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January 29, 2013

In The Paint: Beverly's Cross a valuable reserve

(Continued)

It seems that Cross is also playing with a high level of confidence and comfort now.

Cross went to Bishop Fenwick for his freshman year, then attended St. John’s Prep as a sophomore. Neither school was the right fit, and now he’s back playing basketball with his friends which, according to Lewis, may be making all the difference in his game.

Lewis felt there was a bit of an adjustment period for Cross, but it mostly had to do with Beverly’s need for him to spend some time in the post.

“The best thing was that he was comfortable because he was with his friends. You could see that comfort factor coming back to Beverly,” Lewis said. “He’s friends with these kids and knows them, but he was getting used to what we wanted him to do. He’s been a guard for most of his career and we wanted him down low sometimes.”

Recently, Cross has shown that he’s fully adapted to his role.

He scored a career-high 31 points on Friday in a win over Winthrop, and followed it with 18 points in the Panthers’ tournament-clinching victory over Bridgewater-Raynham this weekend.

“It’s kind of funny when you have 31 points you’d think he took a lot of shots, but it came in the natural flow of the game,” Lewis said. “He’s a good finisher with long arms and athleticism, and he’s not afraid to take it to the basket.”

Cross and the Panthers face a huge game tonight with undefeated Danvers coming to town.

The Falcons are still without senior guard Nick McKenna, and Cross could cause some problems for the Danvers defense, but Beverly is still a big underdog.

Danvers has played only two games where its margin of victory was under 20 points — an 18-point win over Lynn Classical and a 19-point victory over Revere.

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