Monomoy Boys Fall In Overtime After Providing No. 2 Bourne With A Scare

by Brad Joyal

All season, Monomoy boys basketball coach John McCarthy talked about wanting to earn respect.

Although the Sharks’ season ended earlier than they had hoped, it’s clear that the program was able to accomplish McCarthy’s goal during his first season leading the program.

Just 16 days after suffering a 19-point loss at Bourne in the Winterfest Tournament, No. 15 Monomoy gave the second-seeded Canalmen all they could handle when the two teams met March 5 in the second round of the Division 4 state tournament.

After hanging around and keeping the score close throughout the game, Monomoy forced overtime before ultimately suffering a season-ending 61-53 loss.

“We put a huge focus on getting back on defense in transition because they score so many points on fastbreaks,” McCarthy said about Monomoy’s game plan. “We were able to pretty much focus on not having too many guys go to the offensive glass and getting back to make them run a halfcourt offense. It was the combination of really eliminating some of their low post stuff as well as getting back on defense in transition.

“That really slowed them down to 53 points in regulation, which I think was one of their lowest — if not the lowest — outputs for them.”

Bourne (22-1) returned to form in the next round, cruising past No. 10 David Prouty, 71-46, to earn a trip to the state semifinals against No. 6 Burke on Tuesday after The Chronicle’s deadline.

Even in defeat, McCarthy believes Monomoy showcased just how far the program has come since last year’s 4-16 campaign, adding that the Bourne performance proves the Sharks should be among the teams to watch in Division 4 next winter.

“Our goal this year was to go out and really earn respect for the program and earn the respect of the teams that we were playing because I feel like for a while maybe we didn’t have the respect of everybody,” McCarthy said. “That was a huge goal, and then with that came goals like making the playoffs, having a home playoff game, seeing how far we could take it. Getting the Cathedral home win [in the first round] and then seeing how we played against Bourne, it’s really apparent.”

Not only has Monomoy proven its a contender to those on the Cape, McCarthy said his players believe it, too.

“I think we have the attention of the community, but I have the attention of the kids to where I think we’re approaching this offseason with a legitimate chance of making a state title run next year, I believe,” he said.

The strong performance against Bourne wouldn’t have been possible without a complete team effort. Junior Tamarr Washington led the team with a game-high 23 points while classmate Jackson Rocco added nine and fellow juniors Jackson Morneau and Finn Hyora added eight points each.

“All year long, we’ve been seeing the growth of Tamarr Washington,” McCarthy said. “He really did almost will the team to victory with his performance offensively. He was taking the ball to the hoop as well as hitting some key 3’s.”

McCarthy credited Rocco for making timely plays when needed as well as Hyora for taking on the responsibility of defending Bourne’s standout big man Mike Dankert.

“Jackson Rocco’s defense in the second half as well as a couple key shots — including a 3-pointer with 20 seconds left — was incredible,” he said. “And then credit to Finn for having to cover Mike Dankert and having to be a guy that helped relieve pressure for us at the offensive end.”

Washington, Rocco and Hyora were named Cape and Islands League All Stars while fellow junior Jackson Morneau was an honorable mention selection. They will be key contributors on next year’s team, though McCarthy said all of the players seemed hungry to return to the hardwood during the individual end-of-season meetings he conducted after the Bourne loss.

“The one thing that was very apparent from all of my wrap-up meetings is that these kids believe,” McCarthy said. “They all want to be a part of it any way they can. They all have goals to get stronger and to get better and more skilled, so we’re going to be a fun team to watch next year.”