BOYS BASKETBALL: Xavier dominant underneath against shorthanded Sheehan

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MIDDLETOWN — Junior Anthony Parker and sophomore Richard Rivers had their way in the post as the Xavier boys basketball team topped visiting Sheehan 61-43 in a SCC crossover contest on Thursday night at the Arthur M. Kohs Gymnasium.

Parker had a game-high 20 points and six rebounds, while Rivers added 12 points and 10 rebounds as Xavier improved to 3-3.

The Falcon led 38-18 at the half. By then, Parker had 15 points.

The Falcons had their way down low as the Titans were without their top frontcourt player and one of their top scorers, Kyron Coviello, who was forced to the sidelines by quarantine protocols.

Sheehan (2-2) was out-rebounded 20-7 in the first 16 minutes. That domination continued in the second half.

“Rebounding is always one of our keys,” Xavier coach Michael Kohs said. “We have some size and strength. We always have to rebound the basketball to have a shot to win.

“We were flat last game and we came out and executed tonight,” Kohs added. “We played hard throughout.”

Sheehan, meanwhile, was playing its first game in a week following a home win over Putnam last Thursday.

The Titans came out cold in Middletown, shooting 3-for-12 with seven turnovers in the first quarter as Xavier built a 16-7 lead. Ethan Bessoni capped the quarter with two straight 3-balls for the hosts.

In between, Sheehan’s Anthony MarkAnthony converted an old-fashioned 3-point play. MarkAnthony had a team-high 10 points for the Titans. 

Parker had 14 of his points in the second quarter as Xavier stretched its lead into double figures. He drilled a trey in front of the Sheehan bench at the 3:51 mark of the second quarter that made the score 30-13 and forced a Sheehan timeout.

With 1:29 to go in the half, Parker went up and under on a Sheehan defender for a bucket that sparked a 6-0 Xavier run that finished the half with the Falcons up 38-18.

Xavier maintained a 45-22 lead in a low-scoring three quarter. Sheehan junior Vincenzo Carbone had Sheehan’s lone bucket in the final 5:30 of the quarter. The shot snapped a 7-0 Xavier run.

Following the Carbone bucket, Sheehan scored the first seven points of the fourth quarter to close the gap to 45-31. Ethan Pabon (7 points) canned a trey for the Titans in the midst of that run.

Alex Morales added nine points for Sheehan.

Xavier senior guard John Carrozzella stalled the Sheehan run with an old-fashioned 3-point play as the Xavier lead ballooned back to 17, and the hosts were able to keep control throughout the fourth quarter.

“We got beat badly on the boards,” Sheehan coach Joe Gaetano said. “You can’t be beaten that badly on the backboards by a team like that.

“But we battled; I can’t fault our kids for the effort,” Gaetano added. “We were shorthanded, but you have to play with the kids that are here and we just keep working.”

Carrozzella finished with seven points and six rebounds for Xavier and teammates Bessoni, Colby Ciampi and Driscoll all had six points apiece. Sathvik Vakati also grabbed eight rebounds for the Falcons.

Ryan Gersz paced Sheehan on the glass with seven boards.


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