TOPSFIELD — Every boys basketball team that plays Masconomet from now until the end of the season will be focused on slowing down junior guard Jake Rudolph.
Rudolph, who has been on a scoring tear the second half of the season, was held in check by Hamilton-Wenham for most of the game last night, but the Generals were still having a hard time finding separation.
The Generals didn’t make their move until they scored 13 straight points over a four-minute stretch in the final quarter. That spurt was enough for them to hold off Rudolph and the Chieftains, 56-48.
Hamilton-Wenham (14-2) locked up the outright Cape Ann League title with the win.
“They gave us all we could handle. This was a good win for us on their court; they’re always tough at home and I thought both teams played well,” Hamilton-Wenham coach Doug Hoak said. “Rudolph scared us all night; we spent a lot of time preparing for him. We had a couple special things in (the game plan) where we were going to double him in certain parts of the court, but we didn’t have to do that as much because the kids did a nice job defending.”
Hamilton-Wenham held Rudolph, who came into the contest averaging nearly 25 points per game, to just four points in the first half. Rudolph began heating up in the third quarter, but the Generals never let him get too much space.
Rudolph finished with 17 hard-earned points.
“I think obviously Jake didn’t have his best game. He forced a little,” Masco (8-7) coach Frank Shea said. “What happened was we were waiting for him to hit his stride, which he didn’t. You gotta credit their defense; they were tough on him all night.”
On the other side of the court, Hamilton-Wenham’s offensive balance was tough on Masco throughout the contest.