In sports, if there’s one thing that’s true, it’s that it’s not over until it’s over. The Old Rochester Regional High School’s Boys’ Varsity Basketball Team proved that fact Tuesday night, January 29 in Fairhaven by coming away with a late-game win against the Fairhaven Blue Devils in a hard-fought battle.
“I’m very proud of my kids tonight for coming back against a very strong and physical Fairhaven team,” said Head Coach Steve Carvalho.
The beginning of the game was in the Bulldog’s favor as they went on a 4–0 run in the first few minutes of the game. However, strong perimeter shooting from Fairhaven’s Cam Charette and Matt Myers quickly changed the momentum. At the end of the first quarter, Fairhaven led 13–10.
The Blue Devils extended their lead in the second quarter as Charette continued to hit his stride from the perimeter. The Bulldogs managed to tie the game thanks to a three-point play from Raekwon Phillips, but the effort was not enough to trump Fairhaven’s offense. At the end of the first half, Fairhaven led by 10 points, 29–19. 19 of Fairhaven’s points came from Charette.
The Devils extended their lead to 15 in the third quarter. Dan McLaughlin contributed six of those points while Charette continued two hit shots from the perimeter.
With the Bulldogs seemingly on the verge of another tough loss, their luck turned around in the fourth quarter and the chemistry started to click. The defense stepped up big time, holding the Devils to only two points in the fourth quarter. Jeremy Bare executed a huge block as Fairhaven tried to maintain their lead.
At the start of the fourth quarter, Paul Graves delivered ORR’s first six points very quickly, cutting the lead to nine points.
“Paul Graves gave us some very solid minutes tonight,” said Carvalho.
From there, the momentum seemed to keep coming for the Bulldogs. Phillips brought the game to within four points with a three-point play as he got fouled on a pull-up jump shot.
With 28 seconds to go in the game, and as the shot clock was expiring, Mikey Prunchik scored the go-ahead shot for the Bulldogs. Graves helped to seal the victory for ORR as he stole the ball from Fairhaven on their final possession, made a two-point shot, got fouled and scored his final free throw.
With a final score of 46–41, the game was a tale of two halves.
“Well, the first adjustment we made after the half was mentally going back to the things we do in practice,” said Carvalho. “We wanted to get into the tempo of the game. Once we started making shots in the fourth quarter we were able to create some pressure, it just took us 24 minutes to do that.”
The win gives ORR their fourth conference win of the season, making them 4–8 in the South Coast Conference. A far cry from perfect, Carvalho hopes this is the turning point in his team’s season after a tough loss on Friday to Dighton-Rehoboth.
“We’ve been a work in progress,” said Carvalho. “I’ve got a team where I’ve been playing a lot of kids trying to find the right kids in the right rotation. I hope this win can trigger something for us. We’re still fighting for our lives on a nightly basis here in the South Coast Conference.”
By Katy Fitzpatrick