CHELSEA, Mass. – Facing an unfamiliar opponent, No. 18 BC High had to adjust on the fly. It’s not as though the Eagles had the opportunity to advance scout Tuesday’s opponent at the BABC Holiday Classic at Chelsea High School.
The Eagles faced off against Mount Si of Snoqualmie, Washington and came out a little flat, falling behind 19-9 by the end of the first quarter.
But BC High stuck it out, ratcheted up its defense to draw even at the half. Senior point guard Bryan Hurley took care of the rest in leading the Eagles to a 57-44 win, pouring in a game-high 17 points, including five 3-pointers.
“We obviously didn’t have a scouting report on them,” Eagles head coach Bill Loughnane said, “so we had to adjust after the first period and I thought the guys did a really good job of that.”
The Wildcats were paced to their early lead by senior swing man Dallas Smith, who scored the bulk of his team high 13 points in the first.
However, the Eagles (4-1) did a better job containing Smith and disrupting looks to basket in the second quarter, when they erased a 10-point deficit to draw even before the half.
Mike Corcoran drained a three and then Hurley transitioned a steal into an uncontested pull-up with 20 seconds remaining in the half to make it 27-27.
“We were giving [Smith] open looks and we just couldn’t stop him,” Loughnane said. “I know we needed to do something to try to take him out of the game. I think our defensive intensity really picked up in the second half.”
It also helped that Hurley caught fire at just the right time, pushing the Eagles ahead in the second half.
Junior forward Dan Curtis also reached double figures for the Eagles, chipping in 12 points.
“We need Bryan [Hurley] to play well for us if we want to win games,” Loughnane said. “This was just another case and point of that happening.”
It’s not the only time a Hurley has been depended upon to lead the Eagles to victory. Bryan’s older brother Chris was the fulcrum to BC High’s Division 1 state title in 2007, the school’s first basketball championship in 90 years.
“They’re different,” Loughnane said of the brothers Hurley, “but it’s a different team, too. We need points from Bryan to win. Back when Chris was playing, we were huge, we were enormous. We had six guys over six-foot-six. He had to distribute the ball a bit more.
“I wish the Hurleys had another one though, I’d be happy about that.”