In a Nick of time – Grassa helps Classical rally past Everett

On a day when his older brother was having trouble finding his range, Nick Grassa stepped up and delivered with the game on the line.

Nick Grassa connected on three consecutive three pointers, two in the fourth quarter and won in overtime to help the Lynn Classical boys basketball team defeat Everett, 73-68, Sunday afternoon in Everett.

While Jasper Grassa struggled – if 13 points, eight assists, and six steals can be called struggling – Nick was Mr. Clutch when the Rams needed him most.

“I think this win means a lot because to come out and beat a good Everett team when Jasper was a little cold, that means all our other players stepped up,” said Nick, who led all scorers with 18 points.

One of those players stepping up was Classical guard Carlo Buono (12 points) who came off the bench to hit three consecutive three-pointers. Buono displayed a soft touch from long range. Ariel Ligonde turned in an excellent performance, finishing with 17 points.

Grassa said he’s enjoyed playing basketball team with his brother, who’s headed to Bentley University in the fall.

“I’ve been playing basketball with Jasper my whole life, so I know his tendencies and he knows a lot of mine,” said Nick. “We’re really used to how each other plays.”

The spacious and beautiful Everett High gymnasium, while brand new, is not a shooter’s paradise. Like the Beverly High gym, there are no seats behind the basket, affecting a shooter’s depth perception. That may explain Jasper Grassa’s off-day, although he displayed his all-around skills by making some incredible no-look passes to teammates.

Nick Grassa said his team played determined basketball despite trailing by as many as 14 points in the first half. He never lost confidence in his proven ability to hit the jump shot.

“I don’t really feel it or not feel it – I just keep shooting. Shooters shoot,” explained Nick about his late-game surge.

Nick said his team passes the ball very well and the Rams have good team chemistry.

“We’re playing very well,” said Nick. “I definitely think we can make a run in the Division 2 Tournament.”

As for playing basketball for his father, Classical coach Tom Grassa, Nick says it’s helped his game immensely.

“You learn a lot because he knows a lot about the game,” said Nick. “He can teach you even at home, not just at practice.

Nick Grassa and his teammates have a tall order Tuesday night: they host undefeated, top-ranked, and crosstown rival Lynn English.

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