The Generals played exceptional defense as Hoak kept changing up his schemes to keep the Spartans off balanced. Jimmy Campbell was very active in forcing turnovers and the Generals generated some quick buckets in transition off of some St. Mary’s miscues.
“I thought we did a good job defensively. We switched it up and confused them and at least forced some turnovers,” said Hoak. “I’m proud of my kids.”
And there was a lot to be proud of for the Generals skipper. Senior captain Henry Eagar (nine points) and Campbell (20 points), the junior captain, played fearlessly against a tough Spartan front court. Eagar made a couple of really strong drives to the tin late in the fourth quarter but saw the ball rim out a few times.
St. Mary’s had its fair share of second opportunities as well, but Eagar more than held his own on the defensive glass.
Campbell meanwhile took it to the rim over and over fighting through some contact in doing so. In the press, Campbell forced a bunch of turnovers and showed great instincts in jumping passing lanes.
“I love all my kids,” said Hoak. “Jimmy’s a gamer and he does things every game that don’t show up on the box score like his help D and his rebounding. And Henry’s my man. I’m going to miss him.”
Nikos Lara had another fine playoff outing for the Generals. He had 10 points but also played some tough defense against St. Mary’s top player Anthony Silfa, who had 18 points but hit some very, deep three-pointers to do so. He only had four points in the fourth quarter.
H-W certainly hoped it would make a Div. 4 North Finals appearance but last night’s loss doesn’t diminish the spectacular year the Generals had. And considering Campbell and Lara are juniors and both Marcus and his brother Max Zegarowski (three points) are freshman, H-W is in good shape for the future.
“It’s been over two months since we lost a game,” said Hoak. “That’s pretty impressive.”
St. Mary’s 60, Hamilton-Wenham 51
at St. John’s Prep, Danvers
St. Mary’s: Bailer 6-3-17, Silfa 7-1-18, Lockett 5-4-14, Louissaint 0-3-3, Zikianda 2-1-5, Amenta 1-0-2, Garraud 0-1-1. Totals 21-13-60.
H-W: Campbell 6-6-20, Mar. Zegarowski 4-0-9, Eagar 4-1-9, Lara 3-4-10, Max. Zegarowski 1-0-3, Loeper 0-0-0, Kotch 0-0-0, Bucco 0-0-0, Michel 0-0-0. Totals 18-9-51.
Halftime: SM, 29-27.
3-pointers: SM, Silfa 3, Bailer 2; HW, Campbell 2, Mar Zegarowski, Maz Zegarowski.
Records: SM, 18-4; HW, 18-3.