The Sharon High boys basketball team championed the 2013 Sharon Credit Union Davenport Classic by downing Braintree, 59-50, on Monday night at Eagle Gymnasium.
“It’s really good to win the Davenport Classic for the first time in many  years,” said junior guard James Fritzson, who was named the tournament’s MVP. “Braintree is a Div. 1 team, so it was good to play them tough and get that win.”
Head Coach Bruce Jackman says that pressuring defense was crucial to the Eagles’ fifth consecutive victory. “When you hold a team like Braintree to 50 points, obviously it took a lot of effort defensively.
“[Senior captain Kevin] Bartas, [junior guard Brian] Mukasa, [senior captain Ian] Beach, [senior] Brian Lawrence played very well. I think they all did a very good job defensively,” Jackman added.
At the other end of the court, a season-high four Eagles scored in double-figures. Fritzson and Mukasa paced Sharon with 15 points apiece, while Bartas and Lawrence posted 13 and 10, respectively.
“Consistency offensively from Fritzson, Mukasa, Bartas – it was good,” said Jackman. “Braintree couldn’t key on any one individual, although they did a decent job of slowing down Jimmy and Brian, but overall, we did a really solid job.”
The Wamps’ press was largely ineffective against Mukasa and Fritzson. “When they pressed the two guards, they left open Bartas and Beach, and we exploited that,” Jackman said.
Braintree stayed with Sharon the whole way through, always keeping the Eagles’ lead to within ten points, but never led after the opening minutes. Jackman said, “We took them out of some of the things they were trying to do offensively.”
On Sunday night, Sharon opened the tournament by downing Lincoln-Sudbury, 63-55, in a somewhat lackluster showing. Fritzson said, “I think we had played down to Lincoln-Sudbury’s level. [Monday], we stepped up, played hard on both sides of the ball, and got the win.”
Of Fritzson’s earning the tourney MVP honors, Jackman said, “He had a great night [Sunday] night and he played very solidly [Monday] night, so obviously, he deserved that award.”
Bartas, who recorded a double-double (10 points, 11 rebounds) against the Warriors, represented Sharon on the tournament All-Star team. Braintree senior captain Shawn Murphy (15 points) was the Wamps’ selection.
Jackman said that for Sharon, being victors of its own tournament was rewarding. “It’s been a long time. To put on this tournament and sponsor it, with Sharon Credit Union, it was nice to finally win one.”
State-tournament-bound Sharon closes the regular season on Wednesday, when the Eagles host Canton. Sharon downed the Bulldogs in Canton, 75-62, last month.
“We need to keep playing good, solid defense. We need to clean up our offense,” Jackman said. We need to get some more people involved.
“We got some good minutes [on Monday] out of [juniors Erik] Kushner, Ade [Bright]. [Senior guard] Sean Asnes didn’t play at all; we need to get him back on track, because we’re certainly going to need him during the playoffs,” the coach added.
With a win over the Bulldogs, Sharon would finish the regular season with a 13-7 record, putting itself in a position to possibly host a playoff game.