The Mystic Valley boys fifth/sixth grade basketball team lost Saturday to Peabody 52 – 37.
The Eagles played solid ball throughout and were up by 1 at halftime but Peabody, with only 1 loss all season, was just too strong underneath and took it to the young Eagles in the 2nd half, then made their free throws down the stretch. Jimmy Arneil had 9 points, Ethan Nguyen, Jimmy Petras, and Tyler Story had 4, Alex Maher had 3.
Lucas Dascoli, Michael DiFiore, Eric He, Raymond Pho, Dennis Pierce, and Michael Selter all had 2 and John Carlino added a free throw. Jonah Crain and Alfie Tsang also had strong games.
Sunday’s game found the Eagles down at halftime 22 – 9 as the Eagles shots just refused to go in their basket. Solid defense, great rebounding, and timely baskets had the Eagles chip away in the second half and they finally pulled ahead at 32 – 31 in the last minute of the game.
The defense solidly stopped Winchester on their last 2 possessions and the team made 3 of 4 free throws to close out the come-from-behind victory by a final score of 35 - 31.
"We were down by 12 early in the second half but the kids just kept plugging along, the defense took over, and they just stayed together. This was the best team effort of the season," said Coach Anthony Chiccuarelli.
Coach Paul DeSantis, added: “There just was no giving in from these kids. They played their hearts out for each other. We told them at halftime to keep shooting and the shots would fall and they did start falling. The defense was stifling, frustrating the Winchester kids into bad passes and shots!”
Arneil once again led the team with 9 points. Carlino, Crain, Maher, Pierce, and Story all added 4 apiece. Eric He had 3, Pho had a basket and DiFiore added a key free throw. Dascoli, Selter, and Tsang all contributed with good ball movement on offense and making great contributions on defense.
The Baby Eagles now are in the final 4 of their division and will play a strong Georgetown team on Thursday at 5:45 at Triton Regional High School in Byfield.