Rockets cruise by Mustangs, remain unbeaten

homas Shaughnessy (21) dribbles up the floor and takes a look at the clock before calling out a play. Photo by Michael Flanagan.

By Michael Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor

The Needham High School varsity boys basketball team is proving that last season’s run to the Division I South Sectional crown was no fluke. On Tuesday night, the Rockets (8-0, 5-0) earned a 69-35 victory at home over Norwood to remain unbeaten on the season.

Senior forward Will Cooper (14 points, six rebounds, four steals), senior captain and Brown-bound guard Thomas Shaughnessy (19 points, two steals, two assists), and senior captain and forward Brandon Monheimer (15 points, two steals) led the way for Needham. Senior forward Jack Cruickshank (10 points, two assists, two blocks) played an extremely physical game and did all the dirty things right down in the paint for the Rockets. Junior forward Matthew Smith recorded four rebounds.

Needham began the game shooting well from beyond the arc, as Monheimer drained a pair of three-pointers followed up by 12 second quarter points by Shaughnessy, and the Rockets took a 37-17 lead into halftime.

Following the break, Needham not only kept their foot on the gas, but they floored it. A 13-0 run to begin the third quarter, thanks to back-to-back three-pointers by Monheimer, a three-point play by Cruickshank, a layup by Shaughnessy, and a two-point jumper by Cooper all but put the game out of reach for the Mustangs, as the Rockets led 50-17 with 5:16 to play in the third.

Norwood battled back to cut the deficit to 54-30 late in the third, but a 15-5 fourth quarter run by the Rockets sealed the deal as Needham emerged with the 34-point win and improved to 8-0.

Needham will look to continue its winning ways when the Rockets travel to face rival Newton North on January 26.

For funny and incisive sports analysis, follow Mike Flanagan on his personal Twitter at @fLAno0, or read his blog at www.flannylive.wordpress.com.

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