Wareham basketball falls to a familiar foe in semifinals
Despite aggressive defense, and an uptempo-style of play, The Wareham High School basketball team fell to a familiar foe in the Division 3 South Semifinals on Tuesday, March. 3.
The Wareham Vikings met the Burke High School Bulldogs on a neutral court at Taunton High School in attempt to avenge a tough loss, as Burke beat them in the same stage of the playoffs last year.
After beating Dedham High School in the Quarter Finals on Saturday night, Wareham’s coach Steve Faniel said that his team was looking forward to redemption.
The two teams appeared evenly matched in the opening minutes of the game. The Bulldogs had early success with their shots, but Wareham pulled away with a 13-7 lead with 3:21 left in the first quarter.
The lead didn’t last long, however, as Burke scored nine unanswered points to close out the quarter with a 16-13 lead.
Throughout the rest of the game, the Vikings played hard on both sides of the ball, but just couldn’t find an answer to the athleticism, and strategy of their opponents.
Wareham’s defenders were aggressive on rebounds, and kept pressure on Burke’s ball handlers, but the Bulldog offense, consistently found their way to the hoop.
Wareham’s offense had its moments, with the passing skills of Joseph Silvia, and three-point shooting of Destine Haywood-Gomes, but Burke’s defense forced them to rush their plays, and caused several turnovers.
Burke continued to outscore Wareham in the second, and third quarters, and going into the final stanza, the Vikings found themselves on the wrong side of a 27 point lead.
Despite their best efforts to make a comeback, Wareham lost the game with a final score of 85-50.
After the game, Faniel said that Burke’s players forced Wareham to play at a pace they couldn’t keep up with, causing them to rush on their shots and passes, something the Vikings are often able to do to other teams.
He added that Burke is a well balanced team with depth on its roster, and that their athleticism, and height adds to what makes them such a tough opponent, “they’ve had our number over the last couple of years,” he said.
The team will graduate six seniors this year, but Faniel said he feels confident that those seniors have laid the foundation for the younger players going into next year.
“I love those guys,” he said of the seniors, “those guys have given a lot to the program.