By Kevin McCaskill Jr.
12/29/21 * 1:40 AM
(WILBRAHAM) - The Spartans of East Longmeadow HS travelled northeast to play the Eagles from Minnechaug Regional HS. Minnechaug is located in Wilbraham, MA.
Both teams won their last game before Christmas. East Longmeadow beat West Side; Minnechaug beat Chicopee Comp.
This game started off slow on both sides. Each team struggled on offense. East Longmeadow was missing contested shots close to the basket. Minnechaug had trouble getting shots past EL Center Erik Donaldson. EL HC Brendan Abad said the lack of offense in the first was due to lack of “rhythm”. There was no JV game on Tuesday and kids across Western Mass are on Christmas break.
EL led 13-9 after the 1st quarter.
Minnechaug’s offense came to life in the 2nd quarter as a result of their defense. The Eagles forced multiple turnovers. They converted those steals in to baskets.
EL’s offensive struggles continued in the 2nd quarter. The Spartans were called for many fouls in the second, which also helped Minnechaug. Minnechaug took the lead 16-15 off an EL turnover. The Eagles widened the gap and led at halftime 24-18. EL scored 5 points in the second quarter. Ray Carter was the only Spartans player to score in the 2nd.
The Spartans came back in the third and tied the game at 31.
Ray Carter led his team to victory in the 4th quarter. He scored 12 points in the 4th and he threw the assist for the game winning layup by Donaldson. Carter scored a total of 26 points on Tuesday.
(Ray Carter - EL @ West Side, 12/21/21)
Carter can score from anywhere on the floor. This season, without Cam Shaw and Anthony Guimares, Carter is showing he can lead the team to victories by making the right play.
(Ray Carter sinks floater against Minnechaug)
The game came down to the last three possessions.
Minnechaug was down 50-48. Carter had the ball in the backcourt. The Eagles forced a turnover. Jonis Saabye got the steal for Minnechaug and made a pass to Jordan Hall in the corner. Hall swished the corner jump-shot. The game was tied at 50.
(Corner jumper by Jordan Hall)
EL inbounded the ball to Carter. He looked up the court and saw Donaldson running the lane to the basket. Carter hit Donaldson and Donaldson hit the game-winning layup, through contact. HC Abad said he wanted to “get the ball in Ray’s hands and have him do something”. He also said Ray was “one of the best players in Western Mass”.
(Carter to Donaldson for the game-winning layup)
There was still a few seconds left on the clock for Minnechaug. Hall inbouded the ball to Amir Ardolino. Ardolino dribbled up the court and launched a three. The ball went in and out and time expired. EL survived in Wilbraham 52-50.
(Amir Ardolino’s 3-pt attempt misses; EL wins 52-50)
Chris Moreno and Caleb White had 15 points each for Minnechaug.
East Longmeadow is 3-1; Minnechaug is 1-3.
EL next scheduled game is Thursday, 12/30 against Agawam, in East Longmeadow. Minnechaug is scheduled to play at Westfield on Thursday.