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By Mike Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor
The Needham High School varsity boys basketball team hosted reigning Division II state champ TechBoston Academy on Saturday night in a battle between two of the top programs in the state.
From the start, Needham was in control. Behind a trio of double-figure scoring performances by senior captain and point guard Will Dorion (18 points), senior captain/forward John Singh (game-high 22 points) and sophomore guard John Hood (20 points), Needham shot lights out on their way to a 77-60 victory.
The Rockets (11-3, 9-1) jumped out to a 16-14 lead at the end of one quarter, thanks to back-to-back 3-pointers by junior guard Tim Reid (five points) and freshman guard Nick Petronio (five points). TechBoston cut the deficit down to one at 17-16 early in the second, but Singh responded with eight straight points via a layup and back-to-back 3-pointers to push Needham’s lead to 25-16. A layup and 3-pointer by Hood extended the lead into double digits at 37-24. Dorion put home a layup following a steal in the final minute. The Rockets took a commanding 39-24 lead into halftime.
Singh picked up right where he left off to begin the second half, draining a 3-pointer to push the lead to 42-29. Layups by Dorion and Singh, followed by a 3-point play from Hood, extended the lead to 18 points at 49-31. A quick 5-0 run by the Bears (8-6, 5-1) cut the deficit down to 49-36 late in the quarter, but a layup by Petronio, followed by a 3-pointer and layup by Dorion, allowed the Rockets to take a 56-41 lead into the fourth.
TechBoston cut the deficit down to 12 at 58-46 early in the fourth. Needham called a timeout and responded with back-to-back layups by Hood and a 2-point jumper by Singh. Dorion went to the line and put home three free throws after being fouled beyond the arc. The Rockets chewed out the remainder of the clock and came away with the 77-60 victory.
“It’s all about building momentum as we head into the second half of our season,” said Dorion on the win. “We’re moving into the toughest part of our schedule and getting a good win against a tough team like that is going to help us in the long run. The way you beat good teams like Tech is to spread the ball out, and everybody has got to hit shots. I thought we did a good job with that tonight.”
Needham will look to continue the winning trend when the Rockets host Braintree on February 7.
For funny and insightful sports analysis as well as video highlights of games, follow Mike Flanagan on his personal Twitter and Instagram @flano0.