BOSTON -- All season long, North Quincy has taken great pride in putting forth staunch defensive efforts. The No. 13 Red Raiders set a new standard of what that means when they delivered perhaps their best showing of the year on Monday against No. 22 Dorchester in the BABC Winter Classic, as they cruised to an impressive 47-30 win at the Reggie Lewis Center.
“In order to win when you’re not shooting well, you have to hang your hat on your defense,” said NQ coach Kevin Barrett. “Scituate was undefeated when we over there on Friday, and we held them to 35. Then we bounce back today and hold a very good team to 30. There’s a nice trend developing in terms of points against.”
North Quincy’s defensive unit was most dominant after halftime, when they allowed just three field and 13 points. In the third quarter, the Bears (8-3) were held to just five free throws and went the entire quarter without a field goal.
Their offensive woes actually began before the end the second -- the Bears (8-3) netted their last bucket of the first half with more than two minutes to play. From there, the Red Raiders (11-0) didn’t allow a field goal for more than 13 minutes, until just 5:06 remained in the contest.
That’s when Markus Neale hit a runner in the lane for Dorchester, but the damage done was already too much to overcome, as North went on a 22-5 run over that stretch.
In addition to North Quincy’s defense ratcheting up the intensity, Dorchester also had to contend with an abbreviated halftime that last just two minutes, as well as playing the rest of the way with a short bench.
“The legs were a little bit gone,” said Dorchester coach Johnny Williams. “We were fatigued. One of our better guys, Khalil Newson, has been suffering from some back problems, so he wasn’t able to play at all. That really knocked the wind out of us.”
With Dorchester’s players lacking some of the explosiveness they showed early, the Bears' athleticism was no longer able to overcome North’s significant height advantage. The Red Raiders’ big men were able to take over on both ends of the floor down the stretch.
6-foot-9 center Anthony Green and 6-foot-4 Efthim Butka -- both taller than anyone on Dorchester -- each poured in six fourth quarter points for the unbeaten Red Raiders.
“We kind of challenged those guys at halftime to step up and impact it more than they were through the half,” said Barrett. “They really exerted themselves, not just contesting shots or blocking shots, but limiting them to just one shot. I think we got some easy transition baskets because of that.”
Green finished with 12 points, 10 rebounds and seven blocks, while Butka had 10 points, 12 rebounds and six blocks of his own.
“The big guy is long and we rushed a lot of shots,” said Williams. “A lot of what we weren’t hitting were shot we normally hit and his presence is a major problem down low. He changes a lot of shots.”
Matt Gerakis, who scored the first five points of the game for NQ, finished with a game-high 13 points to go with five rebounds in the win.
The only Dorchester player to reach double figures in scoring was Neale, who finished with 12 points and 12 rebounds in the loss. Neale was the lone Bear with more than five points.