By Lorenzo Recupero
The Crimson Tide boys’ basketball team is poised for another championship run in the MIAA tournament.
Currently sitting at 9-2, they need just one more victory to qualify, as the magic number of wins to make the playoffs is 10.
The team still has 9 more games, which means 9 more chances for Stanley Chamblain to capture his first playoff berth as head coach.
“[To reach the postseason] we must come out hard and executing in our game, doing the little things that the other guys don’t want to do,” said Chamblain of what it’s going to take to reach the postseason.”
In the current MIAA tourney format, the more you win the higher seed you are placed in, which ultimately determines how many home games you have in the playoffs.
If you finish in the top 4 of your conferences standings, you earn a guaranteed two home games in the postseason. Placing anywhere from 5-8 in the standings will get you at least one home game.
“We still have to play our hardest to secure a playoff berth and hopefully play well enough to secure two home games if we do. We don’t want to play on the road in a hostile environment,” said Chamblain of the possibility of having to play on the road with a younger team that is less experienced in big games.
The team recently suffered its first loss at Everett High in at least a few seasons, according to Chamblain, falling to Medford, 58-57, for just their second defeat of the year.
Sophomore Omar Quilter (17 points) and senior big man Nate Mehu (11 points) were the most effective in the loss to Medford.
With the win, Medford (10-2) clinched the playoffs and kept the tide on the outside looking in – for now.
“This was the first home loss I can remember in a while,” said Chamblain. “Hats off to Medford, they played hard and we just came out flat,” said Chamblain, who admitted his team was a bit gassed after playing 3 games in 5 days, the most action in a 5-game span they had all season.
“I don’t want to make excuses for my team, that’s not the kind of coach I am, but the guys I think were a bit exhausted,” he said.
The loss to Medford also snapped a strong 6-game win streak the Tide were riding on but Chamblain is confident his team will respond in a positive way.
They’ll bounce back,” said Chamblain. “It was a positive practice [after the loss] and it was more so a reality check, a humbling loss. It will serve to give our younger guys a better perspective, “he said. “I’m confident they’ll get after it.”
In the next three games the Tide will go up against Beverly (2/1, 7PM, home), Marblehead (2/5, 7PM, away), and Lynn English (2/8, 7PM, home).