The WHS boys basketball team opened up March Madness season with a 70-54 win over Snowden Tuesday night at the WHS gym. The 14-6 Vikings, seeded 5th in Division 4 of the MIAA North Sectional, led all the way against a 12th seeded Snowden squad that came into the contest with a 5-12 mark.
The Vikings showed some tightness through the first half and after a 15-15 deadlock in the first quarter, held a slim 31-25 lead at the half. However, Winthrop came out on fire after the intermission, led by J.P. Doherty, who drained three treys in the third period to pace a Winthrop spurt that saw the Vikings outscore Snowden 24-12 to open up an 18-point advantage by the third buzzer.
Winthrop added to its bulge in the fourth period, moving ahead by as many as 25 points, giving WHS head coach Dave Brown a chance to give all of his players a taste of tourney action.
“This was the first post season experience for almost all of our players, so we had some first time jitters,” said Brown. “But once we settled down and realized that it’s just another basketball game, we played our game and did what we had to do.”
Winthrop also was hampered in the early going thanks to foul trouble encountered by Taj Generazzo, who had to sit for most of the first half after he picked up his second personal with three minutes still to play in the opening frame, and Joe D’Amore.
Winthrop’s big men, Quinton Dale and Anthony Hatzisavas, ruled the lane, scoring 17 points each and pulling down 17 and 10 rebounds respectively. Doherty and Michael Griffin contributed nine points apiece.
Coach Dave Brown and his crew now will play against fourth seeded Mystic Valley, which had a bye in the opening round, in a quarterfinal contest at Malden Catholic Friday evening at 4:45 p.m.