East Boston earned a 59-57 overtime victory over Dorchester in the first matchup and New Mission defeated Snowden, 66-50, in the late game Wednesday at Madison Park. The two teams will go head-to-head in the city championship Thursday.
In the first semifinal, junior guard Dion Knight carried East Boston with a game-high 35 points. He scored 9 in the first quarter and gave the Jets an early 16-7 lead.
We gotta ride him, hes our go-to guy. We go as Dion goes, East Boston coach Shawn Brown said. And in that situation its get the ball to Dion and we play off of Dion, its no secret.
Dorchesters defense tightened up in the second quarter. After trailing, 23-10, The Bears went on a 16-4 run behind two 3-pointers from senior guard/forward Tavon Smallpiece and trailed by just 1 at halftime.
After a low-scoring third quarter, Dorchester led, 36-35.
The teams swapped 1-point leads to start the fourth quarter. Down 42-41, Knight gave East Boston its largest lead of the frame after a layup and a 3-pointer. Layups from Dorchester junior guard Justin Clarke and Smallpiece tied the game at 46 with just over a minute to play.
Neither team could score in the final seconds and the game headed to overtime.
It was a scary thing, Knight said. I thought we were gonna lose. I had to keep my head in the game.
Brown said he told his team that overtime was just four more minutes to win the game.
I told them at that point its about them, Brown said. They gotta want it more, its about who wants it more. And they came out and worked hard.
Overtime was much like the final quarter. The teams traded buckets and the score was knotted at 55 with 1:47 to play. Knight sank two free throws to give East Boston the edge, but senior guard Khail Newson made a layup to tie the game once again.
With just 34.8 seconds left on the clock, Mitchell scored to put the Jets on top. Dorchester was unable to score on its final possession and East Boston escaped with the victory.
Dorchester senior guard Markus Neale notched his 1,000th career point and finished with 15 in the loss.
In the second game, New Mission coach Cory McCarthy earned his 200th win and senior forward Fred Rivers scored a game-high 21 points for the Titans. Senior forward Asante Sandiford added 12 points, including three huge one-handed dunks.
Snowden, theyre a good team, Rivers said. They came out, they gave us their best in the first and then we felt we needed to turn it up a little notch so we came out and tried to have as much fun as we could playing.