ROXBURY — The Central Catholic boys basketball team seems to bring out the best from its opposition.
Yesterday, it was New Mission which used a suffocating defense in the first half on its way to a 58-50 victory over the Raiders in the final game of the day in the BABC Winter Classic at the Reggie Lewis Center.
New Mission swarmed all over Central in the first half, during which it took a 31-23 lead, and held high scoring Tyler Nelson to just two points. What’s more big men Aaron Hall and Nick Cambio got into foul trouble, spending considerable time on the bench.
“They did a good job of bottling us up and we had a hard time getting Tyler good shots,” said Central coach Rick Nault. “Getting in foul trouble didn’t help.”
Nelson got more open looks in the second half and hit four 3-pointers on his way to 15 points to back up Cambia, who led the Raiders with 21 points.
But Cambia and Hall, the latter of whom went scoreless, fouled out in the last five minutes and the Raiders could never put together a sustained run as Central — which had won four straight — fell to 7-4.
New Mission improved to 7-1, its only loss coming to powerful Putnam Voke out of Springfield.
When asked if there were any silver linings to the loss, Nault said: “I can’t think of any.”
Another Merrimack Valley Conference team, Andover, will look for more success when it heads to Boston Saturday to face Brookline at 4 p.m. in the Good Sports TD Garden Invitational.