MILLBURY, Mass. — The Grafton High School boys basketball team jumped out to a huge lead but had to withstand a late Millbury rally before nailing down a 42-37 victory Tuesday night in Millbury.
The Indians were led by Co-captain Eric Thompson, who scored nine points and moved the ball well.
The first quarter was a fast-paced but low-scoring affair, with both teams pushing the ball up court with a blistering pace. But the Woolies were beset early with turnovers and bad passes and could only manage three points against the stout Grafton defense. Grafton had problems of its own, but led 7-3 after one.
Millbury picked up the pace in the second quarter but was still bugged by errant passes and had trouble penetrating the defense. However, with better shooting, the Woolies narrowed Grafton's lead to 17-16 at halftime.
Grafton went on an 8-2 run to open the third quarter to push the lead to 25-18, led by Dan Martin and Josh Levy. Millbury was forced to call a time out with 4:36 left, trying to regroup. But the Indians weren’t done, following up with a 9-2 run. Grafton owned the boards and threatened to run away with the game, taking a 38-24 lead at the end of three.
But Millbury was far from done. At the start of the fourth quarter Michael Woll went on a tear, burying three 3-point shots. Down 40-37 with just 1:55 left, Woll pushed up deep along the baseline and fired a pass over to a wide-open Ben Letiecq, who had a great look at a three-point shot that would have tied the score, but the ball didn’t drop and Grafton regrouped.
Martin put the game away with a shot in the paint with just 50 seconds left, and the Indians closed it out at 42-37.
Woll led all scorers with 15 points. Nicholas Guaragno had seven points and eight blocks for the Woolies. Martin led the Indians with 12 points, while Thompson and Josh Levy each chipped in with nine. Josh Evans had eight points and was a force on the boards for Grafton.