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Needham Sweeps First Round Hoops Doubleheader, Falls in Hockey

February 29, 2024

• The Rockets Boys and Girls Basketball teams opened up the postseason with home wins.

On Leap Day, the Needham Hoops teams reached fantastic highs at the A Gym, using big offensive fourth quarters to pull away and advance in the MIAA Division 1 Playoffs. The #15 Boys started the night off with a 71-53 win over #18 Taunton, while the #10 Girls finished off the sweep with a 51-34 win over #23 Shrewsbury. The two home wins were a sharp contrast to the two Hockey teams on Wednesday night, with the #17 Girls falling 5-1 at #16 Braintree and the #23 Boys dropping a 4-0 game at #10 Marshfield.

Chris Morrison started strong for the Rockets Boys Basketball team on Thursday night, scoring 12 points in the first quarter, as Needham led 19-7 at the end of those first eight minutes. Brian Cloonan also scored a three point play the old fashioned way near the end of the first. Taunton mounted a bit of a comeback in the second quarter, finishing with an alley-oop from Troy Santos to Travis Johnson and cutting the Needham lead to 31-21. Santos had 11 points for the Tigers.

Devin Dellamarggio led the Rockets offense in the third quarter, scoring 8 of his 17 points, while Cloonan drained a three at the buzzer to extend the Needham lead to 50-33 heading into the final quarter. Cloonan had 13 points on the game. Free throw shooting was a problem for both teams, with Needham hitting just 5-of-13 and Taunton 9-of-16. At the three point line, however, the Rockets shined, nailing 6-of-13 shots.

Morrison picked up five more points in the fourth, giving him a team high 18, to go along with three assists. Cloonan had four assists, three rebounds and two blocks, while Dellamarggio added five rebounds. Santos would lead Taunton with 27 points in his final game. With the win, the Rockets advance to the Round of 16, where they go to #2 Catholic Memorial on Tuesday, March 5th at 6:30pm.

The Needham Girls traded points with Shrewsbury in the first two quarters, with each team outscoring the other 13-7 and the game tied 20-20 at halftime. Hannah Levine led the Rockets with seven points, while Sabrina Nault led all scorers with 9, most of which came from a pair of three pointers. The Rockets started to pull away in the third quarter, led by Annie Camozzi’s seven points, while Levine, Callie McCarthy and Katherine Leslie each chipped in four points each. Needham outscored Shrewsbury 19-8 in the third, taking a 39-28 lead to the final eight minutes.

The fourth quarter was more of the same, as a single three pointer by Eliza Nickerson was the only field goal the Colonials could muster. Levine had six more points, to give her a game high 17, to go along with five rebounds and four steals. She was also 5-of-6 from the free throw line. Camozzi finished with 11 points, five assists, three rebounds, three blocks and a steal. Leslie added five points and nine rebounds.

Although Needham would hit just two of 18 three point attempts, they were better from the free throw line, hitting 9-of-12 shots. The Colonials hit just 8-of-17 from the charity stripe. The Girls will head to Weymouth for a showdown at the Bay State Conference rival Wildcats, who are the #7 seed, on Tuesday, March 5th at 6:30pm.

Here are some highlights from the Boys victory, via our Instagram Feed:

 
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Here are highlights from the Girls Basketball Game:
 
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And finally, highlights from Girls Hockey:

The hockey highlights from this story ran as part of the Needham Channel News, a weekly newscast airing on The Needham Channel every Thursday at 7:30pm. The Needham Channel News can be found on the Community Channel: Comcast 9, Astound 15 and Verizon 29. Most Thursdays it also can be viewed on our HD Channel on Verizon 2129, Astound 613 and streaming on this site.

 

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