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Beverly evens season series with boys basketball

Marblehead’s Miles O’Neill looks beyond Beverly’s #10 for an open teammate. Photo by Libby O'Neill

MARBLEHEAD — The Marblehead boys basketball team hosted a back-and-forth battle against rival Beverly Thursday night. It was a game full of momentum swings, but the Panthers found a way to outlast the Magicians 74-67.

Marblehead was down 70-67 in the fourth quarter after Miles O’Neill finished a putback with 42.5 seconds remaining. The Magicians got the ball back with 8.2 seconds left – down three – but the Panthers forced a Marblehead turnover to seal the game.

Marblehead head coach Mike Giardi feels his team will learn a lot from the outcome.

“We had too many moments in this game where our mistakes led to easy transition baskets for Beverly,” Giardi said. “We did a better job in the second half paying attention to detail [and] not letting them get out in transition, but we could not overcome the mistakes that we made in the earlier stages of the game.”

Marblehead and Beverly traded baskets for much of the first quarter, as junior Nick Lemmond drilled a stepback three-pointer in transition for the Magicians, making the score 22-20 with 45 seconds left. Marblehead trailed 25-20 at the end of the frame.

In the second quarter, the Magicians trailed 29-21, but junior Scott Campbell and senior Isaiah Makor converted back-to-back baskets plus the foul, which cut the Beverly lead to two (29-27) with 6:30 on the clock. The Panthers answered, as they finished the quarter on a 17-6 run and held a 46-33 lead at the end of the first half.

Marblehead came out of the second half on fire, opening the third quarter on a 16-4 run and cutting the Beverly lead to one (50-49 with 3:10 remaining). The Panthers, again, had the answer, as they finished the third on an 11-2 run and took a 61-51 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

The Magicians were down 67-56 in the early stages on the fourth, but had one more run left in them. This time, the run was led by senior guard Ty Countrymon, as he scored 12 points in the final frame.

But unfortunately for the Magicians, the magic ran out and Beverly left the gym victorious.

“Games are not just won and lost at the end of games, and I think the team will learn that from tonight’s result,” Giardi said.

Countrymon finished with a team-high 19 points, also adding six rebounds and five assists. Makor had another strong performance for the Magicians (14 points and eight rebounds) as Marblehead’s record now sits at 7-4.