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    DIVISION 1 SOUTH | BROCKTON 69, NEEDHAM 60

    Brockton rules the boards, and Needham

    TAUNTON — Every time defending Division 1 South champion Needham looked poised for a comeback win, the Brockton boys’ basketball team had a response.

    The second-seeded Boxers repeatedly rebuked second-half outbursts from No. 3 seed Needham Tuesday night and held on for a 69-60 semifinal victory at Taunton High.

    Brockton (20-3) will meet Mansfield (23-2) in the sectional final Friday night (7:45) in Taunton.

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    Leading the way for the Boxers were forwards Segun Okunlola (12 points, 11 rebounds) and Taisuan Glenn-Doherty (6 points, 9 rebounds). Brockton outrebounded Needham, 47-21, and Glenn-Doherty put the finishing touches on the win with a huge three-point play for a 61-54 Brockton lead with 1:40 remaining

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    “A lot of guys made big plays. We were quick to the boards tonight and very aggressive,” said Brockton coach Robert Boen.

    Senior guard Thomas Shaughnessy netted a game-high 23 points for Needham (19-4) and senior forward Brandon Monheimer provided 15 vital points in the first half.

    But Brockton’s combination of Jose Monteiro Jr. and Marcus Azor (team-high 16 points, 4 assists) contained Shaughnessy enough for the Boxers to prevail.

    “I told my guys at the start, you’re not going to be able to hear me much, so Marcus [Azor] and Junior [Monteiro], you’re going to have to lead out there,” said Boen. “I thought they did a real nice job on [Shaughnessy]. He really had to work hard for his points.”

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    In all, nine different Boxers scored with reserves Marquis Dos Santos (10 points) and Marcenal Louis-Charles (5 points) providing huge production off the bench.

    “People were saying that Needham is going to take [the D1 South title] again and we weren’t going to let that happen,” said Azor.

    “We’re playing our best basketball right now and we believe this is the year that we can win a state championship.”

    Nate Weitzer can be reached at nweitzer7@gmail.com.