After a brief hiatus, the Cambridge boys’ basketball team is back atop the Dual County League.
The Falcons dominated from the opening tip Friday against Newton South with first place on the line, leading from start-to-finish in a convincing 80-68 win over the host Lions.
Seniors Khai Smith and Leon Williams led the way with 25 points each as ninth-ranked Cambridge (15-3, 7-1) captured its sixth DCL Large title in seven seasons, a year after relinquishing the league crown to Acton-Boxboro.
“It means a lot because we really wanted to win it last year and it hurt me,” Smith said. “So today I came in with a mentality that we have to win.”
The 6-foot-5 Smith and 6-foot-3 Williams made their presence felt early, leading the Falcons on a 12-0 run to start the game and an 18-5 lead after one quarter.
Newton South (14-6, 6-2) scrapped its way back in the second frame behind the sharp shooting of Max Aicardi, who canned three 3-pointers and finished with 16 first-half points.
The Lions cut the deficit to 27-23 midway through the second, but that was the closest they got. Smith (8-of-12 from the floor) controlled the paint and finished easy layups around the hoop all game long, while Williams knocked down three triples and attacked the cup for finishes.
Each time Newton South made a run, Cambridge responded.
“We were able to get on the boards and run and get easy layups,” Cambridge coach Lance Dottin said. “Khai Smith is sort of a difference maker. He’s a big body and he’s able to take up a lot of space and get other people position.”
Smith (12 rebounds), Williams (10 rebounds), and fellow senior Solomon Hearn (15 points, 10 rebounds) paced the Cambridge offensive attack, which made 8 of 16 3-point attempts.
The Falcons led by double-digits for most of the second half until Newton South cut the deficit to nine with a minute left. Aicardi led the Lions with a game-high 29 points.
With the win, not only did Cambridge avenge a 50-44 loss to the Lions in early January, but the Falcons helped their seeding in the upcoming Division 1 North tournament.
Up next is a date with top-ranked Lynn English on Sunday before wrapping up the regular season against Worcester North on Tuesday.
“At this stage of the season, when you’re into February, you want to make sure you’re ready and doing the thing you need to do to be successful,” Dottin said.
Acton-Boxborough 56, Lincoln-Sudbury 47 — Lukas Deschepper (13 points) and Nick Biscotti (12) led the host Colonials (7-13).
Apponequet 67, Case 55 — Sophomore Patrick White had 21 points and 16 rebounds for the Lakers (8-10).
Bellingham 73, Hopkinton 60 — The Blackhawks (15-5) closed out their regular season with the Tri-Valley League win thanks in large part to 25 points from senior Michael Gamble. The Hillers made a comeback bid in the second half behind Elan Rosen’s 23 points, but by then the Bellingham lead was insurmountable.
Belmont Hill 62, Thayer 61 (ot) — Junior Max Hall made the overtime-inducing free throws for Belmont Hill (6-14) as part of his 14 points. But it was junior Josh Baldwin, in a 29-point showing, who knocked down the winning free throw with less than 20 seconds left to seal the win.
Bishop Stang 79, Abington 70 — Declan Markey delivered a powerful 30-point, nine-rebound performance, and Aaron James had 15 points and nine boards for the Spartans, presenting sixth-year coach Colbey Santos with his 100th win.
Cohasset 65, Mashpee 60 — Junior Liam Connie poured in 29 points and junior Jimmy Grech 18 for the Skippers (13-5) in the South Shore League win.
Dover-Sherborn 63, Medfield 54 — Senior Andrew Guillette had 11 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Raiders (8-12).
Foxborough 68, North Attleborough 57 — Senior Brandon Borde (21 points) scored his 1,000th point as the Warriors (11-8, 9-7) took down the Red Rocketeers (5-14, 4-12) in a Hockomock League battle. Borde needed 17 points coming into the night to break 1,000, and he did so on a corner 3 with 5:55 remaining in the game.
Latin Academy 91, South Boston 49 — Juniors Mohamud Ali (17 points, 10 rebounds) and Mason Lawson (15 points) led the Dragons (17-3) to the quarterfinal victory in the Boston City League tournament. They'll take on New Mission in the semifinals on Wednesday.
Lexington Christian 63, Dexter Southfield 59 — Senior captain Jayson Clayton scored the go-ahead bucket for the Lions (14-5) on an acrobatic driving layup with three seconds remaining. Sophomore Jabari Nurse paced LCA with 18 points.
Mansfield 75, Taunton 69 (ot) — The No. 3 Hornets (19-2) received a scare from the Tigers (14-7), but they were able to convert an old-fashioned 3-point play late in regulation to tie the game at 66. In overtime, Mansfield pulled away thanks to a stellar team effort from the line. Matt Bowen (28 points) and Sam Stevens (23 points) played big roles in the win.
