Monomoy Boys Defend Home Court In Tournament Opener

by Brad Joyal

HARWICH – The Monomoy boys basketball team’s Division 4 state tournament appearance was years in the making.

The Sharks made sure to make the moment count.

Junior Jackson Rocco led all scorers with 26 points, while his classmates Finn Hyora (16 points) and Tamarr Washington (14 points) both turned in big performances to help 15th-seeded Monomoy pull away from No. 18 Cathedral for a 66-51 victory on Friday in the Sharks’ first postseason berth since the MIAA implemented a statewide format for the 2021-22 season.

“I’m just so proud of the guys for executing the game plan and for playing disciplined and under control,” first-year Monomoy coach John McCarthy said. “It’s great for the community and for these kids — they worked since fourth grade to play in a game like this.”

Rocco was consistent throughout the night, but especially during the first half. He scored nine of the team’s 15 points in the first quarter and added six more in the second frame to guide the Sharks to a 28-22 lead at halftime.

After a scoreless first half, Hyora exploded for 12 points in the third quarter to help Monomoy (15-6) pull away from the visiting Panthers.

“I got into a little bit of foul trouble early, so I felt like I was playing a little scared at times,” said Hyora, a Chatham resident. “I just came out in the third quarter and had a new sense of energy. Something came over me and I started hitting shots that I wasn’t in the first half.”

McCarthy said Hyora was “incredible.”

“He’s getting to the rim better than most of our guys right now,” McCarthy said. “He’s hitting some 3’s and he can attack. He can bring the ball up against pressure. He does a little bit of everything for us — he’s incredible.”

With Cathedral on the ropes, Monomoy kept the pressure on. The Sharks had the most productive scoring quarters during the second half, scoring 17 in the third and 21 in the fourth.

Rocco led the way with a team-high seven points in the final quarter.

“We sometimes take our foot off the gas and let teams back into games, so I was really trying to push on the gas to extend the lead,” said Rocco, a Dennis resident.

The team had the benefit of playing to perhaps its largest crowd of the season. Nearly every seat was occupied in the packed gymnasium, which was often filled with chants supporting the Sharks.

“That’s how I imagined it would be,” Rocco said of the atmosphere. “That was a lot of fun.”

Up next for Monomoy is a road test against second-seeded Bourne (20-1) at 7 p.m. Tuesday after The Chronicle’s deadline. The Sharks suffered a 74-53 loss when the teams met at Bourne in the regular season on Feb. 18. The Canalmen advanced after steamrolling Roxbury Prep, 94-49, in the opening round.

“They are a little intimidating with their size and the way they play offensively,” McCarthy said of Bourne. “But I think we have a good understanding of what they do. Now we’ve seen them and we’ve seen them at their place. I don’t think they want to play us on Tuesday night.”