Despite falling short in their last two Northeastern Conference games, the Saugus High School boys’ basketball team is looking like it will be a formidable foe in this year’s playoff tournament. The Sachems staged a spirited comeback before losing in overtime by an 83-82 margin at Danvers last Thursday and battled a tough Peabody team on Tuesday night at home before succumbing, 65-53.
The defeats left the Sachems at 12-7 overall with one regular-season game remaining. Saugus plays at Triton Friday night and then prepares for this year’s playoff tournament.
Tuesday’s Senior Night loss to the Tanners saw Saugus fall behind by nine in the first half before clawing back to within one on two consecutive three-pointers by Chris Flynn. Peabody ended up taking a 30-24 advantage into the break. The Sachems stayed within striking distance in the second half but couldn’t overtake the visitors, who improved their record to 14-5 overall. For Saugus, Flynn connected for 16 points while Ben Tapia-Gately and Josh Osawe each added 15.
“It was a back-and-forth game, and every time we were about to get over the hill Peabody sparked a run of their own,” explained Saugus Head Coach Joe Bertrand. “I’m proud of our team and our seniors. We have been a team that has relentless effort on offense and defense. We have great senior leadership, specifically [from] our captains Max Anajjar and Ben Tapia-Gately.”
The team’s five seniors players – Anajjar, Tapia-Gately, Flynn, Osawe and Isaiah Garcia – were recognized before Tuesday’s game.
In last Thursday’s loss at Danvers, the Sachems were behind by a 70-55 margin after three periods. But they fought back and tied the contest on a Cam Soroko basket with 14 seconds to go in regulation. Saugus climbed to a four-point lead early in the extra period before Danvers regained the lead and eventually held on for the victory. The Sachems nearly pulled off the win when a three-point try in the waning seconds of the OT rimmed out. Three players finished with double figures for the Sachems: Tapia Gately’s 18 points, Osawe’s 15 and Garcia’s 13.