CHELSEA, Mass. -- Mansfield's 20 points in the fourth quarter barely beat the 19 points tallied by No. 4 New Mission, but the Hornets picked up a 61-54 victory on Wednesday at the BABC Holiday Tournament.
Mansfield improves to 3-1 on the season, while the fourth-ranked Titans fall to 3-3.
A basket scored by the Hornets' senior Mike Lofton erased an early 5-5 tie, igniting a 11-2 rally that put Mansfield ahead of New Mission, 18-7, by the end of the first quarter.
Hornets freshman Kevin Connor scored three of the first six points in the second quarter, helping the Hornets to a 14-point cushion over New Mission. Trailing 25-13, the Titans' senior Darius Davis hit back-to-back shots from long range, bringing the Titans within eight points of Mansfield.
Finishing the quarter with seven points, Connor ended out the half with a pair of free throws, making the score 29-19.
Back-and-forth traffic in the third was halted by a 6-0 run by New Mission, which included four points scored by junior Leroy Hamilton. Mansfield outscored the Titans 6-4 to close out the quarter, making the score 41-35.
Despite New Mission coming within four points of the Hornets, 52-48, halfway through the fourth quarter, the game momentum stayed with Mansfield. The Hornets didn't look back, taking a 8-6 scoring advantage in the final minutes of regulation, securing its third win of the season.
Three of Mansfield's seniors finished the day in double figures, with Jeff Hill leading all scorers with 16 points, followed by Lofton with 15 and Leonard Richardson with 12 points.
Mansfield's head coach Mike Vaughn said, “[Hill] was good throughout the game; he is by far our effort leader on this team.”
“He hit some free throws, which really made a big difference in the end.”
New Mission's Davis ended the day with 14 points, while Leroy Hamilton recorded 12.
“I think both teams came out kind of sluggish, but we were able to make some plays down the stretch,” said Vaughn. “It was good to get out of here with a win.”
An entire game of basketball all came down to the final 24 seconds for Everett as the Crimson Tide edged past Springfield's Putnam Vocational Technical High, 47-46.
“I'm really proud of these kids, it's been a different person [leading the team] every game,” said Everett head coach Bippy Manuel.
Everett started out with a quick 7-2 lead over the Beavers, including five points scored by by senior Andrew Brant. Putnam (3-4) was able to get within two points of the Crimson Tide, 10-8, but a 5-2 run to close out the quarter gave Everett a 15-10 lead.
The Crimson Tide defense held Putnam to just two points for the entire second quarter, while its offense was led by Brant with six points. A jump shot by sophomore Gilly DeSouza at the buzzer gave Everett a 28-12 lead at the break.
The halftime break was exactly what Putnam's offense needed, as the Beavers went a 7-0 run to open the third quarter, led by junior Jordan Almore with five points.
Putnam continued its offensive burst, cutting its deficit to two points, 34-32. A shot from beyond the arc by senior John Toledo gave the Beavers their first lead of the game, 35-34.
Everett was outscored 25-12 to end the third quarter, falling behind 37-36 lead.
Refusing to give up, the Crimson Tide quickly scored six points in the opening minutes of the four quarter to take 43-37 lead.
With two minutes remaining in the game, Putnam's seven point deficit was quickly erased by a 6-0 rally. A pair of shots from the free throw line by junior Melquan Pinkney brought the Beavers within one point, 47-46.
Everett answered back by stalling the Beavers' offensive attack in the final 24 seconds of the game, edging out a 47-46 victory.
Almore led all scorers with 17 points, while Brant finished with 16 points and Everett's senior Erno Deshommes tallied 14 points.