MOUNT IDA MEN'S BASKETBALL
Tuesday, February 13, 2018
Fuller Center, Paxton, Mass.
FINAL: ANNA MARIA 102, MOUNT IDA 84
PAXTON, Mass. -- Sophomore Mike Rapoza (Charlton, Mass.) connected on all 18 of his field goal attempts en route to a career-high 42 points and 19 rebounds as Anna Maria clinched the final Great Northeast Athletic Conference men's basketball playoff spot with a 102-84 victory over Mount Ida Tuesday evening at the Fuller Center.
Rapoza tied a Division III men's basketball record for field goal percentage in a game held by two others. Franklyn Beckford of Lake Forest went 18-for-18 against Grinnell in Feb. 2004 and Jason Light of Emory and Henry did it against King's (Tenn.) in December 1995. The all divisions record is 20-for-20 held by two Division II players.
The host Amcats (9-15, 6-9 GNAC) jumped out to a 15-point lead (28-13) midway through the first half on senior Chris Contento's (Marshfield, Mass.) three-pointer, but the visiting Mustangs (10-14, 4-11 GNAC) closed back to within five (45-40) on sophomore Kevin Vanderhorst's (Lawrence, Mass.) lay-in with 1:50 remaining in the first frame before Anna Maria extended that margin to nine (49-40) at the break. The Amcats restored their double-digit edge shortly after intermission, but Mount Ida cut its deficit to eight on senior John Oliver's (North Babylon, N.Y.) jumper 2:05 into the second half. Rapoza ignited an ensuing 9-0 run with a pair of lay-ins that gave the hosts a 17-point lead (61-44) with just over 15 minutes to play, as Anna Maria built that margin to as much as 25 points in the closing minutes to earn its triumph and the last conference tournament berth.
Rapoza added four assists and a pair of blocks to go with his career-best effort in the win for the Amcats, who received 13 points each from senior Liam Pickett (Oxford, Mass.) and Kenneth Graham (West Haven, Conn.). Freshman Ralph Grasso Jr. (Marlboro, Mass.) chipped in with 12 points and six assists for the hosts, who received eight points and eight rebounds from junior Sidney Limage (Randolph, Mass.) along with eight points from sophomore Bobby Perette (Marshfield, Mass.). Anna Maria shot 57 percent (41-72) from the field overall and connected for eight three-pointers on the night, as the Amcats held a 46-31 edge on the glass and converted 11 offensive boards into 18 second chance points.
Vanderhorst led four players in double figures with 17 points in the setback for Mount Ida, which received 13 points and three assists from Oliver. Senior Jayson Clark (Austin, Tex.) and freshman Kevin Nunez (Dorchester, Mass.) each added 10 points and combined for four assists for the Mustangs, who collected eight points and eight rebounds from senior Joey DeFillippi (Bristol, Conn.). Senior Jacob Sartain (West Palm Beach, Fla.) and junior Dennis Ross (Portland, Maine) each added seven points for the visitors, who received six points from sophomore Mackenzie Purry (Jackson, N.J.) as well as nine rebounds from senior Brendan Cunningham (Quincy, Mass.). Mount Ida shot 44 percent (33-75) from the floor overall and canned seven treys, as the Mustangs converted 14 Amcat turnovers into 16 points.
Mount Ida hosts Suffolk in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference clash on Saturday afternoon at the Athletic Center that tips-off at 3:00 p.m., while Anna Maria entertains Emmanuel in a GNAC outing on Saturday afternoon at the Fuller Center beginning at Noon.