PAXTON, Mass – The AMCATS were riding high coming in to Wednesday's conference matchup against Lasell, coming off a comeback 62-56 victory over SUNY Canton last Saturday. Wednesday's game marked the second conference matchup for the 'Cats and the first of the season for the Lasers and visitors were victorious, 88-72
The AMCATS were led by sophomore forward Mike Rapoza (Charlton, Mass) who scored a career high 27 points and pulled down a game high 15 rebounds to capture his eighth double-double of the season. Rapoza shot 12-for-20 from the field and was three-of-three from the free throw line. Senior forward Kenneth Graham (West Haven, Conn) also played well for AMC adding 10 points of his own to the tally and dishing out four assists. Off the bench, senior guard Tanner Jakola (Leominster, Mass), who is generally the team's sharp shooter from beyond the arch was just that tonight, going four-for-five from three-land to grab 12 points on the evening. Junior forward Sidney Limage (Randolph, Mass) can't go without mentioning as he scored nine points for home team and grabbed eight boards while assisting his teammates on three occasions.
For the Lasers, it was all sophomore guard Stefan Masciarelli (Northbridge, Mass) who scored a game high 36 points. Masciarelli shot 13-for-24 from the field and seven-of-eight from the charity stripe. Joining him in double digit scoring was junior guard Tim Blair (Newington, Conn), scoring 18 for the visitors on seven-for-13 shooting from the field and going four-of-eight from beyond the arch. Senior guard Derek McMahon (Hatfield, Mass) was the leading rebounder for the Lasers with nine.
Things started off hot for the AMCATS, going on a 11-6 run in the first five minutes of action. Lasell was able to turn things around quickly, grabbing the lead back just before the 14:00 minute mark of the first half. From there the Lasers would hold the lead but AMC was able to keep pace for a while before Lasell eventually pulled out to a fourteen-point, 47-33 half time lead. The story of the first half for the AMCATS was the 20 points they scored in the paint. For Lasell it was the bench, scoring 12, that helped them out to their lead at the break.
In the second half, the AMCATS were able to close the gap to 10 in the first couple of minutes with help from senior guard Liam Pickett (Oxford, Mass) who scored five points in a 30 second span. Following the quick outburst of scoring by the home team the Lasers once again took control of the scoring as it seemed they were unable to miss from beyond the arch and were able to draw two, three-shot fouls of which they made five. Things moved quickly as second half progress and Lasell jumped out to a 22-point lead with 12:30 remaining. AMC started to once again close the gap as Jakola began to drain threes and senior guard John Birch (Woodridge, VA) and Rapoza were able to connect on multiple scoring players under the hoop. Though the 22-point deficit was shrinking the Lasell defense stood strong and left Paxton with the 88-72 conference win over the AMCATS.
Anna Maria will be back on the hardwood on Saturday afternoon at 12pm in the Fuller Center in Paxton, Mass to take on Great Northeast Athletic Conference foe, Johnson & Wales.
Click Here to see the full box score from Wednesday's game.