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Saugus finds rhythm against Hart

Centurions improve to .500 in Foothill League

Posted: January 22, 2010 11:00 p.m.
Updated: January 23, 2010 4:30 a.m.
 
The Saugus boys basketball team got back on track after two straight league losses with a big 77-55 victory over Hart Friday night at Saugus High School.

Saugus junior guard Brad Buchignani led the Centurions with 18 points, and the Centurions’ starters combined for 54 points total on the evening.

Saugus head coach Derek Ballard said his team was disciplined and all of his starters played well, but he singled out senior point guard Jawhar Purdy, who finished the night with 12 points, nine assists and five steals.

“He was everything to us tonight,” Ballard said.

Saugus led 19-12 at the end of the first quarter, fueled by back-to-back 3-pointers and a layup by sophomore Jeremy Gatewood, who scored the Centurions’ first eight points.

Saugus (14-6, 2-2) continued to dominate offensively, scoring 21 points in the second quarter to end the half with a 40-19 lead. Senior forward Joey Frederick, who finished with 11 points for the night, hit a 3-pointer and tipped in a miss by Purdy.

“The coaches challenged me to come out with intensity,” Fredrick said.

Hart returned from the halftime break and staged a comeback, stepping up its defense to hold Saugus to 13 points in the third quarter while scoring 21 itself. Hart junior guard Roman Delgado scored 11 points, hitting two free throws to bring the Indians to within 10 at 51-41.

Hart head coach Tom Kelly said he told his team they had a long way to play and not to “give up playing hard.”

But in the fourth quarter, Saugus closed out Hart by outscoring the Indians 21-14.

“Saugus was very aggressive,” Kelly said. “You’ve got to give them credit.”

Purdy said Saugus played together in the victory and now hosts Valencia on Tuesday.

“Tonight we came out and played how we’re supposed to play — as a team,” Purdy said. “We did everything right.”

The Indians will host Golden Valley next Tuesday.

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