With Jake Layman sitting on the bench, the rest of his King Philip teammates showed that they didn’t need the big man to win as the Warriors outlasted Oliver Ames 56-52 in the Hockomock Crossover Classic.
It was PJ Lydon who got the home team on the board first, but it was John Mullane who stepped up early in Layman’s absence. The senior scored eight of KP’s first 10 points to give the Warriors the early lead.
“This game was about staying on course, knowing what we wanted to do and not going away from it,” King Philip Coach Sean McInnis said. “We had a gameplan and we stayed the course; we believed in them and they believed in our gameplan. The guys are sick of hearing that, when Jake leaves, they’re going to go back to the old KP — this is the new old KP.”
With the Warriors holding onto a slim one-point lead (10-9), Oliver Ames seemed to have figured Mullane out and held the senior to only one point the rest of the first half as they built a 29-26 lead on the home team heading into the locker rooms. Mullane would re-emerge in the third, knocking down six of his game-high 24.
The Tigers knocked down four shots from beyond the three-point arc thanks to the sharp shooting of senior guards Andrew Readon and Nick Bruha. Readon hit for 13 points, while Bruha had 10 at the half. The duo would account for 80 percent of Oliver Ames scoring as Bruha led the Tigers with 23, while Readon hit for 19 in the loss.
“We knew that Bruha was going to get his,” the KP coach said. “The biggest thing was our interior game, and, for those who say we cannot rebound and
defend without Jake, I say how we look now. I’m just so proud of the way our guys played tonight.”
The defense rose to the occasion in the third quarter, as the Warriors erased a
three-point deficit and turned it into a three-point lead with eight minutes to
Although KP was only able to manage nine points in the quarter, they held OA to a miniscule three points. That's right — only three points, all coming at the hands of Bruha.
Sam McDonald (10 points on the night) saw two potential three-pointers go in and come right back out to open the second half, but he buried his third attempt to give the Warrior’s their first lead (31-29) since early in the game.
King Philip would not look back from there and improved to 15-3 on the regular season.
While many are excited about the Warrior win without Layman at center, McInnis was cautious.
“This was only one step, and we have a lot more steps to go,” he said.
The state tournament seedings will be announced next Friday.