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Malden boys’ basketball knocks off Everett in 59-46 win

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Defense is the key for Tornadoes as they improve to 2-1 

  Everything on this night seemed different, right from the start.

The lights seemed a little brighter. The crowd was a bit larger (and louder).

   On this night, the home team looked very much like it was on a mission.

    If this was so, then by the end of the latest chapter of the Malden-Everett Basketball Chronicles, it was the Tornados’ turn to trumpet: “Mission Accomplished!”

    The final was Malden 59, Everett 46 and that just happened to be the largest margin for either team on the evening.

    Malden used a game-long, rock-solid, man-to-man defense to keep a potent Everett scoring attack bottled up and then capitalized on its own offensive opportunities when they arose.

      Overall, it was a total team effort, according to Malden head coach Don Nally. “We used a short bench in this one and I have to say that everyone who was on the court for us contributed in a positive way and everyone played well.”

     Topping the list was Malden’s starting five. Coach Nally’s Tornados picked the right night to get its best games of the season out of senior 6-6 center Jonald Joseph, junior 3-man Ezechial Noelsaint and freshman point guard Ethan Phejarasai.

     Junior 2-guard Justin Bell, tied for the game’s leading scorer with 15 points, with most of his scoring at the free throw line. He was highly effective, scoring just two field goals, both of them, but sinking a deadly 9-of-10 from the free throw line, including a mega-clutch 6-for-6 in fourth quarter crunch time.

    Senior 6-6 center Jonald Joseph was a force on both ends, especially defensively (4 steals, 7 blocked shots) and also seemingly cemented the win with a thunderous, fourth-quarter dunk that put Malden up 11 points, 49-38, with 3:21 to go in the game. He ended up with six points on the night.

      Junior 6-4 forward Zeke Noelsaint had his best game in a Malden uniform, according to Coach Nally. “For most of the night, Zeke (Noelsaint) was the best player on the court, that’s how active and much of time, dominant he was.”

    Noelsaint also scored 15 points for Malden and pulled down 11 rebounds. He also had four blocked shots. Nally also said that he went out of the box and instead of putting a guard as a defender against Everett’s best player and scorer, junior Steven Cordero, he had the 6-4 Noelsaint switch off with 6-6 Joseph to cover the 5-11 Cordero.

    Cordero, who scored 22 and 25 in Everett’s first two games, was held to 12 points Tuesday night.

    If you ran into freshman point guard Ethan Phejarasai the morning after the game and he seemed a bit worn out, there was good reason. For one of the few times —maybe the only time— in Nally’s 18 years at the Malden basketball team, Phejarasai played all 32 minutes.

     He never came out.

     “I couldn’t take him out. He (Phejarasai) was keeping up balanced offensively, passing the ball extremely well and also doing an excellent job defensively on everybody he covered,” Coach Nally said. Phejarasai scored 9 points, including a nothing-but-net dagger “three” in mid-fourth quarter when Malden was furiously trying to put the game away.

  Nally also pointed to the efforts of three Malden seniors, who also put in valuable minutes to the Tornado win: starting guard Peyton Carron, 6-3 forward Andrew Louis and 6-1 guard Ransley Saint-Jean, who scored six points.

    Louis, who came out for the team for the first this year, had several big rebounds and was another big body under the basket for Malden. Carron helped break the Everett full court press on a number of occasions and also hit one of two, big fourth-quarter three-pointers Tuesday.

    Everett’s scoring was well-balanced with Cordero leading the way with 12 points, but only two points in the second half— and no field goals—two free throws. Ruiz and senior Anderson Joseph both scored 10 points, with all Joseph’s points coming in the fourth quarter. Desouza had six points for Everett.

    Malden came out of the gate determined, leading 10-4 after the first quarter. The defense was already in control and the lesd went to 26-14 for Malden at halftime. After three quarters played Malden led, 42-32.


Malden was back in action last night, after press deadline, on the road for a 7:00 p.m. road game at Woburn High. Next week, Malden plays Burlington in the first round of the Tewksbury Christmas Tournament at 5:00 p.m., Tewksbury High School on Tuesday, December 27.

    Host Tewksbury plays Masconomet Regional at 7:00 p.m. The consolation and championship games are on Wednesday, December 28 at Tewksbury High.

    Everett is off until Wednesday, December 28 when they travel to take J.E. Burke High School of Dorchester at 12 noon.


   GOING TO OVERTIME— In case anyone’s wondering, the Malden-Everett rematch at Everett High is scheduled for Tuesday, January 24 at 7:00 p.m. …. In an odd statistic, only four players total scored for Everett, only six for Malden…. Both teams, Malden and Everett. had their respective football quarterbacks on their rosters, senior Karmarri Ellerbe for Everett and sophomore Aidan Brett for Malden.

splitting the differencejpg
SPLITTING THE DIFFERENCE— Malden High’s Justin Bell (14) puts up a shot between Everett’s Ruiz (32) and Nunes (21) in Tuesday’s game.
SENIOR CARRON HANDLES— Malden High senior Peyton Carron (11) dribbles against Everett defense Tuesday.
MALDEN GUARD LOOKS FOR AN OPENING— Malden High senior Justin Bell (14) looks for an opening against the Everett defense.
MALDEN HEAD COACH- Tornado head coach Don Nally surveys the scene Tuesday.
FRESHMAN DRIVES — Malden High freshman point guard Ethan Phejarasai (10) drives down court against Everett’s Steven Cordero (23).
FALLAWAY JUMPER— Malden High junior forward Zeke Noelsaint scored 15 points including two points here with s fallaway jumper against Everett’s Ruiz (32) and Desouza (2). (Advocate Photos/Henry Huang)
MALDEN’S JOSEPH DUNKS—Malden High’s 6-6 senior center Jonald Joseph (21) throws down a thunderous, fourth-quarter dunk to send his teammates Ransley Saint-Jean (23) and Ethan Phejarasai (10) celebrating against Everett Tuesday night.

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