When his team needed him most, senior co-captain Des Nascimento was there to lift the Rams boys' basketball team to their fifth-straight win to begin the season.
He scored the team's final five points that bolstered a paper-thin 47-46 lead to an eventual 52-46 win over the Cougars at home on Monday, January 6. The lanky wing broke free while running the baseline and teammate Connor Reidy fed him the ball in the corner as he knocked down a 3-pointer to give UCT a four-point lead with less than a minute remaining.
On the ensuing defensive stand, Nascimento pulled down the rebound on the second of two missed free throws by Tri-County. Upon being fouled, he calmly sunk two free throws of his own to ice the game for the Rams.
Nascimento scored 13 points while classmate Drew Brightman had a team-high 16 points while regularly altering shots at the rim with his leaping ability.
UCT led at every break in the game, turning a 15-8 first quarter lead into a 28-23 advantage by halftime. The Cougars closed the gap in the second half taking a one-point lead early in the fourth quarter before the Rams were able to regain the lead.
Reidy and Jayden Nascimento each had six points while Anthony Todesco and Ryan Tropeano added four points apiece.
With the win, UCT secured the regular season sweep of the Cougars after already recording a 55-37 win in Franklin on December 13.
UCT 66, Sturgis East 53
The Rams shook off the rust of a long holiday layoff to score a non-league road win on January 3 at the Hyannis Youth & Community Center.
UCT fell behind 10-0 to the Storm but quickly found their rhythm en route to their fourth-straight win to begin the season. Led by its trademark pestering defense, UCT went on a 30-3 run between the end of the first quarter and into the second and was able to hang on for a 66-53 win.
Reidy led with 22 points while Brightman and Nascimento added 16 and 14 points, respectively.
After gaining a 30-23 halftime lead, UCT fell behind late in the second half, 49-47. But then the Rams kicked it into high gear, ending the game on a 16-3 run.
In the game within the game, the Storm’s Nate Nawoichek outscored his younger brother Jared, a sophomore with the Rams, 10 to 9, mirroring the tightly-contested outcome between the two teams.
UCT (5-0, 0-0 MAC-Small) hosts Bristol-Plymouth Friday, January 10, at 6:30 PM. Previously, the Rams scored a 48-34 road win in Taunton against the Craftsmen on December 16.