, Salem, MA


February 4, 2014

In the Paint: Masco riding Rudolph's hot streak

In the Paint

Matt Jenkins

It was probably a tough call to make. But Masconomet boys basketball coach Frank Shea felt that if the Chieftains were going to get better, junior guard Jake Rudolph had to be better.

Keep in mind that as the Chieftains got off to a 1-5 start, Rudolph was doing his part by leading the team in scoring.

“If you go back to the first six games he was right around 20 (points) a game. He had a 20-point game, a 22-point game, but then he’d have a nine-point game and a 15-point game,” Shea said. “I took him aside and told him we needed more from him.

“Since then, it’s not only been him, but the team has bought in and they’re trying to get him more looks. So far it’s paying off.”

At his coach’s request, Rudolph became more aggressive -- and the results have been obvious. Masco has won six of its last seven games and now stands at 7-6.

Rudolph, a 5-foot-11 combo guard with a smooth stroke, has been virtually unstoppable since then.

In his last four games, Rudolph is averaging nearly 33 points per game. He dropped a career-high 44 in an overtime win over Georgetown last week and followed it with 30 (against Rockport), 29 (against Manchester Essex) and 28 (against Newburyport), all while seeing specialty defenses and double teams.

“He sees the team’s best defenders for sure and some teams are trying to trap when he gets the ball. Other teams are really physical with him,” Shea said. “Newburyport traditionally plays really good defense and in the first half, he had six (shot) attempts. I told him, ‘We can’t win with you having 12 attempts.’ I could even live with him forcing a couple to loosen the defense a little.”

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