VBB vs. Northfield Mount Hermon School: CA-60; NMH-58
Cushing Academy - 60
Northfield Mount Hermon School - 58
Looking to continue their winning ways, especially against AAA opponents, the Cushing Varsity Boys’ Basketball team welcomed the Northfield Mount Hermon School Hoggers to the Watkins Field House on Wednesday afternoon. The Penguins knew it would be a tough match-up as there is very little separating the two teams.
The Hoggers started the game on a 12-5 run by hitting multiple shots from behind the arc to pull out to their early lead. This didn’t stop the Penguins though and they would go on a bit of a run of their own led on the defensive side by the likes of Toby Okani ‘20, Bensley Joseph ‘21, and Isaiah Gray ‘20 who were all ball thieves and took it to the rim. Despite overtaking the Hoggers for the lead in the first half, the half would end on a down note as the Penguins relinquished the lead just before heading into the locker room and NMH brought a 32-30 lead into the break.
Coming out of the break, the Penguins knew their job would be to play more physically and limit ball turnovers. They did their job and kept the game close, but for most of the second half the Penguins could not get over the hump and find a way to take the lead over the Hoggers. With just under two minutes remaining, the game would turn for the good as Okani (15 points, 4 rebounds, 2 steals) drove the ball down the left side to score and cut the deficit to just three points. Okani and Gray (11 points, 3 rebounds, 2 steals) would then trap the NMH player on the inbound pass to cause a turnover that landed in the hands of Coby Gold ‘20. Gold quickly fed the ball to Gray for the basket and the lead for the Hoggers was down to one. Okani caused yet another turnover by knocking the ball loose and diving for it to feed it to Gray who finished for the basket “and-one”. Making the ensuing free throw, Gray put the Penguins up by two for their first lead of the half. Cushing would not give up another basket until the final seconds of the game, but by then the game had been decided and Cushing had the 60-58 victory.
Additional Penguins making top performances to help in the team win were Sean Okpoebo ‘20 (7 points, 6 rebounds) and Joseph (8 points, 4 rebounds, 8 assists).
The Penguins will look to build on this performance when they travel to Cheshire Academy on Friday, February 7th for a 5:00pm tip-off.
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Cushing Academy exists for students and develops curious, creative, and confident learners and leaders. Founded in 1865, Cushing is a co-ed, college preparatory boarding and day school for students in grades 9-12 and PG. Our students, who come from over 30 states and 30 countries, excel in our outstanding academic, art, and athletic offerings. We welcome you to visit our community and beautiful 162-acre campus in Ashburnham, Mass., just one hour from Boston, to experience all that Cushing has to offer.