Things started ominously for the Brunswick School varsity boys basketball team Friday evening when it lost 6-foot-9 starting center Billy Murphy just 10 seconds into the game because of an ankle injury. With the big man down, Dylan Wadsworth and Donqutae Robinson came off the bench to ignite the team.
The team has struggled this season, getting off to a 1-11 start and 0-5 in divisional play. But the Bruins finally got things their way in front of a raucous, standing-room-only home crowd, holding on for a 55-53 upset over St. Luke's for their first Fairchester Athletic Association win of the season.
"This is a season-changing game. This is a huge win, and it's really going to get us started," senior tri-captain Brendon Hardin said. "We couldn't have done this without every single guy on this team. Even the guys on the bench who didn't play were cheering us on."
Holding onto a slim 52-51 lead with two minutes to play, Alex Gattinella stole the ball from St. Luke's Henry Nelson. Gattinella raced down the court but missed the layup. Robinson was right behind him, though, and tipped in the putback points to pad Brunswick's lead.
St. Luke's had one last possession with a chance to tie, but the Bruins' defense would not let them penetrate the paint. The Storm went for the win instead. Mike Clark heaved up a final shot that rattled off the side of the rim, and the Brunswick faithful rushed the court in celebration.
The Bruins stayed out of foul trouble and kept St. Luke's from getting to the free throw line. The Storm were forced to put up rushed shots, hoping to draw fouls that never came.
Wadsworth led the team off the bench with 11 points. Hardin, who was shut out the first half, played a gutsy second half after pulling a leg muscle to finish with eight points. Addison Pierce netted eight points as well, all in the first half.
With its first FAA win under their belts, Brunswick will try to start the first winning streak of its season when it takes on Cheshire Academy today at 2 p.m.
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