Stepping onto the court at host Jeremiah Burke High for the first round of the Boston City League Tournament Wednesday night, the Charlestown boys’ basketball team used its speed to penetrate the paint and put the Bulldogs in foul trouble throughout. The aggressive play and relentless rebounding earned the Townies a well-deserved 86-79 victory.
Charlestown (7-1) will play at top-seeded Latin Academy (8-0) in a semifinal Friday at 5:45 p.m.
“I think tonight, our bench allowed us to actually sort of wear them down a little bit,” said Charlestown coach Hugh Coleman. “And then they got into foul trouble, so that helped us.”
Charlestown junior guard Josh DeJesus and teammate Jahmar Henry absolutely attacked the paint late in the game, booking multiple trips to the charity stripe where they made most of their free throws to finish off the Bulldogs (5-3).
And when they didn’t get the desired whistle, the Townies dominated the offensive glass. Charlestown pulled away, the final margin trimmed on a buzzer-beating dunk from 6-foot-3-inch Burke forward Ethan Daleba, the capper to a stellar 36-point performance.
Multiple turnovers early on forced the Townies into a quick 11-3 deficit. But DeJesus (17 points) and Henry kept their composure and pulled up from deep, draining their shots to slingshot Charlestown back into the game. Henry specifically played a brilliant first half, scoring 16 of his 23 points in the first 16 minutes of play. The Townies ended the first half on a 10-0 run to lead by six.
Charlestown extended that lead to 12 in the third, before the Bulldogs began to claw their way back behind Daleba and freshman Ramsay Checo (21 points). With their play inside and out, the duo sparked Burke on a run that tied the game at 59 at the start of the fourth quarter.
“We know that those guys have been getting numbers and scoring,” Coleman said. “We knew you’re not going to take a good player away, all the way, but you can try your best to slow him down.”
Monomoy 62, Rising Tide Charter 20 — Senior Aidan Melton poured in 26 points and hauled in 11 rebounds, Dan Gould added 15 points, and eighth-grader Finn Hyora dished out seven assists as the Sharks (12-2) advanced to the Cape & Islands Lighthouse Tournament final.
TechBoston 64, Brighton 60 — The three-time defending City League champion Bears (5-2) had four players score in double figures to post the first-round win match at host Brighton.
Jamal Beauge’s 19 points led the way for the Bears, followed by Elijah Clunie and Dakhari Brown with 14 apiece, and Youssouf Mboukoh with 13.
“The first few games we didn’t know if we were going to have a playoffs,” TechBoston coach Johnny Williams. “Now playing for a City League championship and being three-time defending city champs gave us something to play for. New life.”
The Bears are a young team with a roster that features just two seniors. The youth combined with shorter rotations due to COVID protocols have forced newcomers to step up and play major roles in the postseason. Playing such a short season has resulted in plenty of ups and downs for TechBoston, but Williams believes his team is hitting its stride at the right time.
“We’re finally starting to get our feet under us,” he said. “At this point we would normally be only halfway through the season. We’re finally getting sets, kids are starting to get concepts. It’s good to see them playing.”
Falmouth 44, Barnstable 29 — Senior Ariana Silvia had 15 points, 5 assists, and 4 steals, and Lily Craft added 13 points and 5 assists for the Clippers (12-1) in the Cape & Islands Atlantic semifinal win. Falmouth will play Nauset (10-1) in Friday’s final.
Latin Academy 62, Madison Park 21 — Senior Jordan Bellot netted 24 points and junior Ruth Norton added 18 points for the Dragons (8-2) in the first round of the Boston City League Tournament. Latin Academy will play at O’Bryant in Friday’s semifinals.
New Mission 44, Tech Boston 30 — Freshman Amy Mariano scored 21 points, sophomore Jordan Ferreira netted 12, and sophomore Toni Golston added 10 as the Titans (5-2) won the Boston City League Tournament first-round matchup. New Mission prevailed despite the absence of senior starters Key Debarros and Jada Flores and having just seven players available.
New Mission coach Brandon Wilbur credited Mariano for being ready when her number was called.
“She stepped up. She didn’t have a lot of time (to prepare),” Wilbur said. “It’s been tough to give her the minutes she needed to develop. It’s a credit to her being ready.”
New Mission will face undefeated Fenway in the next round Friday, and Wilbur knows his team is in for a major challenge.
“It’s a big game. Fenway is the top dog, and there’s a reason why,” Wilbur said. “They beat us last year in the final. To be the best you have to beat the best. That’s a good basketball team. We look forward to the challenge.”
St. John Paul II 70, Falmouth Academy 29 — Junior Skylar Gonsalves scored 18 points as the host Lions (11-1-0) moved on to the final of the Cape & Islands Lighthouse Tournament.
Peter Santo contributed to this report. To report scores, call 617-929-2860/3235 or email email@example.com.