LAWRENCE — The top-ranked Cambridge Rindge & Latin boys’ basketball team capped off an undefeated regular season Monday night at Central Catholic with its 70-61 win over the sixth-ranked Raiders in the finals of the Tuscan Brands Round Ball Classic.
Fresh off his 20-point, 20-rebound performance Sunday night, it was another remarkable showing from Cambridge senior Dimon Carrigan, leading the Falcons with a triple-double (15 points, 11 rebounds, and 12 blocks).
“That has been [Dimon] all year,” said Cambridge coach Lance Dottin. “I think this guy is flying under the radar. I can’t believe he is, but I think he is.”
Cambridge (20-0) started slowly as Central Catholic played a high intensity level of physical defense and was not afraid to push back against the size of the Falcons.
The Raiders held a slight 10-9 advantage at the end of the first quarter.
The game continued to be a physical battle inside the paint, but as soon as Cambridge rotated into its hybrid full-court zone press, it began to force turnovers and get transition buckets at the other end.
The Falcons took control early in the second quarter and were able to grow the lead to 28-23 heading into halftime.
In the second half, the lead began to grow as Cambridge finally was able to get penetration to the hoop from both senior Jakigh Dottin (17 points) and junior Aiden Keefer (17 points).
Central Catholic (17-5) faced an 11-point deficit at the start of the fourth quarter, and a fast-break layup from sophomore Kevin Constant cut the lead to 51-44 with 5:42 to play.
Cambridge grew the lead back up to as many as 13, but back-to-back threes from senior Victor Mwuarah and junior Colin Bradenese brought it right back to a three-possession game with 1:44 to go.
Central got the defensive stop it needed on the ensuing possession, but as senior Brett Edwards drove to the basket and put up a shot, it was swatted away by Cambridge’s 6-foot-5-inch Daniel Rymer and into the hands of senior Kareem Octavien.
Octavien found Jakigh Dottin leaking out into the open court and he finished the layup that sealed the win with 50 seconds to go.
“We have to put the undefeated season behind us,” said Coach Dottin. “Now everything is on the line for us, and it’s no added pressure. We have to approach it one day at a time.”
Dom Keegan led the Raiders with 14 points apiece.
Karl Capen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.