Marshfield 48, Braintree 42 — Seniors Mike Walsh and Trey O'Connor each had 17 points to lead the Rams (14-5) to the nonleague win.
Milford 68, Canton 48 — The Scarlet Hawks (11-7) clinched a share of the Hockomock League Davenport championship, their first title since 2013.
Mystic Valley 68, Lynn Tech 59 — Senior co-captain Alfie Tsang paced the Eagles (12-7) with a 27-point, 12-rebound double-double.
Natick 71, Fitchburg 49 — The No. 15 Redhawks (15-4) got big boosts from senior Alex Cohen (22 points) and freshman Ryan Mela (23 points) to capture their eighth win in a row.
Oliver Ames 74, King Philip 62 — Senior Jay Spillane paced the Tigers (10-11) with 18 points, and Amari Brown and senior Evan Craig added 16 points apiece.
Plymouth North 70, Plymouth South 62 — JayQuan Leonard scored 24 points to help the Eagles (10-8) qualify for the D1 South tournament. Senior Christian Peruzzi chipped in 19 points.
Shawsheen 65, Greater Lawrence 54 — Junior James Genetti had 19 points and 13 rebounds, and junior Jake Tyler added 15 points for the Rams (13-6).
St. George’s 66, Pomfret 60 — Tyler Kolek led the Dragons with 23 points and Dom Mello chipped in 16. Taylor Bowen locked down the paint with six blocks.
Wayland 73, Weston 51 — Senior Jack Melvin scored 41 points for the visiting Warriors (9-7) in their Dual County League victory.
Westford 63, Lowell Catholic 46 — Seniors Jake Barisano (12 points) and Aryah Purandare (11 points) led the Grey Ghosts (14-6) on Senior Night.
Westport 77, Bishop Connolly 75 — Max Powers had 19 points to lead the Wildcats (14-4).
Whitman-Hanson 66, Silver Lake 44 — Senior captains Stevie Kelley (15 points) and Ben Rice (13 points) helped the Panthers (18-2) grab the win on Senior Night and capture their fourth Patriot League title in five years.
Abington 39, Notre Dame (Hingham) 38 — Senior Lauren Keleher sank two clutch free throws with 10 seconds left to put the Green Wave (10-9) up by three before their defense closed it out. Senior Corin Mahan lead Abington with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Amesbury 61, Manchester Essex 38 — The No. 17 Indians (17-1) were led by sisters Avery (19 points) and McKenna Hallinan (13 points).
Cohasset 54, Mashpee 20 — Senior Molly Greer had 23 points to lead the Skippers (6-9).
Falmouth 62, Dennis-Yarmouth 13 — Falmouth (16-3) clinched the Cape & Islands Atlantic title and, on her Senior Night, Kayla Thomas scored 27 points and broke the Falmouth girls’ basketball scoring record with 1,104 points.
Fenway 73, Tech Boston 34 — Sophomore Jayana Armbrister recorded a double-double with 28 points and 14 rebounds for the Panthers (11-5).
Fontbonne 38, Cardinal Spellman 20 — Seniors Bridget Feldman (14 points) and Clarissa Garzon (10 points, 13 rebounds) paced the Ducks (12-6).
Foxborough 73, North Attleborough 55 — The No. 13 Warriors (16-2) were led by Lizzy Davis (24 points) and Katelyn Mollica (23 points).
Lowell Catholic 50, Medford 30 — Antonia Mukiibi put up a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Crusaders (8-9), while Chloe-Elizabeth Arthur contributed eight points and five blocks.
Mansfield 45, Taunton 36 — The Hornets (8-13) were led by senior captain Becca Hottleman, who scored all of her career-high 16 points in the second half.
Matignon 71, Mt. Alvernia 42 — Seniors Emma Found (15 points) and Olivia Domingos (11 points) were among four players in double digits for the Warriors as they finished the regular season at 17-1. Seniors Megan Lynch and Dolores Carey-Marujo both added 10.
Newton South 46, Cambridge 44 — Junior Amaris Mills knocked down the go-ahead 3-pointer with less than 30 seconds remaining to put the Lions (13-5) on top.
Nobles 64, BB&N 52 — Junior Caroline Ducharme of Milton put up 34 points, 16 rebounds, and 4 blocks in the Independent School League win for the visiting Bulldogs (19-3).
Pentucket 44, Masconomet 42 — Junior forward Mackenzie Currie (15 points) led the way for the No. 8 Sachems (20-1), who earned their 16th straight win.
Sandwich 40, Nantucket 35 — In the loss, senior Malika Phillips (16 points) scored her 1,000th career point for the Whalers (9-9), breaking the mark in the second quarter.
Stoughton 37, Sharon 22 — Shyanne Trinh paced the Black Knights (9-11) with 13 points.
Bishop Feehan 3, North Attleborough 0 — Sophomore goalie Ryan D'Amato (28 saves) recorded his second consecutive shutout for the Shamrocks (10-8-1).
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