Sharks Cruise Past Crusaders In Second Half Victory

By: Kat Szmit

Monomoy's Chris Mazulis (11) takes it to the hoop against Cape Tech's Paul Hadley (5) during game play Tuesday night at Monomoy. Kat Szmit Photo

HARWICH ─ In a matchup between cross-town rivals, the second half made the difference as Monomoy cruised to a 54-40 victory against Cape Tech in the Shark Tank on Tuesday night in Monomoy’s first home win of the season.

After a bit of a slow start, Monomoy took head coach Keith Arnold’s halftime pep talk to heart and returned to the court ready for battle, dominating the third quarter 18-9. Behind many of the successful shots was senior point guard Chris Mazulis, who played to a season-high 20 points in the outing.

Monomoy opened the scoring in the first on shots from Mazulis, Isaiah Stafford, and Sam Reed, though it took the Sharks a bit to find their momentum, which allowed the determined Crusaders to stay close on Monomoy’s heels, only trailing the Sharks in second-quarter shooting 11-10.

Unfortunately, injuries and head games proved the Crusaders’ undoing, according to Cape Tech head coach Brent Warren.

“It’s a cross-town rival,” Warren said. “These kids are all friends. They’ve grown up together. A couple of the kids got into a couple other ones' heads. It is what it is. It’s high school sports.”

Warren was disappointed for his team, but acknowledged the game was a challenge.

“We just didn’t play the way we are capable of playing. We missed a lot of our shots. We didn’t move the ball,” he said. “We threw the ball away too many times. There’s no excuses. They just played better than we did. They ran harder than we did. They seemed to almost want it more than we did. I feel bad for the boys because they took it a little personally.”

Warren praised the efforts of Collin Frye, who had five points, Justin Lucas, who had four, and Cathal Daly, who led Tech’s scoring with 13 points. Sharborne Carter had eight, Paul Hadley six, Tony Georgas three, and Paul Healey one.

“Everybody played hard,” said Warren. “It wasn’t for lack of effort. It just didn’t all come together. Tomorrow’s another day and we’ll go from there.”

Scoring for Monomoy along with Mazulis was Meehan with 11, Stafford with eight, Eli Nickerson with seven, Reed with four, and Jake Wisniewski and Kyle Charlot with two each.

Arnold said the team’s 49-40 win against St. John Paul II last Friday was a motivator in the Tech game.

“St. John Paul was a similar type of game. We played defensively very well and took them out of their rhythm,” Arnold said. “This game, our defense in the first half was good energy wise. There’s no problem with our energy and motivation.”

Arnold just wanted his Sharks to show a bit more intensity, which they did.

“The second half we ratcheted up our defense a little more, and now we’re getting steals, now we’re getting transition baskets, and the whole thing was like an avalanche. It just snowballed,” Arnold said. “We’re creating problems for them by our defense, and we’re getting easy baskets. I want our identity to be our defense.”

The win allowed several deeper bench players to enter the game, including Tommy Graham, a team and fan favorite.

“Having Tommy Graham come off the bench just lights the gym up,” said Arnold. “He lights us up in practice, so to get him some time is great.”

The win brings the Sharks to 5-5 overall and 4-1 in the Cape and Islands League, putting them in a solid position as the post-season nears. Mazulis said the team is setting its sights on 10 wins.

“They said we wouldn't win two games,” said Mazulis of the team’s critics. “We're improving every game. A lot of people counted us out, but we're half way to making the tourney. We aren't satisfied by any means until we get 10 wins.”