Chances are, the Shawsheen Tech boys basketball team was likely going to make the state tournament anyway, but this sure is a lot more fun.
With a 9-8 record and three games remaining on the schedule, the Rams needed at least one victory down the stretch for victory No. 10 and an automatic spot in the playoffs.
Even with nine wins, Shawsheen likely would have qualified for the tournament based on the MIAA’s power rankings, but 10 wins makes it official.
Last Tuesday, Shawsheen did just that, cruising past Northeast Regional, 62-41.
Nine different players scored for the Rams and the game was never in doubt as Shawsheen led 16-8 after the first quarter and 35-12 at halftime.
Sophomore Matt Breen of Wilmington scored 16 points to lead the Rams, 13 of those points came in the first half.
Sophomore Franck Moron of Billerica added 14 points for the Rams and senior Aiden MacLeod of Wilmington chipped in with eight points.
Other contributors for Shawsheen were senior Mavrick Bourdeau of Billerica with seven points and senior Gianni Zompa of Billerica with five,
“This was a good step forward tonight,” Ram coach Joe Gore said. “We finally played team-first basketball.”
Last Friday, against a Greater Lowell team that defeated Shawsheen on Feb. 8, the Rams bounced back to top the Gryphons, 57-52.
The victory was a thriller as the Rams trailed throughout the first half and for most of the third quarter before storming ahead for the win.
Down 27-18 at halftime, Shawsheen outscored Greater Lowell 20-8 in the third quarter to take a three-point lead (38-35) into the final eight minutes.
In the fourth quarter, the Rams (11-8) added 19 more points to chalk up a satisfying victory on the road.
Breen had another solid performance with 17 points, 10 of which came in the critical third quarter.
Bourdeau contributed 14 points, 10 in the fourth quarter, and Moron tossed in 13. MacLeod chipped in with 10 points and junior Ryan Copson of Wilmington came through with two big foul shots in the final quarter.
The Rams (11-8) end the regular season on Tuesday with a game at Essex Tech starting at 3 p.m.