You know it’s a big game when the ticket line stretches out the door and nearly every seat in the gym is filled.
That was the scene Sunday at Brockton High School as Buzzy Barton’s No. 1-ranked Lynn English Bulldogs met the No. 4-ranked Brockton Boxers in a long-anticpated rematch of their Eastern Massachusetts final from last March.
While English prevailed in overtime in that meeting at the Garden, the Boxers (15-1) proved to be superior this time around, outplaying English in the fourth quarter to win going away, 75-60.
English (15-1) was hampered by foul trouble as senior Jarell Byrd (10 points) picked up three fouls in the first half and his fourth early in the second half before eventually fouling out.
All-Scholastic guard Ryan Woumn, who was hindered by the flu bug, finished with five points. Keandre Stanton, a sophomore center, played well in the biggest game of his young career, scoring six points and blocking five shots while displaying his enormous potential against a physical and experienced Brockton front line.
The star of the game for English was Travonne Berry-Rogers. The 6-foot junior guard scored 19 points off the bench, giving his team an immediate lift in the second quarter by hitting a pair of three-pointers.
One of the top wide receivers in the Northeastern Conference for the English football team this fall, Berry-Rogers had a performance reminiscent of his famous uncle, Classical great Stu Primus, who went to play basketball and football at Boston College.
Berry-Rogers was not pleased with the outcome.
“It was a tough loss, but all great teams take them,” said Berry-Rogers. “We just weren’t hungry enough in the second half. If we have a deficit, we have to learn how to fight back and take a win.”
Berry-Rogers would like another shot at the Boxers, but it will take both teams winning their respective (Division 1 North and South) sectionals.
“Brockton is a good team and I give a lot of respect to them,” said Berry-Rogers. “It’s better to lose to them now than in the tournament. We hope to see them in Boston.”
Barton credits Berry-Rogers for a solid effort, but felt his team didn’t have its best day.
“Travonne did a good job today but as a team, we didn’t play well as a team,” said Barton. I’m just not happy with our play as a team today.”
Barton is hoping his team can learn from its setback to a potent Brockton team.
“We were 15-0 and needed a wakeup call,” said Barton. “Even at our practices, we’re kind of just going through the motions. Maybe this will get us refocused again.”