Bears end Bay Path’s season with upset atop Muggett Hill
By Kolby Alicea-Lamoureux
Citizen Chronicle Sports Writer
CHARLTON — Though they entered the district tournament in the top half of the seedings, the season has come to an end for the Bay Path Minutemen boys basketball team.
In the opening round of the Central Massachusetts Division 4 tournament, the Abby Kelley Bears came to Charlton and took on Bay Path in what was a close game for most of the evening. Ultimately, however, the Minutemen’s three-point shooting wasn’t enough to stop the high pace of the Bears, falling 74-63.
Abby Kelley’s team soared over Bay Path’s with an incredible size advantage that was clearly noticeable before the tip off. The Bears used the height difference to their advantage, out-rebounding the Minutemen on both sides of the court. Sultan Adebisi led the charge for the visitors, cleaning the glass in the first quarter and helping give his team a four-point lead at the end of the first quarter, 19-15.
To start the second quarter, Bay Path guard Danny Keefe made a move to get by two defenders and cut to the basket, cutting his team’s deficit to just two points. Bears guard Exauce Nlemvo also did some work while dishing it and getting the rest of his team involved. With two minutes left in the second quarter, Caiden Ellis pulled up from deep and hit a three to tie the game for the Minutemen. For the rest of the quarter, the two teams went back and forth before going into the half tied, 34-34.
In the third quarter, Bay Path got into foul trouble early and sent the Bears into the bonus with five minutes remaining. Abby Kelley capitalized on the advantage, quickly going up by twelve points. The Minutemen rebounded by going on a run and came within one point when Ellis hit a three at the buzzer, bringing Bay Path within one point to end the third quarter, trailing 54-53.
As both teams came into the fourth quarter with the game’s outcome up for grabs, it was Abby Kelley who pulled away quickly and didn’t look back. The Bears had big plays coming from what seemed like every player on the court, including a dunk by Adebisi. Bay Path’s final quarter didn’t go quite as well with three players going down with injuries — including two starters.
The game continued with last minute intentional fouls by Bay Path, and Abby Kelley pulled out the 74-63 victory.
Bay Path finishes the season at 12-9 and is now out of the playoffs. Abby Kelley, now 12-9, lives on for at least one more game. The Bears will have to wait to learn who their quarterfinals opponent will be, taking on the winner of Wednesday night’s game between the Assabet Valley Aztecs and Millis Mohawks.
Ellis led Bay Path’s offense with 19 points in the loss, followed by 14 points from brother Joren Ellis, who managed to hit a combined eight three-pointers. Abby Kelley was led by a three-headed monster including Adebisi, Rodolph Obregon, and Jevin Mintah. Obregon dropped 17 points while Mintah was right behind him with 15, but neither surpassed Adebisi, who had 22 points and led the Bears to the victory.