Despite dropping three of its final four regular-season games, the Saugus High School Boys’ Basketball Team still has hopes of being awarded a spot in the postseason tournament. The Sachems sit on the tourney bubble with an 8-12 record to end the regular season. Losing 10 of their last 12 contests after starting off 6-2 may not look good for the Sachems in the eyes of the decision-makers either. But, as of press time, Saugus was in a position to possibly grab a play-in berth when seeds are determined.
In the meantime, the Sachems came off a tough 34-point loss at Peabody last Thursday and nearly knocked off Masconomet last Friday on the road. But a last second three-pointer lifted Masco to a 55-53 win. As he has done a lot of lately, Tyrone Manderson led the charge offensively for Saugus with 19 points. Ben Tapia-Gately and Mark MacEachern each netted 12 points in the defeat.
The Sachems then scored an impressive victory and gained a measure of revenge on Monday at home against Manchester-Essex. The visiting Hornets came out on top in a high-scoring 80-71 affair at Manchester-Essex back on Jan. 31. Monday’s contest wasn’t quite as wide open, but Manderson produced another strong offensive effort against the Hornets in a 65-62 Saugus victory. Manderson’s 25 points to go along with 13 from Ryan Mabee, 12 from Ryan Anderson, who drained four three-pointers, and 10 from Tapia-Gately accounted for the bulk of the Sachems’ scoring.
The momentum of the Manchester win was relatively short-lived as the Sachems paid a visit to Swampscott on Wednesday afternoon to close out the regular season. The Big Blue, winners of 13 in a row entering the game, showed why they have been on such a roll. An array of fast break baskets, offensive put-backs and long-range shots powered the hosts on their way to a convincing 66-49 triumph. Other than Manderson, who seemed to be the only Saugus player able to hit a shot in the first half, the Sachems struggled big time with their shooting. As a result, Swampscott took advantage and plowed ahead to a 21-9 lead after one quarter. An identical score in the second quarter gave the Big Blue a commanding 42-18 advantage at halftime. The Sachems did play better as the second half wore on but were never able to pose a serious challenge.
Swampscott finished 16-4 on the season and has won 14 consecutive games after opening the season 2-4.