In a game that didn’t lack a possession where a player fell hard and came up slow, Dorchester (1-3, 1-1 Central) could not fight through a 5-point halftime deficit due to a solid Cambridge (1-2) defense and lost to the Falcons 58-51.
Dorchester coach Johnny Williams said that the loss was not a matter of talent but rather a lack of mental strength in a physical game.
“We got a little unfocused, we were worried about a couple of questionable calls where a couple kids were complaining about getting smacked but they didn’t play through it,” Williams said.
One player who did play through it was senior Jeduan Langston. The shooting guard led the way for the Bears, scoring nine of his 22 points in a late fourth quarter surge.
Dorchester began the quarter down 39-30 but went on a 5-0 run that began with a Langston layup.
The guard than hit the floor hard on a take to the basket and had to come out of the game for nearly four minutes after hitting one of two at the line.
“He still played tough in the end. When he was [broken], he wanted to be in there. He might be out a game or two but his heart? You can’t take that away,” said Williams.
Dorchester managed to score 21 points in the quarter but it was not enough against a Cambridge team that managed to put up 19 points to close out the game. The Falcons were led by senior guard Robell Gebeyehu with 16 points, including two 3-pointers.
The game was really decided in the second quarter, when the Bears were held to just 5 points compared to 15 for Cambridge, bringing them in to the half down 23-18.
“[We had] better rotations, guys [were] pressuring the ball a little bit better. We still cannot allow the basketball to go all the way to the cup as it did,” said Cambridge coach Lance Dottin.
However, Dottin felt the same as Williams in terms of the physicality of the game getting out of hand.
“I thought it was physical on both sides. There was a little bit too much that was allowed in terms of contact.”
Cambridge was able to hold it together though and use the physicality to its advantage, with 15 of the team's 19 fourth-quarter points coming from the line. That’s more than Dorchester had in the last three quarters combined.
“We work on that. That’s something we pride ourselves with, being mentally tough,” Williams said. “I’m dealing with 17-year-old kids, I’m expecting them to be mentally tough but there’s only so much a kid can take before they break.”
Dorchester will hope to regain its mental strength and remain stable in the team's next city game against East Boston, slated for 5:30 p.m. Jan. 23.
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