The Saugus High School boys’ basketball team appeared to have righted its ship after putting together a three-game winning streak to improve to 6-2 on the season. However, four consecutive defeats during a busy stretch of games had the Sachems sitting dead even at 6-6 entering last Friday night’s game at Masconomet. The skid began with back-to-back home losses to Masco and Peabody last Thursday and Friday night – both close games. Against Masco, Jeury Barbosa and Ben Tapia-Gately notched 13 points each and Tyrone Manderson added 11 in a 53-50 final.
The loss to Peabody was another tight, hard-fought affair. Saugus nailed a three-point shot as the final buzzer sounded to force overtime. But, from there, it was all Peabody, as the Tanners dominated the extra session to grab a 65-50 victory – the final score not being indicative of how close the game was. Once again, Barbosa led the way offensively with 16 points. Manderson netted 12, and Ryan Mabee put forth a double-digit effort with 11. The Sachems had a difficult time stopping Peabody’s Luke Roan, who exploded with 25 points and hauled down 16 boards.
The Sachems hoped to stem the tide when they traveled to Manchester-Essex High School to take on the Hornets on Monday night in an eventual 80-71 defeat. It didn’t start well for Saugus, which fell behind, 20-6, in the first quarter. A subsequent 11-4 run by the Sachems made it a 24-15 contest after one period.
The second quarter was a back-and-forth affair as the Sachems pretty much traded basket for basket with the hosts but couldn’t cut into the lead and trailed 44-34 at halftime. The Sachems did decrease the lead to 60-54 after three quarters and pulled within six on several occasions but couldn’t get any closer. The Hornets seemed to have an answer every time Saugus threatened. In the end, a 16-6 surge by Manchester-Essex to begin the fourth quarter sealed the deal for the hosts.
Saugus got a strong offensive effort from Manderson, who finished in double figures and shot well from the three-point stripe. Mabee, Tapia-Gately and Max Anajjar also had solid games.
The following night, Saugus traveled to Gloucester to take on the Fishermen and fell short by a 60-48 count. This time Mabee topped the score sheet for the Sachems with 16 points. He was followed by Barbosa’s nine points and Manderson’s eight.
After this evening’s game at Masco, the Sachems return home to host undefeated Beverly on Tuesday. The Sachems suffered a 46-point loss at Beverly back in early January when they were coming off a three-week layoff due to the COVID-19 surge.