The Malden Catholic boys’ basketball team endured a frigid start from beyond the arc Sunday afternoon, comparable to the biting winds whipping outside their home gymnasium.
But the Lancers endured, and using a 23-4 third quarter explosion, pulled away from visiting Xaverian in a 60-50 Catholic Conference win.
“In the third quarter we defended really well,” said John Walsh, who has guided his alma mater to an 2-0 start in his first season on the bench. “And we were able to get some points off of our defense.”
The Lancers were 2 of 15 outside the 3-point line in the first half and carried a slim 24-23 edge over the Hawks (0-3) into halftime. Walsh was liking the looks his team had, but they couldn’t get shots to fall. Then Malden Catholic buckled down in the third quarter.
“Obviously, it helps to score [the] points we scored in transition and off turnovers,” Walsh said. “We like to run, and Xaverian did a really good job in the majority of the game of making it so we couldn’t run.”
Junior guard Tony Felder was the catalyst in the surge, pouring in 16 of his game-high 24 points in the third quarter. Forwards Christian Rios (12 points, 10 rebounds) and Kingsley Breen (14 points, 8 rebounds) also contributed to the victory. Ryan Douglas led Xaverian with 15 points and Ty Murphy had 9.
But Walsh was not satisfied with his team’s up-and-down day.
“We can’t just play well in the third [quarter], OK in the second or first, and terrible in the fourth,” he said. “We’ve got to play all four quarters.”
A 1998 graduate, Walsh is now 177-39 as a high school coach, which includes three state titles in six seasons at Danvers and a three-year stint at Central Catholic. While the adjustment period has been challenging with all of the pandemic-related difficulties of this season, Walsh is glad to be back at his alma mater.
“It’s a school I went to; I love being a part of it,” he said. “It’s a wonderful school.”
Apponequet 63, Old Rochester 52 — Junior Patrick White (18 points, 6 rebounds), senior Jake Generazzo (19 points, 9 rebounds), and senior Mike Henricksen (8 points, 10 rebounds) powered the Lakers (3-2) to the South Coast win.
Cathedral 58, Bishop Stang 54 — Sophomores Julian Webb (12 points) and Kamari James (11) led the visiting Panthers (4-3) to the Catholic Central win.
Hamilton-Wenham 67, Lynnfield 55 — Senior captains Ryan Hutchinson (19 points, 13 rebounds) and Carter Coffey (18 points, 12 rebounds) powered the Generals (3-1) to the Cape Ann League victory. Thomas DeSimone added 11 points.
North Andover 130, Central Catholic 128.5 — Junior Kasey Burke swept the vault (9.3), the bars (9.65), the beam (8.9), and the floor (9.75) in capturing the all-around (37.6) for the Scarlet Hawks in the Merrimack Valley Conference win.
Notre Dame (Hingham) 135.350, Falmouth 131.450 — Katie McCormick won the all-around (36.1) for NDA on the strength of victories on the bars (8.6), floor (9.2) and the vault with a career high (9.6). She was also second on beam (8.7). Emily Lembo took second on floor with a personal best (9.0).
St. Mary’s 3, Bishop Feehan 0 — Seamus Foley, Brady Bullock, and Harrison Kinne netted the goals and Owen Giangrande recorded the shutout for the Spartans (4-2-1) in the Catholic Central win at the New England Sports Village in Attleboro.
Abington 5, Cohasset 2 — Senior John Polito notched his 100th career point for the Green Wave (2-0-1), who rolled in the South Shore League matchup at Rockland Ice Arena.
Bishop Feehan 3, Malden Catholic 2 — Thirty seconds after MC netted the equalizer, Molly Braga put the Shamrocks (2-6) ahead for good, scoring the winner with a minute left in the nonleague game at the New England Sports Village. Kay Murphy (1st varsity goal) and Haley Krupwich also tallied.
Bishop Fenwick/Essex Tech 3, Arlington Catholic 1 — Junior goaltender Sedona Lawson saved 25 of 26 shots to position the Crusaders (4-2) for a Catholic Central win.