By Lisa E. Crowley
BROCKTON—When Brockton’s boys basketball team takes the floor at TD Boston Garden Monday night, topping the list of strategies to win is the team’s tenacious defense that has brought them to the Garden’s storied parquet floor and the Div. 1 South Sectional Championship. “Two more games,” said Brockton’s William Baker after the Boxer’s 57-48 win over Madison Parker Saturday at UMass. “It’s not just to The Garden, it’s to the DCU Center,” Baker said.Lakisha Wilson, one of Baker’s relatives, said Brockton this year has been proving over and over they are an excellent team, and now they have 2 more games to finish.
The win earned the Boxers the Div. 1 South title and a game against Charlestown to potentially advance to the state final.
The team celebrated the sectional championship, but Baker said the team is focused on the next game and playing the team defense that forced Madison Park to turn over the ball a crucial 3 times in the waning minutes of Saturday’s match—turnovers that gave Brockton the ball and forced Madison Park to foul.
Brockton extended its lead to 9 by the time Blakely dribbled the ball to tick off the game’s final seconds and a celebration of the south Sectional final.
Blakely and Baker said the team’s all-around defense was the deciding factor in Saturday’s game and the pair intend to match or better Saturday’s performance.
“We all played really good defense,” Baker said.
Blakely, a junior, and Baker, a senior, said they remember 2 years ago when Brockton lost at Boston Garden, one game short of the state final and ultimate glory.
“We just want to put our city back on the map,” Baker said.
Baker’s family has supported his basketball career since he was a little boy and this week’s tournament run has been no different.
Family members boasted T-shirts with his picture from when he was a little boy to today.
“They were unranked at the start of the season—no one would give them their props,” Wilson said.
Tipoff is at 7:45 p.m.