HARWICH ─ Last week was a good one for the Monomoy boys basketball team. Not only did they edge closer to a postseason berth with a 57-22 victory against Falmouth Academy on Thursday, but just two days prior eked out a thrilling 54-46 win against Nantucket to perch the Sharks atop the Cape and Islands League.
Perhaps the best part about the Sharks' contest with Falmouth Academy was that it was a game that allowed everyone who was able to play to get in the game, with many posting points in the win.
Eli Nickerson and Chris Mazulis led the way with 12 points each, followed closely by Isaiah Stafford with 11, Alyn Pierre with six, Jake Wisniewski and Ryan Lacerra each with five, Sam Reed with four, and Tommy Graham with two.
A solid start led the Sharks to a commanding 18-4 lead halfway through the opening quarter and a 32-8 edge at the half thanks to strong play from Stafford, Mazulis, and Nickerson, along with Christian Blakely, Adam Vanderwarf, and Jason Masiello.
The second half saw further domination from the host Sharks, with Lacerra and Pierre each sinking one from the free-throw line.
Head coach Keith Arnold was thrilled with the chance to get nearly everyone in the game (Nick Meehan was out with a minor injury).
“It was an opportunity for kids, based on the schedule we've had and how we've been winning, to get some ample playing time and show what they can do,” he said. “And they did a nice job. They did a nice job defensively, they moved the ball well, and I really liked that they looked organized and performed well.”
Arnold dubbed the game a team effort.
“I would say that was a complete team chemistry type of game,” he said. “I think we've built something that was evidenced today that has nothing to do with wins and losses.”
Team unity was also on display two days prior when the Sharks hosted Nantucket in another Cape and Islands League game that saw Monomoy hold on for a key victory that was also a big game for Sam Reed, who contributed 16 points.
The Sharks took a 10-2 lead early in the game before storming to a 20-point edge in the second quarter, mainly due to the sinking of two consecutive three-pointers by Meehan and one by Reed that saw the Sharks at 28-8 in the frame.
At the half Monomoy led 28-13, but the undaunted Whalers, still stung by their previous 40-37 loss to the Sharks, battled back in the third quarter to cut Monomoy's lead to 33-26, putting the Sharks on notice.
That's when Mazulis launched a bomb from more than halfway across the court, sending fans screaming with glee when it sailed through the hoop in time to beat the buzzer signaling the end of the third quarter.
“I just threw it,” said Mazulis. “I had no idea it would actually go in. It felt awesome.”
Bolstered by the big throw, Monomoy embarked on a scoring run that put them up 44-27 before weathering another Nantucket rally with a few successful free throws to give the Sharks the win.
The wins boost the Sharks to 9-5 overall and 8-1 in the Cape and Islands League, which could belong to Monomoy depending on the outcome of Nantucket's impending game against St. John Paul II. At press time the Sharks were set to host Upper Cape Tech on Wednesday, with an away game against Sturgis East tonight. Monomoy travels to Cape Cod Academy on Tuesday and next week faces rival Nauset.