It seems St. John’s of Shrewsbury has had a different hero every night in making its 32d trip to the Central Mass. Division 1 final in basketball.
Coach Bob Foley is quick to point out that junior point guard Davon Jones makes the team go, but Alex Fisher had 17 points to lead St. John’s to a quarterfinal win, and Charlie Murray knocked down a pair of big free throws to top St. Peter-Marian in the semifinals. However Friday night was Adham Floyd’s time to shine.
The sophomore forward continued his comeback from a knee injury, scoring a game-high 19 points, Jones had a big steal, and Stefan Masciarelli knocked down four big free throws to help No. 2 St. John’s (21-4) top No. 5 Franklin, 55-48, at WPI to give the Pioneers their 20th Central Mass. title.
St. John’s will face Putnam (23-0) at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in a Division 1 state semifinal at the MassMutual Center in Springfield. The Pioneers had their run of five straight Central Mass. titles snapped by Milford last season, and Jones said getting back on top has driven his team all season.
“This meant a lot to us because last year we fell short to Milford, so we worked hard to get back here,” Jones said. “We worked as hard in every practice as we do in games and I think it showed tonight.”
With the game tied, 48-48, with 31.9 seconds left, Foley called a timeout to settle things down. The Pioneers surged ahead thanks to Murray firing a perfect pass from the top of the circle that threaded three Franklin defenders and wound up in the hands of T.J. Kelley underneath. Kelley head-faked his defender off the floor and dumped in a bucket to put St. John’s up, 50-48, with 18 seconds left.
Franklin (18-7) tried to get the ball to star guard Chris Rodgers at midcourt, but Jones made a break on the ball and got the steal.
“I saw [Rodgers] and he made the same cut and I read it a little faster than he did and I got there before him,” Jones said. “I knew they wanted the ball in his hands at the end. We were in a 2-3 [zone] and I took a chance on it and I got lucky.”
He had tried the same play with 41 seconds left, but was whistled for the foul. This time there was no foul called, much to the chagrin of the Franklin coaching staff.
Floyd made one of two free throw attempts, then Masciarelli finished Franklin off with four free throws.
Division 3 South
Hanover 7, Abington 3 — Mitch Beard scored a hat trick for the Indians en route to the final. Colin Mahoney, Landon Hasenfuss, Trevor Doucette and Drew Caldwell tallied goals in the win. Chris Fay scored twice for the Green Wave.
Bishop Stang 6, Diman 3 — Brothers Luc (three goals) and Max Sauve (two) led the Spartans into the final. Sophomore Ethan Demoranville added another goal for Bishop Stang while Jay Silva, Mike Lavoie, and Cam Levesque scored for the Bengals.