WOBURN — An inability to take care of the basketball in the first half haunted the Swampscott boys team Saturday afternoon in its Division 3 North quarterfinal against Arlington Catholic.
The Big Blue turned the ball over 12 times in the first half and the Cougars were able to build a lead that proved to be insurmountable. They thwarted any attempt Swampscott made to get back into the game on its way to a 70-50 victory at Woburn Memorial High School.
Swampscott, which qualified for the postseason under the Sullivan Rule, finished the year 6-16.
“We talked about limiting turnovers, the boards and defending the 3-point shot. I think they had four threes in the first half,” Swampscott coach David Born said.
Arlington Catholic’s combination of sophomore point guard Edwin Woods (15 points, all in the first half) and junior center Matt Wesoloski (19 points) were just too much to handle.
Swampscott guard Andre Reeves finished with a game-high 20 points and senior forward Chad Nelson chipped in 16 points. Point guard Joey Ragusa also hit double figures with 10.
Despite the loss, the tournament was a good experience for a Big Blue team playing some young players. Reeves is a freshman while Ragusa is only a sophomore.
“We were able to get a tournament win, the (program’s) first one since 2007. We played much better the second half of the season. We’ve got some guys who have come a long way,” Born said. “It should only make them better, plus they’ll have the drive to get back here next year. It was a great experience on Tuesday night in Lynnfield (a first round win). The atmosphere was phenomenal. We had a lead wire to wire and had to hang in there in the fourth quarter, but today AC just took it from us.”
Arlington Catholic 70, Swampscott 50
Swampscott: Reeves 8-2-20, Ragusa 4-0-10, Faulkner 2-0-4, Nelson 7-0-16, King 0-0-0, Wright 0-0-0. Totals 21-2-50.
Arlington Catholic: Maher 4-3-14, Doherty 3-0-8, Kelly 1-2-4, Woods 7-0-15, Iudiciani 3-0-6, Greenwood 2-0-4, Wesoloski 8-3-19. Totals 28-8-70.
Halftime: AC, 39-23.
3-pointers: S, Reeves 2, Ragusa 2, Nelson 2; AC, Maher 3, Doherty 2, Woods.
Records: S, 6-16; AC, 13-8.