A slow start and lack of hitting free throws spoiled the chances of the Sandwich boys’ basketball team going on the road and scoring the upset in the first round of the Division 3 South Sectional tournament.
Visiting the fourth-ranked Lancers from Norton on Wednesday, February 26, the 13th-seeded Knights scratched and clawed their way out of an early hole to make things interesting. But the veteran-laced Lancers hung on late to score a 57-45 win and advance to the South quarter finals.
Norton jumped out to a 23-7 lead after the first eight minutes of action, including a 16-0 run that featured four makes from long distance. But like many other times throughout the regular season, Sandwich had a scoring surge in them. When the second quarter rolled around, the Knights turned a corner, going on a 16-12 swing that frame to trail 35-23 by halftime.
That surge continued in the second half as defensively Sandwich clamped down to hold the Lancers to just six points in the frame. That helped the Knights close within six points, 41-35, entering the fourth quarter. The deficit was whittled down to five in the fourth before getting pushed back an eight-point lead with just under four minutes to play, 49-41.
The Norton lead stood at nine, 50-41 with less than two minutes left before free throws iced the win for the Lancers while dooming Sandwich (9-10). For the game, the Knights shot 5-of-15 from the charity stripe.
Junior co-captain Chris Cronin poured in a team-high 15 points, while senior co-captains JP Downes (10 points) and Will Harmon (six points) played well in their final varsity game. Sophomore Sean Lansing added seven in defeat.
Norton (17-4) was led by Colin Cochrane and his game-high 18 points while Sean McNichols put up 12 to help the Lancers win their last 13 of 14 games. They now go on to face fifth-seeded Fairhaven (15-6), which beat 12th-seeded Norwell, 63-54, in the Division 3 South Sectional quarter finals tomorrowon Saturday, February 29.