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Daily News Article: LS v Arlington

Posted Wednesday, January 26, 2011 by Website Admin
 

Lincoln-Sudbury 68, Arlington 52: Perez plays the closer

Photos

John Swords
Marshall Wolff/for Daily News and Wicked local

Lincoln-Sudbury's John Swords hangs on the rim after a slam in last night's basketball game against Arlington in Sudbury.

  
John Swords
Brandon Donald
Geoff Mishkin
 
 
 
By Tim Whelan Jr./Daily News staff
Posted Jan 26, 2011 @ 12:00 AM
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Under POS (for position) on the Lincoln-Sudbury boys basketball roster, there's a "G" (for guard) next to Mitch Perez's name.

Following last night's performance, the 6-foot, 3-inch senior could also add a "C." No, Perez does not play center. The Warriors have 7-foot senior John Swords to do that. Rather, that "C" could be for closer.

After visiting Arlington cut the L-S lead to single digits with two minutes left in last night's non-league tussle, Perez buried two crucial baskets as time wound down to put the game out of reach in a 68-52 victory.

"We needed some baskets and I felt like I was the guy to take the shots," said Perez, who finished with a game-high 27 points. "Luckily I made them. My teammates found me, and I just kind of did the easy work."

L-S (11-3) went up 21-5 after one quarter, with a buzzer-beating 3-pointer by Perez as the capper on an impressive opening frame. The remainder of the contest, though, was not nearly as easy for L-S.

The Spy Ponders (3-8) scratched away at the Warriors' lead for the next three quarters, trailing 33-18 at the half and finally cutting the deficit to 59-51 on a David Shin 3-pointer with 2:53 to play. Shin, a sophomore guard, finished with 18 points, including three fourth-quarter 3-pointers.

With two minutes to play, Perez took a pass from senior guard Denny Cakert (10 assists) and buried a 3-pointer from deep to increase the L-S lead to 62-51. After an L-S defensive stop, Perez hit a short jumper on the Warriors' next trip to bring the cushion to 64-51 and all but seal the win over a game Arlington squad.

While pleased with the outcome, L-S coach Patrick Callahan wished the game hadn't come to that.

"We have some talent, some guys who can bail us out," Callahan said. "We just can't always rely on guys like John (Swords) and Mitch to be there to bail us out.

"When everyone is contributing like in the first quarter, that's when the offense is clicking," he added. "When we have to continually get the ball to Mitch and let him create, that's when we get into trouble."

Swords was dominant throughout, fighting through occasional triple teams to score 20 points to go with 18 rebounds and seven blocks. He fouled out with 1:02 to play.

"Their big guy (Swords) is tough to get around," said Arlington coach John Bowler. "He's improved a lot in the three years I've been here. He's a great player."

Swords and Perez provided the bulk of the scoring, but 10 different Warriors had points last night. Still, the uneven play from L-S in the second, third and fourth quarters was disconcerting to those on the home side.

"Arlington played hard and we lost focus," Callahan said. "We were not focused tonight. Some of the guys before were real loose, and I like them being loose, but they were unfocused. There's a fine line between being unfocused and loose, and they were flirting with it."

Added Swords, "We ended up winning by 16, but it felt much closer."

Arlington also got a strong game from junior point guard Brandon Castro, who scored 15 points. Bowler knew, though, that the early deficit was too much to overcome.

"With a team like Lincoln-Sudbury, you can't spot them a big lead," he said. "I think we played them basically even the last three quarters, but that first quarter killed us."

(Tim Whelan Jr. is a Daily News staff writer. He can be reached at twhelan@cnc.com or 508-626-4402.)

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