Sabis puts on show against Falmouth
WORCESTER — Sabis International Charter School senior guard Andre King didn’t know how well he’d perform in yesterday’s Division 2 state final against Falmouth.
He’d been sick with a stomach bug during the week, and wasn’t sure how it would affect him when he stepped onto the court.
But he went on to have the performance of his career.
King scored 30 points in the first half, and 37 overall, during Sabis’s 83-52 victory over Falmouth at the DCU Center.
“This feels real good,’’ King said. “This was our first year in Division 2. We set the bar. We were doubted the whole season, saying we couldn’t compete with the rest of the teams. But we proved everybody wrong.’’
The Bulldogs (23-2) won their second state title in five years, after claiming the Division 3 championship in 2006. They moved up to Division 2 before this season when the MIAA realigned.
Sabis controlled the game from start to finish. The Bulldogs scored on their first four possessions, jumping to a 9-2 lead after a dunk by sophomore guard Kamali Bey (19 points).
The Bulldogs were relentless on both ends of the floor, forcing three straight Falmouth turnovers as they built their lead. They led 29-7 after the first quarter, paced by King’s 15 points.
“I just kept shooting,’’ said King, who hit eight 3-pointers. “When you’re locked in like that, you just have to keep shooting.’’
King had another 15 points in the second quarter, including four 3-pointers. By the break, the Bulldogs held a 52-19 lead.
The Bulldogs’ athleticism gave the Clippers fits as Sabis was able to get to the majority of loose balls and force 11 Falmouth turnovers. Sabis also outrebounded Falmouth, 38-22, led by nine each from Bey and King.
On the first possession of the third quarter, King found Bey on an alley-oop pass, igniting the crowd and Sabis once again.
“We’d tried that play four or five times, but for some reason we never could get it,’’ Sabis coach James Mack said. “For the first time we actually did it, and did it correctly. It happened to be a great time. ’’
Falmouth (20-6) finally got its offense going in the third, outscoring the Bulldogs 21-13 behind junior guard Nelson Baptiste (19 points) and junior forward John Lavin (17 points). But the Clippers still trailed, 65-40, entering the final quarter.
“We just ran into really good team, ’’ Clippers coach Paul Lundberg said. “It wasn’t that we played really lousy. They’re just a really good team.’’
It didn’t help the Clippers that senior forward DK Johnson was recovering from an ankle injury he suffered during the Bulldogs’ win over Salem in the EMass final Monday.
However, Johnson said the ankle was fine by game time.