing defenses,” said Arnold. “I thought he was the key at the top of that defense, initiating contact at the top of the ball.”
Kyle Charlot also had a strong game for Monomoy in varying positions.
“He provides an opportunity where we can put him defensively on almost anybody,” Arnold said. “He can play almost any position except for point guard. He's invaluable to what we do.”
Leading the way for the Crusaders was Drea Georgas with 15 points, followed by Carter with 14, Owen Amato with 10, Justin Lucas with eight, Paul Hadley and Tim Scrogas each with five, Alex Marchant with three, and Johnny Wingate and Collin Frye each with two.
The Crusaders kicked off the evening by celebrating their seniors, Drea and Tony Georgas, Carter, Frye and Amato. Frye seized his moment in the spotlight to officially ask girlfriend Julia Dowd to prom with a sweet “promposal” that drew raucous applause from fans.
Although the Crusaders put forth a stellar effort, the win, and the championship title, belonged to Monomoy, much to the delight of their team's seniors, Mazulis, Lacerra, and Reed.
“It's amazing to have this opportunity to hang a banner up in our school,” said Reed. “We're still a young program and to have something like this happen to us this early is really a blessing. We're happy that we could do this for all of our friends and family and fans that come and support us all the time. It means a lot.”
“It's a great opportunity to have this considering the season we had last year,” added Lacerra. “To be league champs this year outright we beat Nantucket twice. That was two big victories for us. A lot of people said we weren't going to do it, so it's just great to say 'We did it.'”
Arnold is also thrilled for his team.
“I wanted them to reach this milestone,” he said. “I wanted them to be champions as a reward for how hard they've worked all year.”
Now he wants them to set their sights on the postseason. Seeds for basketball will be announced by the MIAA sometime this weekend.
“The hopes are...that the league champ is put aside,” Arnold said. “It's tournament time. Anything can happen in the tournament. It doesn't matter what seed you are. It's survive and advance.”