The Salem News
---- — The top two boys basketball teams in the Massachusetts Bay Independent League squared off yesterday at the Beverly YMCA for the MBIL Title.
Covenant Christian Academy was the best team in the regular season defeating Waring twice but when it mattered most, the boys from Waring would not be denied as the Mavericks defeated CCA 45-42 to take home the MBIL Crown.
“It was at the Beverly YMCA which is their (CCA’s) home court, so it was a local game for us. We had half the student body up there. It was the biggest crowd of the year and they got their money’s worth,” explained Waring (13-4) head coach Ambrose Devaney. “You know those games you’ll remember for the rest of your life? This is one of those for the kids.”
The Mavericks were able to get a slim lead over CCA (14-2) and hang on down the stretch thanks to outstanding work at the charity stripe. Both senior captain Henry Balf and sophomore starter Aiden Wood went 2 for 2 in the final 30 seconds to salt the game away.
Balf finished with 13 points as did the third senior captain, Alex Mitchell. Charlie Mitchell meanwhile had six total points but it was his defensive work on CCA’s all star guard Mardochee Faustin (four points) as Waring implemented the box-and-one defensive strategy to keep Faustin from going off.
Wood, who was coming off the bench earlier in the season before earning a starter’s role, contributed 10 points and was a force on the boards.
CCA meanwhile was led by center Sam Rourke who had 10 points,10 rebounds and kept CCA in the game.