Jude Guerrier of Everett aided the Lexington Christian Academy (LCA) boys varsity basketball team to capture the gold medal at the Inaugural Bay State Games High School Basketball Classic this past weekend. The two day tournament held at the UMass Boston Athletic center, featured high school teams from throughout Massachusetts and represented the Catholic Central League, the Tri-Valley, the Eastern Independent League, and Boston City North. In the tournament LCA battled through competition to an unblemished 4-0 record en route to the Championship.
LCA opened play against Bishop Fenwick early Saturday morning, and although the Lions were a bit slow defensively, they closed out the 80-61 win. Leading the way, Adrian Ibeh (Lowell, MA) was unstoppable going to the rim and led all scorers with twenty three points; teammate Nick Turgiss (Burlington, MA) dropped nineteen of his own and got the Lions rolling with the first few buckets of the game. Sharp shooter Christian Seidler (Lowell, MA) hit four three pointers to add twelve points, and Akwasi Appiah (Lowell, MA) and Jude Guerrier (Everett, MA) chipped in ten and eight points respectively. Backup point guard, Jack McMahan (Bedford) saw significant action and was up to his usual, delivering pin-point passes and setting up teammates. Rounding out the win with pesky defense and key rebounding was Mario Beauzile (Medford) who continues to impress, and gains experience which will help the Lions moving forward.
In their second game Saturday, LCA drew Dover-Sherborn in what appeared to be their toughest matchup, which had LCA trailing by nine at the half. Akwasi Appiah was the spark that turned the Lions around as he took consecutive charges and converted a steal to a layup to get LCA back on track. LCA’s defensive pressure took Dover-Sherborn off their rhythm and allowed the Lions to take the lead in the second half. Once again Adrian Ibeh led LCA scorers with seventeen, Seidler had eleven, Turgiss eight, Appiah six and Guerrier chipped in four.
The Lions would next face Boston Latin on Sunday morning in the first of back to back games with them. In what was a scrappy game, LCA pulled out another close one, 49-41 to close out pool play at 3-0 before the medal round of the tournament. Once again it was defensive effort that allowed LCA to open up a lead as they forced Boston Latin into turnovers that were converted at the other end to LCA points. Key to the trapping defense was pointer Adrian Ibeh and the active wing play of Beauzile, Seidler, Turgiss and McMahan. In the scoring column LCA had Ibeh with twenty three, Appiah with thirteen and Guerrier with six.
Headed into the Gold Medal game, top seeded LCA drew a repeat matchup with Boston Latin who was the two seed. Minutes into the game an LCA player went down hard with an injury that stopped play for more than thirty minutes. Shaken up, the Lions were sluggish and sloppy and Boston Latin took full advantage – and with it the momentum of the game through the first half. Not to be denied, LCA drew together and began to regain their composure in the second half of play. Applying the same pressure that had undone Boston Latin in the first game, Latin proved they had made some adjustments, but LCA countered and tweaked their defense as well. Down the stretch it paid off with several steals which sealed the game 53-47 in favor of LCA. In the Championship Ibeh finished with thirteen points, Appiah had eleven, Turgiss seven and Guerrier finished with six. For the tournament Seidler knocked down eight three’s and both Appiah and Ibeh displayed their athleticism with several break away dunks.
Gold Medal recipients were Akwasi Appiah, Mario Beauzile, Jude Guerrier, Adrian Ibeh, Jack McMahan, Christian Seidler, Nick Turgiss, Coach Jeannine Cavallaro and Coach Rob Scaro.