BERLIN- After playing Holly Grove just about even through the first two quarters in the season opener on Tuesday, Worcester Prep’s boys’ varsity basketball team used a strong finish to pull away for the relatively easy 37-20 win over the visiting Eagles in the season opener for both teams.
Worcester jumped out to an early lead and led 12-8 at the end of the first quarter. Holly Grove responded in a low scoring quarter for both teams, outscoring the Mallards in the period, 6-5, to cut the lead to just three points at 17-14 going into the intermission. Worcester applied constant pressure on defense and converted some opportunities on offense to lead after two quarters, but despite the Mallards strong start on both ends of the floor, Holly Grove was still very much in the game.
Everything changed in the second half, however. Worcester continued to click on offense and its pressure defense stifled the Eagles for much of the third quarter. When the period ended, Holly Grove had scored just two points while Worcester tossed in ten to open an 11 point lead at 27-16.
A similar scenario played out in the fourth quarter. Holly Grove scored first in the fourth to cut the lead to 27-18, but they would never get the score closer the rest of the way. Worcester was very patient on offense with a nine point lead and the clock ticking down. Parker McIntosh scored on a soft jumper in the paint to put the Mallards ahead, 29-18. Cody Shoemaker knocked down a pair of free throws to extend the lead to 31-18 and Max DiFillipo scored on fast-break lay-up after a steal to extend the lead to 33-18. Worcester made its free throws in the waning minutes and closed out the contest with a 37-20 win. Clayton Perry led the Mallards with 10 points.