January 17, 2024
• Needham’s comeback falls just short at the A Gym against the Tigers.
The Needham Boys Basketball team dropped their second straight game on Wednesday afternoon, falling 40-39 to Bay State Conference rival Newton North at the A gym. The game was rescheduled from its original Tuesday slot after poor road conditions forced the cancellation of all after school activities in the district.
The Rockets fought back from a double digit deficit, however, tying the game in the fourth quarter, 34-34 on a three pointer by Brian Cloonan. The Rockets Senior Captain finished with a game high 17 points.
Newton North started the game on an 11-0 run and the first Needham points scored at the free throw line, courtesy of Cloonan, though he only hit one of two. The Tigers responded with a three pointer by Freshman Jake Lyons, extending the lead to 14-1. After another Senior Captain, Jackson Shaw, hit one of two at the line, Needham finally sunk their first field goal of the game at the 3:05 mark as Max Goodrow hit a cutting Cloonan for the hoop. The Rockets would get three points the old fashioned way thanks to the basket by Senior Captain Campbell Keyes, who hit an and-1 opportunity.
The Tigers still led by double digits at the end of one quarter, 17-7 and maintained that deficit at halftime, 25-15. Senior Guard Devin Dellamarggio had a pair of baskets during the later portions of the second. Newton North got momentum early in the third quarter, taking a 29-15 lead before Cloonan hit a three off an inbound pass to cut the Newton North lead back to 11.
Shaw and Dellamarggio would sink baskets, followed by a steal and bucket from Cloonan to make it a 31-26 game with 3:06 left in the quarter. Cloonan would score nine points in the third, then the aforementioned three early in the fourth that tied the score.
The Tigers would miss a pair of free throws, leaving it a one point game with 1:11 to go. But the Rockets couldn’t get any more offense, as Newton North shut them down. The Rockets, who came into the game ranked #11 in the first MIAA Division 1 Boys Basketball rankings of the season, fall to 6-3, while the #18 Tigers improved to 6-3.
Needham hits the road for two games, first on Friday, January 19th at Natick, followed by a return match with the Tigers at Newton North on Tuesday, January 23rd, before returning home on Friday, January 26th to host Wellesley at the A gym.
You can see full highlights from the game on this week’s edition of the Needham Channel News, with Mike Levin and Ben Gilman, here: