The King Philip boys varsity basketball team beat Mansfield, 46-35, in a grudge match of rebounds and jump balls on Friday night in Mansfield.
KP kept the score low intentionally, keeping Mansfield on the outside, shooting three pointers, and then getting the rebounds.
“We talked all week about rebounding,” said KP head coach Sean McInnis . “We talked about finding the closest guy and getting a body on him. In that first couple of games, we were going to get the ball, and we really talked about don’t go get the ball, find somebody, box them out and then go get the ball.”
Mansfield started the game off strong, leading KP for nearly all of the first period. The second period saw KP and Mansfield battling back and forth to hold a lead, and the half ended with KP up, 22-21.
“They had a good game plan,” Mansfield head coach Michael Vaughan said. “They took away the three, they were more aggressive and they won the rebound battle.”
The third period saw the lowest scoring percentage for both teams, with Mansfield scoring 10 points and KP scoring 11. The period ended much the same as the second with King Philip in the 33-31.
King Philip managed to rally in the last period, not allowing Mansfield take or make many shots.
“They played harder than we did,” Vaughan said. “Now, we’ve got to back to the drawing board and find out how to beat aggressive teams, because right now we’re zero and two against overly aggressive teams.”
KP was beating Mansfield in the rebound battle all night, but ramped it up in the last period. Mansfield did not even score until 1:37. Mansfield rallied and tried to extend the game for as long as possible, but were unable to get in close for the easy lay-ups and couldn't hit the three pointers.
“We missed some shots,” Vaughan said. “I think when we were missing shots it became a grind for us, a little bit harder to get possessions and it makes for a tough game.”
KP expanded their lead and the game ended, 46-35, a score not indicative of the back and forth battle that occurred for most of the game.
“This game needed to be below 50 points for us to win,” said McInnis. “We wrote on that board it was a 50-point game. Under 50, we knew we had a good chance to win.”
King Philip was able to get so many rebounds and points in the game due to the height and athletic ability of Jake Layman. He scored 23 points during the game, a full half of KP’s total score and had many of the rebounds, offensively and defensively, as well.
Mansfield’s Michael Hershman led their scoring with 11 points, followed by Brian Hershman with nine. Freshman Brendan Hill hit for four points during the game, followed by Gregory Romanko, Terry O’Mara and Matthew Baldasare who each hit for three. Rocky DeAndrade scored two points during the game.
King Philip’s Jake Layman scored 23 points during the game, followed by Sam McDonald with nin points. John Mullane scored six points, Mike Schmidt scored four, and Christian Fair and Dever Carrison each scored a basket during the game.
Mansfield is traveling to Brockton next on Tuesday at 7 p.m. and is currently 9-2 in the league and 10-5 total. King Philip will be playing North Attleboro on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. and is currently 8-3 in the league and 12-3 overall.