Everett had waited an entire year to avenge the 61-40 loss to Cambridge that knocked them out of the Division 1 North Sectional play offs in 2019. The Crimson Tide and the Falcons were on a collision course again this year, both finishing with 16-4 records, seeded four and five respectively, and easily advancing to the quarterfinal round of the 2020 Division 1 North Sectional earlier in the week.
But come Friday night, Cambridge once again proved too much for the Crimson Tide, combining tough defense with a strong offensive effort on the way to a 65-52 win that ended Everett’s season on a sour note. And to make things worse, star freshman Roger Vaszquez suffered a knee injury and had to be helped off the court late in the game.
With the stands packed with fans, the EHS gym buzzed with a playoff atmosphere, and both teams came out aggressively. Everett’s Emmanuel Aubourg and Kyle Alcy engaged in a constant struggle to control Cambridge center Khai Smith under the boards, but Smith methodically led the Falcons to a 10-point lead, 17-7, by the end of the first quarter. The 6’6” Smith, who became a 1000-point scorer earlier in the season, scored 10 points and hauled in 9 rebounds to pace the Falcons. Meanwhile, the Crimson Tide suffered from cold shooting and a stifling Cambridge defense. The lead hovered right around 10 through the second period despite some heat stirring in the Everett offense, with Aubourg leading the way with six points in the period. Cambridge led 34-25 at halftime.
The third quarter was pure basketball entertainment. Vasquez got red-hot, pouring in a dozen points in the third quarter after being shut out in the first half. When he nailed a jumper from the top of the key with 2:29 left in the third quarter, it cut the lead to six, 43-37. After a defensive stop, John Monexant scored on a powerful drive to pull Everett within 4, 43-39 with 1:45 left. The crowd was into the game, and even the cheerleaders were competing as each squad send one of their charges back-flipping the length of the court during timeouts.
But the Falcons pulled away with a 14-4 run over the end of the third quarter and into the fourth, and Everett’s cold shooting came back to haunt them. With 1:09 left, the Cambridge fans began to chant “It’s all over” and, unfortunately for the Crimson Tide, the Cambridge fans were right, for the second year in a row.
Vasquez led the Everett shooters with 12 points, while Aubourg had 10 and Omar Quilter 8 to lead Everett scorers.