Boys BBall Takes a Loss
By Michael James LeClair
On the strength of a game-high 20 points from Leominster’s Derek Franks, the Nashoba Regional boys’ basketball team opened the season on the wrong note with a 54-39 road loss at the hands of the Blue Devils of Leominster High School Thursday night, Dec. 11.
Nashoba head coach Danny Ortiz didn’t mince words when asked to talk about his team’s performance against the Blue Devils.
“They [Leominster} shot the ball well and they hit some big 3’s,” said the Nashoba head coach following the loss. “Their shots were falling and they played well and we didn’t play as well as I wish we would have. We have to get better. We have to go back to work and think about our next opponent.”
The Blue Devils (1-0) finished the game with three players in double figures.
As for the Chieftains, they drop to 0-1 with the non league loss. The guests were paced by senior captain and guard Eric Demmer’s 11 points and classmate captain and center Travis Macko’s 10 points.
“They came over on help side and did a good job doubling the ball,” said Ortiz. “We tried to adjust, but we couldn’t get the ball out to the open guy. We fought hard to the end. The guy’s didn’t quit, but we have to get better.”
Nashoba hung tough early on, even enjoying an 11-10 lead after the first eight minutes of action. However, the hosts came alive in the second quarter. Leominster grabbed the advantage and didn’t let it go as the Blue Devils took a 32-23 lead into the locker room.
In the third quarter, the Nashoba couldn’t close the gap as Leominster maintained its cushion, holding a double-digit upper hand, 43-33, entering the final eight minutes of action.
In the fourth quarter, Nashoba struggled to find the bottom of the cylinder as Leominster held their guests to just six points in the stanza.
For Nashoba, junior forward Andrew Kennon also got involved in the scoring, chipping in with five points, while sophomore guard Nathan Mansour added four points.
For Ortiz and his squad, the Chieftains will be looking to improve as the season progresses and string together enough wins to get back into the big dance when the regular season ends in February.
The Chieftains will look to bounce back and notch their first win of the season on Tuesday night when Nashoba tangles with the visiting Mountaineers of Wachusett Regional.
The Chieftains are coming off a postseason campaign last winter. Nashoba finished the 2013-2014 season with a 12-9 overall record and a 6-4 mark in Midland B.
Nashoba earned a berth in the Clark University Invitational High School Basketball Tournament and dropped a 70-67 quarterfinal contest to Quabbin Regional. The Chieftains followed up the Clark Tournament with a berth in the Central Mass. Division 2 Tournament. Nashoba was awarded the third seed and hosted sixth-seeded Westborough in the first round. The Rangers pulled out a 60-57 win.