By Max Clifford
Hometown Weekly Correspondent
The Walpole High School boys basketball team's first win of the season looked well in hand as they did not trail Braintree once during the entire 40 minutes of game time on Friday night. It was the Wamps, however, that got the last laugh when Caleb Parson-Gomes’ layup as time expired sent the Timberwolves home winless.
In a physical first half, Walpole’s best scoring opportunities came from their sharp-shooting backcourt. Primary ball handler James Gaba led all first half scorers with 10 points. Shooting guard Trey Corbean added eight points of his own to help send the Timberwolves into the locker room with a 32-24 halftime lead.
The halftime deficit clearly did not affect the Wamps. A 17-point third quarter cut the Walpole lead to 42-41 heading into the fourth.
The fourth quarter belonged to Walpole’s Sean O’Brien, who posted nine points in the final frame, including a “three-point play the old-fashioned way,” fighting through the shooting foul to make the basket. O’Brien’s size proved an advantage throughout the game, as he led all scorers with 18 points.
O’Brien’s big night was spoiled, however, when he fouled out with 30 seconds left in the game. The foul that sent him to the bench also sent Braintree’s Barney Joseph to the free throw line for a one-and-one with an opportunity to tie the game. Joseph sank both shots to knot the score at 53-53.
Without their leading scorer on the court, the Timberwolves could not create an opportunity for the go-ahead shot. The Walpole turnover quickly shifted into a Braintree fast break. As time expired on the clock, Parson-Gomes completed the contested layup to give Braintree their first lead, and the only one they would need.
At the time of print, the Timberwolves will travel to Milton on Tuesday, December 20, in search of their first win of the season.