ASHLAND - The offense showed signs of an 11-day layoff, but thankfully there was no rust at the defensive end.
Holding Ashland to just six, first-quarter points and taking a 26-15 halftime lead, the unbeaten Norton High boys' basketball team maintained its hold on first place in the Tri-Valley League with a 51-43 road win over the Clockers Wednesday night.
"We were a little inconsistent offensively, especially at the foul line, but we did enough," said Norton coach Marc Liberatore. "We had a good cushion and our overall team defense was good, especially on the road."
Dan Rafuse sparked Norton with his game-high 18 points. James Loring helped out with 13 points and 11 rebounds while Zach Ruby had four points and nine boards.
Now 5-0 in the TVL, 6-0 overall, Norton hosts Millis on Friday.
Durfee 67, North Attleboro 55
FALL RIVER - The Red Rocketeers grabbed their first win of the season, swiftly recovering after allowing 20 first-quarter points in the non-league outing. With Durfee's Rey Perez getting into foul trouble and sitting out much of the second quarter, senior captain Greg Gildea scored seven of his team-best 14 points in the frame, helping North claim the lead with its own 20-point quarter.
"(Perez's foul trouble) gave us an opportunity to get the ball inside a little bit," said North coach Chris Perron. "We turned up the pressure a little bit, got a couple steals."
Ryan Perron and Jack Blase snagged three steals apiece, handling a difficult Durfee backcourt along with Jake Lang. "They were a nice defensive spark," said Perron. "They did a nice job closing down on the passing lanes. The guards really stepped up tonight. It was good leadership out there, which is something we've been lacking a little bit of."
After gaining the halftime lead, Durfee never brought the score close as the Rocketeers escaped victorious.
North Attleboro (1-4) plays a non-division Hockomock League game at Sharon on Friday.
Seekonk 69, Apponequet 59
LAKEVILLE - The Warriors drained 21 free throws and secured their first victory of the season, rallying from a 15-point first quarter deficit to topple the Lakers in the South Coast Conference game.
Dan Silva scored 24 points, hitting 10 of 11 charity chances, while Josh Silva totaled 20 points, netting a trio of 3-point field goals as Seekonk broke a six-game losing skid.
The Lakers broke out to a 15-0 lead in the first quarter, Seekonk committing eight turnovers. "I called two time outs," related Seekonk coach Joe Reddington. "We needed to start playing, we were taking quick shots."
Josh Silva hit a pair of 3-point field goals as Seekonk scored 28 second-quarter points to assume a 35-34 lead by intermission. The Lakers were never able to gain any more than a three-point lead during the third quarter.
And in that final session, Ryan Vincente scored all 10 of his points for the Warriors, all in the paint, while Seekonk hit on eight free throws to keep the advantage. "We settled down," added Reddington. "Hitting those free throws was big, that kept us in the game."
Seekonk is off until a Jan. 8 game at arch-rival Dighton-Rehoboth.
Gr. New Bedford Voke 52,
NEW BEDFORD - Ryan Walsh was held scoreless through the second half by the Bears' man-to-man defensive pressure as Dighton-Rehoboth suffered a loss in the South Coast Conference game.
"They defended us well," said D-R coach Bill Cuthbertson as the Falcons (2-4, 1-4 in the SCC) were limited to 13 second-half points, just four in the momentum-swinging third quarter.
"It was too many turnovers, too many missed shots," added Cuthbertson as the Falcons were unable to provide enough support offensively through the second half.
D-R did a strong job defensively in the back-and-forth first half, trailing by just a point at intermission. The Falcons return to the home floor Friday against Apponequet.
Old Colony 62, Tri-County 52
FRANKLIN - Committing 14 of their 16 turnovers in a troublesome first half, Tri-County committed too many early mistakes to bounce back from in the non-league contest. Old Colony grabbed a 27-17 lead through two quarters and piled on more in the third, as John Pina worked the paint for 10 of his game-high 22 points.
"We knew they were going to come out and press us," said Tri-County coach Dave Wallace, whose Cougars had played Old Colony just prior to the holiday break. "We were just flat. We looked like we had been punched in the mouth."
The Cougars worked to improve their ball movement, trying to listen to heed Wallace's halftime advice to "breathe and relax." The second half saw Andrew Robinson score nine of his 13 points and Bryan Martinelli bucketed eight of his 11.
"We were able to settle things down a little bit," said Wallace. "We finally woke up, offensively and defensively. We were able to do thing we wanted to do."
Robinson finished with eight rebounds and four assists, while Cody Maynard was a defensive facilitator with three steals, two blocks and one charge taken.
Tri-County (1-5, 0-2 league) plays again today at Sacred Heart in a Mayflower League tilt.