Knights Down Choate, 72-60, for 1st New England Title
Frazier Selected Most Outstanding, McCullough Nets 26
Beverly, MA – It took one hundred eleven years and five trips to the championship game, but Salisbury School can finally claim its first New England Class A Basketball Championship. Behind 26 points from sophomore Chris McCullough and a heady floor game by senior point guard Ryan Frazier, the Crimson Knights outscored Choate Rosemary Hall, 72-60, to avenge last year’s 25-point loss to the Wild Boars in the tournament final.
Salisbury (22-4, 9-1 in NEPSAC Class A) took a five-point lead into the locker room at Endicott College, 28-23, behind solid defensive play and a balanced scoring attack. Brandon Hedley poured in 10 points, including two shots from deep behind the arc, and McCullough added nine. Mike Geannelis tossed in five points, three coming on a corner jumper to thwart a Choate run. Glenn Baral turned in a sparking defensive effort, along with Geannelis, in keeping the Wild Boars’ top scorer in check.
The Knights came out on fire and threatened to put the game out of reach in the second half. With McCullough hitting from the outside and on drives to the basket, Frazier scoring behind the arc and in mid-range, and Myles Jones working the baseline, Salisbury extended the lead to 20 points. As expected, CRH’s long-range marksmen started to heat up in the final four minutes and the Wild Boars closed the lead to nine with two minutes on the clock.
Forced to foul, CRH sent Frazier, McCullough and Baral, in succession, to the line. The Knights’ trio took turns knocking down their chances from the charity stripe to maintain the Salisbury lead.
CHR beat the Knights earlier during the regular season, 72-59, in Salisbury. In that game, McCullough was able to contribute just four points to the cause. Today was clearly the 6’9” wing’s time to shine.
In addition to his scoring outburst, McCullough gathered in eight rebounds and blocked two shots. Frazier finished with 13 points, as did his Maryland backcourt mate Hedley. Hedley also handed out five assists and pulled down six rebounds. Jones closed out the game with 10 points and seven rebounds and Samuel Dingba provided inspired interior defense and blocked two shots for the victors.
Earlier this week, Frazier and McCullough were named to the All-New England Class A first team and Dingba earned second team honors. Jones and Hedley received honorble mention.
Congratulations Crimson Knights!
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