LANGDON, N.H. - It's been quite a few days for the FM boys basketball team. They faced #1 Hopkinton last week,they have also been dealing with some injuries and personnel changes with players and on Friday night, they were facing an undefeated Cougar team in the Den.
"We’re in a rebuilding process right now and I expect to get back to playing the type of basketball that we opened the season with,” said FM head coach Justin Cassarino after the game.
Owen Marandino opened the game with a swish for FM and the Cougar coach promptly called a timeout.
“We determine what style we will play for each game and tonight we decided to press and push an up-tempo game,” said Campbell head coach Frank Girginis.
That timeout resulted in a change of tactics and by the time the first quarter had ended, Campbell led 24-2 on the heels of a 18-0 run. With a full court press taking its toll on FM and deadly outside shooting by Jonah Dion’s 10 points, FM didn’t have an answer for the quickness on the court.
Campbell cooled off a bit in the next 8 minutes as Josh Rumrill’s offensive rebound and hoop was followed by some strong inside play by Elijah Gould.
“It was a battle in the paint tonight, but we never gave up,” said Gould after the game.
Joey Murdoch’s three point bomb at the buzzer trimmed the Cougar lead to 38-20 at the half as a tired FM team limped to the locker room.
Cassarino attempted different combinations of players and defenses with Rumrill and Murdoch as guards and Marandino, Billy Wilder and Isiah Silva as forwards, and at times they would control momentum and push tempo. But every FM basket was answered by multiple fast break points as the Cougars' lead swelled to 56-24 after three quarters.
The Wildcats' Alex Flynn’s power move to the hoop and bucket brought players off the FM bench but it was just too much athleticism from the visitors as they placed 4 players in double figures on the night and hammered down 6 three pointers.
“The last few games were against some really good teams but I expect to win a lot more games really soon,” said Gould.
Marandino led the Wildcats with 9 points while Murdoch added 5 points. Silva and Gould each scored 4 points but battled hard in the paint all night. Crema led Campbell with 18 points and Carter Vedrani finished with 14 points.
FM (5-2) will look to get back into the win column as they will travel to Mascoma (3-5) on Tuesday for a 6:30 tip-off, while the only two undefeated teams in Division III will face off on Tuesday, with Campbell (6-0) hosting Hopkinton (7-0).