St. Mary’s Boys Claim Division 3 North Title

The St. Mary’s High School boys basketball looked every bit like the No. 1 seed in a thorough 63-40 victory over No. 11 Weston in the Division 3 North final Saturday at the Tsongas Center in Lowell.

Coach Dave Brown’s Spartans built an early lead and staved off each attempt at a comeback by the No. 11-seeded Wildcats.

Lee Pacheco, a senior forward, was a major catalyst in the Spartans’ quick start, converting baskets from close range. Pacheco is shooting an uncanny 77 percent from the field this season, according to coach Brown.

Joseph Abate-Walsh, a 6-foot-8-inch center who likes to set up shop from downtown, scored 15 points in another display of his outside shooting prowess.

“I think we were well prepared for this game,” said Abate-Walsh. “We just have so many weapons that you can’t really come in to a game against us and say you need to stop one person. JP (Josh Perez) and David Brown Jr. are such good facilitators and our defense really stepped up.”

Josh Perez (11 points) and Sammy Battista (7 points) also took advantage of the fast-paced tempo and large court at Tsongas. David Brown Jr., son of the head coach, continued his sterling freshman campaign with another strong two-way effort.

“I think Josh Perez had an outstanding game,” said Brown. “I guarantee he had six or seven assists that led to easy baskets and that was important.”

Dave Brown said he was happy that his team will be playing in the Garden.

“As you get older and every season goes by, you realize getting to the Garden is not as easy as some people think,” said Brown. “These guys worked hard in the off season and they were determined to get back here. I’m really proud of these guys.”

David Brown Jr. making an impact

St. Mary’s head coach David Brown was asked after his team’s big win over Weston Saturday what it was like to be guiding the Spartans’ season with his son, David Jr., making such a big impact in his first full-time year on the varsity.

David Jr. is a freshman guard with excellent ballhandling skills. His command of the court is noteworthy and he makes the no-look pass look effortless.

“It’s hard to put in to words – I’m tough on him [David Jr.] but it’s something I’ll cherish, it’s amazing to be able to coach him playing good minutes at the varsity level,” said Coach Brown.

David Jr. missed a game earlier in the season that St. Mary’s lost to Lowell Catholic, “and I had seniors coming up to me, saying, ‘we missed David tonight,’ so they realize how important he is as a basketball player to this team. He’s been around the game since he could walk and he’s one of the smartest players knowing situations and sets. It’s something that I’ll cherish forever.”

Said David Brown Jr., “It feels great to be a part of this and share it with my father. Most of the time whenever he’s been at the Tsongas or the Garden, I’ve been on the bench or just watching the game. But now that I’m on the team and playing for him, it feels great.”

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