Slow Start, Lack of Focus Plagues Phoenix in Nailbiter vs Winchenden

On Wednesday, the Hyde boys V basketball team headed down to Massachusetts to take on class C power Winchendon. It was a great opportunity to take on a strong opponent, and unfortunately a spirited late rally came up short. Winchendon took the contest, 58-57.

The first five minutes went well for the Phoenix. Good energy on defense and solid ball movement allowed us to build a 10-8 advantage. Despite the strong start, it was evident early on that Winchendon played a different style—a slow it down, pound it inside type of game. With a 6’8 center and 6’6, 6’5, 6’4 front line, the home team was able to wear us down with organized plays and solid defense. The Phoenix were sparked in the first half by the play of emerging sophomore Kahiel Depass. Depass was extremely active on both ends, slashing to the basket, getting deflections and using his length. A disappointing last five minutes had a big impact on the Phoenix and we trailed by 11 going into the half.

The second half began with both teams trading baskets…. Not quite the way to get back into the game on the road. However, a defensive adjustment and solid play by dynamic backcourt Miguel Prieto and Antoine Montgomery cut the lead to 8 then to 4… then finally with two minutes left a tie game! Drama late! The Phoenix led by 1 after an Andrew Palermo free throw with 20 seconds left yet we were unable to get a final stop. A Winchendon forward snatched an offensive rebound on the final possession and converted for the game winning basket. As famous coach John Wooden once said—“Teams with heart don’t lose, they just run out of time.”

The Phoenix were led by the play of Prieto ( 15 points, 4 steals ) and Depass ( 9 points, 5 rebounds, 2 blocks ). We’re learning a lot in these close games! Record- 8-3 on season, losses by a COMBINED 4 points. Back at it Monday vs Landmark school.