, Salem, MA


January 27, 2014

Garden Variety

BOSTON — The St. John’s Prep and Bishop Fenwick boys basketball teams needed to find a way to adjust in their respective games at TD Garden on Saturday as both squads had trouble shooting in the big arena.

The Crusaders eventually found their touch going on to defeat Triton, 63-60, while the Eagles struggled from the field down to their last shot, which Max Burt rimmed out at the buzzer in the Prep’s 53-51 loss to Wellesley.

Both teams play home games in small gymnasiums which can make the transition to playing in the wide open TD Garden a little difficult.

“I think in the first quarter there were a lot of jitters for the kids and the coaching staff as well. Our gym is miniscule so this was a much different perspective,” said Bishop Fenwick coach John Preziosa. “Once we started making a few we realized that the hoop was 10 feet and it was a regular basketball game.”

The Crusaders clinched their fifth win in a row behind an outstanding second half from Matt Costello (21 points), who sparked his team early in the second half with 11 third-quarter points.

After shooting too many 3-pointers in the opening half, Bishop Fenwick started taking it to the basket more frequently in the third quarter. The Crusaders are now 8-6 after starting the season 1-4.

“Were we really 1-4? We’re on a five game winning streak,” said Costello, who’s favorite all-time basketball player is Larry Bird. “Before the game I was looking up at the banners and retired numbers. It was surreal. I was nervous at the beginning of the game but I got used to it.”

Costello wasn’t the only Crusader to eventually figure out his shooting touch. Jhon Olivera banged down a three from deep in the corner to give Bishop Fenwick a 60-56 lead with under two minutes to play before senior captain Dom Luoni nailed a jumper in the final minute for what proved to be the game-winning bucket.

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