CHARLESTOWN, Mass. -– Charlestown sophomore Taris Wilson twinkled in his high school playoff debut, dropping 19 points -- all from the floor, eight of those in the final quarter -- leading all scorers and his fifth-seeded Townies to a 72-54 victory over No. 12 Andover in a Division 1 North First Round matchup.
“Andover’s a good team,” said Charlestown coach Edson Cardoso. “They move the ball pretty well, they’re very fundamentally sound and Coach Faze [Dave Fazio] does a great job with his kids. I thought tonight that we just played some great defense… It could’ve went either way. I just thought at the end we just had a great run on defense.”
The game started off slow, and by the end of the first quarter the score was 12-8, advantage Charlestown. The teams played through the first half with a halftime score of 31-25.
Both teams started out the third quarter scoring on free throws, but at the five-minute mark, Charlestown started to warm up, holding an 11-point lead with 4:15 to go in the third. Less than a minute and two free throws later, senior Omar Orriols scored his first points of the game, a three-pointer, to make the game 43-27.
Then, Orriols came back to hit another on, stretching the lead to 19.
“I felt like we just picked it up,” said Wilson of his team’s third quarter performance. “The first half, we were just running like ‘[Andover] is a good fundamental team,’’
At the the break, Wilson said that the team realized that they could produce more energy than they had in the first half, and to let a team like Andover stay close could spell danger, as they have shown throughout the season that given the chance to strike they are willing and able to regain a lead if ever allowed to.
“We really have to grind this out, get this ‘W’” Wilson characterized the mood of the halftime spent in the Charlestown locker room.
Andover was able to claw back to end the third quarter, down 48-32. But the fourth quarter opened up with the Townies scoring eight unanswered points, setting the tone for the rest of the game and keeping the Golden Warriors at bay with no chance of sailing a come-from-behind ship.
Sixth Man: Coming off the bench, Taris Wilson was not supposed to be the leading scorer for the game.
One of Charlestown’s veteran gunners, Rony Fernandes, Tyrese Hoxter or Omar Orriols were going to shoot out the lights, or senior forward Tyrik Jackson was going to be fed the ball like a Thanksgiving turkey and dominate the post, but none of those came true.
With 19 points, five rebounds, two assists and two steals, Wilson has made a mark in the history book for his postseason debut.
“I’ve been on Taris a lot lately telling him to step his game up, getting on him in practice and he finally came through for us,” said an appreciative and smirking Hoxter, who finished the evening with 13 points, one rebound five assists, one steal and one block.
Listed at 6-foot-2 and 170 pounds, Wilson even got up above the rim to slam the ball home, a memorable moment for the crowd and a nodding achievement for the 16-year old with more basketball ahead of him this and seasons to come.