The Old Rochester Regional Travel Basketball Team captured the 2013 Cape Cod Youth Basketball League Seventh Grade Boys’ Championship on Thursday, February 14. They defeated Falmouth 44-34 in the final. The win gave the team back-to-back titles, having won the Sixth grade Championship last year, also against Falmouth.
The game started with Rochester breaking the Falmouth pressure with some fast-break layups led by Noah Fernandes (Mattapoisett) and Jacob Yeomans (Marion). Even with an early six-point lead, it was clear that the game was going to be a defensive battle, as both teams played relentless defense. Both teams contested every shot and batted away any risky passes. Bennett Fox (Mattapoisett) was able to add to the fast-break scoring, making not one but two spectacular left-handed layups while being heavily contested. He extended Rochester’s lead to 17-8 with only two minutes remaining in the first half. Falmouth remained calm and hit a short corner-jumper followed by a three-pointer from Sammy Koss, cutting the lead to four at the break, 17-13.
As the second half of the game started, Rochester jumped ahead with some tenacious pressure defense led by Fernandes (seven steals), Tyler Menard (Mattapoisett) and Fox. Fox (12 points) added some scoring with his defense, hitting two three-pointers with some clutch inside-scoring from James Sylvia (Mattapoisett). Rochester stretched their lead to 30-18 with just about seven minutes remaining, forcing Falmouth to call their final timeout. Falmouth once again kept it close by forcing turnovers off their relentless full-court pressure, narrowing the lead to 36-30 with three minutes to go. Rochester now needed to call the timeout to get organized for the final minutes. And perhaps in a theme to their season after losing their first three games, the boys again showed their resiliency as champions in this final game. They were not going to be denied. Like he had been doing all game long, Fernandes broke free of the Falmouth pressure with help from Jason Gamache (Mattapoisett) and Collin Fitzpatrick (Marion) to get the ball over half court and spread the floor. Then it was up to Rochester making their foul shots, and that they did. Fitzpatrick, playing against much bigger bodies on the Falmouth frontline, battled all game long on the board, along with teammates Michael Kennefick (Rochester) and James Dwyer (Mattapoisett) to hold their own right to the end of the game, refusing to give Falmouth many second chances. Fitzpatrick went 4-4 from the line, Fernandes 3-4 and Gamache 1-2 in the closing minutes, sealing the game. As the final seconds ticked off the clock, the boys had realized they accomplished something rarely done at any level in any sport … back-to-back Championships!
The team finished the regular season 10-4 and with their 4 wins in the playoffs, they had a final record of 14-4. The boys will next compete in the Sandwich March Madness tournament in early March, followed by the coveted invitation-only State Tournament in mid-March. The State Tournament gathers the top eight teams from around the state in a weekend tournament. Last year, Rochester placed third and they are hoping to improve on that this year.
Rochester’s full roster and town affiliation: Jacob Asiaf, James Dwyer, Noah Fernandes, Jason Gamache, Tyler Menard, Sam Pasquill and James Sylvia from Mattapoisett; Collin Fitzpatrick, Corey Lunn and Jacob Yeomans from Marion; Michael Kennefick from Rochester; Tommy Noonan from Onset. Their Head Coach was Greg Yeomans and their Assistant Coaches were Mark Menard, Tom Gamache and Brian Fitzpatrick.
The game was taped by Robbi Around Town so be on the lookout for viewing times.