STANDISH—The Red Storm jumped out early at Bonny Eagle on Friday night, Dec. 15, and never looked back. Nick Fiorillo, who put up 24, led Scarborough to a decisive, 52-34 victory; meanwhile, Connor Sirois, the Scots’ top scorer, managed just nine.
“We knew who Fiorillo was, obviously; he scored a bunch,” Sirois said, asked what intel the Scots had on the Storm, prior to tip-off. “We only had one day to prepare for them, and we weren’t ready for their [defense]. But we didn’t do a good job adjusting. And we prepared for a couple kids who didn’t play, so that kind of screwed us up. We didn’t play well.”
“We changed up our defenses,” said Scarborough head coach Phil Conley. “From a zone to man-to-man. And I thought our guys really executed defensively. And I thought a big key, too, was we limited them to one shot and done. We rebounded the ball extremely well.”
Fiorillo opened the first with a quick three – indeed, Scarborough dashed ahead 7-0 to start, Reece Lagerquist knocking down the other four, two on a spinning jumper and two on a pretty assist by Tyler Gobeil.
Finally, Bonny Eagle standout Zach Maturo was able to get his boys on the board; the Scots, however, were already behind the eight ball, and they would struggle – and fail – all evening to recoup their deficit. They did come within five midway through the first half, when Casey Maturo drained a three for 15-10, but they would never draw so close again.
“We didn’t make shots,” Sirois said, “but it doesn’t start with that. We were just talking in the locker room, and just because we don’t make shots, doesn’t mean we can’t play good defense. We didn’t play well; we didn’t play hard enough.”
“It’s not that we didn’t hustle,” Sirois elaborated. “I should say: We didn’t play disciplined enough. We had too many fouls we didn’t need to have, we left guys wide-open – like, the first play of the game, [Fiorillo] was wide-open, their best player.”
Fiorillo and Lagerquist promptly combined to push Scarborough ahead 22-10, and while the Maturo brothers struck here and there as the half wound down, the Storm still stood on top at the break, 26-15.
“We play zone well, and we play man-to-man well,” Conley said. “And you have to change it up in this league; you can’t run the same defense. So we changed our defenses up, and I thought it worked well tonight.”
Bonny Eagle kept pace with the Storm throughout the third on a pair of threes by Sirois, as well as a three by Zach Maturo and points by Will Hendrix. But they needed to do better than simply keep pace; they needed to gain ground, and that just wasn’t happening.
Then Scarborough dominated the fourth, outscoring the Scots 15-7. Fiorillo helmed the charge, naturally, but Paul Kirk and Morgan Pratt also played important roles. 52-34 the final.
“The second half, we did better defensively,” Sirois said. “But we couldn’t get going offensively.” Bonny Eagle limited Fiorillo to just two field goals through the latter quarters. They did, however, send him to the line several times, and since he shoots the free quite well, he nevertheless managed to total 12 during the stretch.
Fiorillo, as mentioned, finished with 24. Fellow Stormers Lagerquist and Kirk added 10 apiece, while Pratt added four and Alex Austin and Brian Austin added two each.
“Nick’s an unbelievable basketball player,” Conley said of Fiorillo. “I’m happy for him, because he puts so much time into becoming a better basketball player, whether it’s the off-season, during the season. He can score inside/outside, like you saw tonight. And you also saw him rebound – I think he had [11 rebounds] tonight. He played a terrific game.”
“Paul Kirk played his best game of the season, with 11 boards,” Conley said, asked about his other contributors. “I thought Reece Lagerquist, in the middle, our five-man, who didn’t really come out at all tonight, played a great game. He scored for us on the block, he rebounded, and he was up on the top of our trapping zone, and did a marvelous job.”
“And then I think you’ve got to look at Morgan Pratt and Tyler Gobeil, who came in and did a great job on point guard and guard,” Conley said. “They got Fiorillo the ball where he needed to get it, and they also scored as well.”
Beyond Sirois’s nine, Zach and Casey Maturo tallied eight apiece. Hendrix finished with seven and Nick Thorne with two.
Sirois offered a little praise for his teammates. “Everyone played hard,” he said. “Nick hustled, he always hustles. Will played hard; he had two six-six kids down there, so he played hard. Zach got pressured, but he did well. Casey made a couple shots. We just need to do more.”
Bonny Eagle slipped on the loss to 2-1. The Scots hosted Cheverus on Tuesday the 19th, falling narrowly, 47-42. They travel to Noble on Friday the 22nd.
The win bumped Scarborough to 2-1. The Storm succumbed 60-46 vs. South Portland on Tuesday night, the 19th; they travel to Gorham on Friday the 22nd.
Adam Birt can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @CurrentSportsME.
Nick Thorne chases a high ball vs. visiting Scarborough on Friday night.
Connor Sirois battles at the backboard.
Will Hendrix lofts up a jumper.
Christano Napolitano hurls a pass inward from beyond the arc.
Zach Maturo fires off an inside jumper.