LYNN — In its first season in the Northeastern Conference, the Everett boys’ basketball team hasn’t skipped a beat in the transition.
With first place in the conference on the line Friday night, the No. 9 Crimson Tide rolled to a 72-45 win at No. 15 Lynn English behind the stellar shooting of Ghared Boyce, who had a game-high 24 points, and Isaiah Likely’s 16 points and 13 rebounds.
“We said before the game that defense was going to win or lose [the game],” said Everett coach John DiBiaso. “I thought we played very well on the defensive end, and that set the tone for the entire game.”
Lynn English (15-2) held strong with the Tide early on — leaning on Alonzo Linton (18 points) and his ability to drive inside the paint. But by the end of the first quarter, the defensive pressure from Everett (16-1) got the Tide out to a 9-point advantage, 20-11, and they never looked back.
The Bulldogs kept it within range and didn’t let the game get too far out of hand. A dunk from Javonte Edwards ignited the crowd in the second quarter, and the deficit was 36-23 at halftime.
The beginning of the second half saw much of the same as Lynn English kept it close but was never able to significantly close the gap. But Boyce, a senior guard, crept his way towards the 2,000-point mark, drilling a deep 3-pointer with just over four minutes left in the third quarter that put the game seemingly out of reach, 49-29.
A dunk by 6-foot-4-inch senior Likely over English’s Louis Rivera Jr. brought the Everett faithful to their feet and extended the lead to 65-41 with 3:18 left in the game.
“[Likely] is a great all-around player. He can play defense, he can rebound, [and] he can facilitate.” said DiBiaso.Karl Capen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.