Aztecs tops Minutemen for ninth straight win

By Kolby Lamoureux
Citizen Chronicle Sports Writer

CHARLTON — Bay Path held the Assabet Valley Aztecs in a game that was more than just any normal regular season game — a Minutemen win would have given them a home game in the district tournament. It didn’t happen.

The game was close for much of the game, with the Aztecs holding a five point lead after the end of the third quarter. The Minutemen couldn’t quite come back from a huge offensive fourth quarter, resulting in a 69-55 win for Assabet.

The two teams traded shot after shot for the first half, including a three-pointer by Bay Path’s Cory Cotton to end the first quarter, cutting Assabet’s lead to just one point.

In the second quarter, Bay Path fought back and was able to head into the half with a slim 30-29 lead. The comeback effort was due in large part to great on ball defense by Bay Path’s Drew Paulhus and Kody Sandgren.

The Aztecs came in the third quarter with a fire-powered offense and didn’t look back from there. The passing vision and rebounding became key down the stretch as well.

In the fourth quarter Bay Path was able to cut the lead with some big shots by Joren Ellis until Assabet went on a 10-0 run. Assabet’s Gerry McManus threw an alley-oop to Jeff Hunter with 45 seconds left on the clock, and had the visiting Aztec fans going crazy in the stands.

McManus and Hunter scored more than half of the Aztecs points with a combined 41 points, while Bay Path’s highest scorers, Ellis and Sandgren, combined for 28 of the Minutemen’s 55 points.

Both teams shot the three-ball well, where Bay Path hitting seven and Assabet putting in six. The Aztecs took advantage when it came to rebounding with a strong performance by Hunter, who was cleaning the glass all game long. Hunter’s offensive rebounds allowed him to put back layups where he got the majority of his points.

With the loss, the fourth in five games, Bay Path falls to 12-7 on the season. Their final game of the regular season is Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at the Worcester Tech Vikings.

With the win, the Aztecs are 15-1 for the year. They’re back in action on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at the University Park Cougars.

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