LAWRENCE — While no area school made the Hoops for Hope championship tilt, a couple of the state’s top Division 1 powers did square off in the summer finale Thursday night.
And no one should doubt how serious summer basketball is to the participants after watching MVC co-champ Lowell rally from a 10-point deficit with 5 minutes remaining to knock off defending state champion Lynn English 68-65. It was the third straight Hoops title for the Raiders.
“It means a whole lot because we lost to them twice (in the summer),” said Lowell’s Carlos Nunez, who sank a couple three pointers in the final two minutes to aid the Red Raider charge. “But we knew we could beat them. We just had to keep pushing it to get the win.”
Lynn English, which came in undefeated, had a 10-point first-half lead evaporate on an 11-0 Lowell run sparked by seven Nunez points but still took a 34-32 lead into intermission on a three by Mason Jean Baptiste with 7 seconds remaining.
The Bulldogs appeared to have control of the match with 5:25 left when a three by Kanye Waveswa made the score 59-49.
A Tyson Jones lay-up 15 seconds later sparked Lowell’s 17-3 run and the Red Raiders took the lead for good on a baseline three from freshman-to-be Javien Kirmal with 64 seconds left.
Nate Siow, who shared the Mark Maher MVP award with Nunez, scored six of his 20 in the spurt. Nunez’ threes were two of his six treys en route to a game-high 27.
“I just had to come up and shoot because I knew we were down by (nine) at the time,” Nunez said. “In the second half we weren’t making anything, so I needed to have confidence in my shot.”
Andover, Lawrence fall in semifinals
Charlie McCarthy and Richie Shahtanian each scored 12 for Andover, which lost 70-52 to Lynn English in the semifinals last night.
Jack Rodriguez, who scored 18 in the title game, had 19 for English. Andover also had nine points from Kyle Rocker while Ryan Casey and Aidan Cammann added 8 and 7, respectively.
In the other semifinal, Lowell dumped Lawrence, 75-64. Richie Etienne led the Red Raiders with a game-high 22 points while Gabe Zorrilla paced Lawrence with 20. Christian Moscat (17) and Brandon Goris (10) were also in double figures for the Lancers.
Lowell 68, Lynn English 65
Hoops for Hope championship
Lynn English (65): Jarnel Snow-Guzman 10, Jack Rodriguez 18, Kanye Wavezwa 8, Ademide Badmus 16, Mason Jean Baptiste 13.
Lowell (68): Carlos Nunez 27, Nate Siow 20, Richie Etienne 12, Jeter Santiago 2, Tyson Jones 4, Javien Kirmal 3.
3-point goals: LE – Snow-Guzman 3, Rodriguez 2, Wavezwa 2, Jean Baptiste 2; Lowell – Nunez 6, Siow 2, Etienne 2, Kirmal
Lynn English 34 31 – 65
Lowell 32 36 – 68