LAWRENCE — It is definitely not a case of addition by subtraction.
But, last night in the Division 1 North quarterfinals, Central Catholic didn’t lose a thing without All-MVC stars Doug Gemmell (concussion) and Nick Cambio (hamstring), both of whom are expected to be out the rest of the season.
With Tyler Nelson and Joel Berroa leading the way with 23 points apiece, the Raiders (19-5) crushed Cambridge Rindge & Latin in the Division 1 North quarterfinals, 73-53. And it wasn’t as close as the 20-point differential would suggest.
The win sets up a rematch with archrival Andover, which upset St. John’s Prep last night, in the Division 1 North semifinals.
Central Catholic scored the first seven points of the game, led 19-7 after the first quarter, 35-17 at halftime and never let the Falcons (13-9) get closer than 11 in the second half.
Although Nelson and Berroa were the offensive catalysts throughout the game, 6-foot-6 junior Aaron Hall provided a spark. Starting just his second game of the season, he opened the game with a drive to the basket, scored another early hoop and was active around the basket throughout the game while chipping in with eight points.
“We still have three starters and they have to step up and play bigger roles, and our guys who were on the bench need to step up,” said Central coach Rick Nault. “I thought Aaron Hall played a great game for us. I thought he played great at both ends of the floor.”
But it was Nelson and Berroa who proved unstoppable. Nelson had 15 points in the first half on 5-of-8 shooting, with nine points coming from three 3-pointers while Berroa took over in the second half with 14 points on 6-of-7 shooting. Two baskets came on nifty pick-and-roll plays with Nelson.
The Raiders also scored 10 points on fast breaks following steals.