Oyster River rolls to victory over Sanborn

By Nathaniel Ford

DURHAM – The Bobcats captured a 63-56 victory at home against the visiting Indians in a Division II matchup. 

The final score does not reflect how one-sided this game was. Oyster River never trailed and led by as much as 16 points in this contest. 

“When you don’t have to chase the whole game and can play in front, that helps us relax and strategically plan the game out,” said Oyster River coach Lewis Atkins. 

They jumped out to a massive lead in the first quarter and were all over Sanborn. In the blink of an eye, it was 8-2 in the Bobcats favor, and they blew it open even more to 18-4 midway through the quarter. 

They held a double digit lead entering the second, leading 23-13. The only reason it wasn’t bigger was because of a buzzer beater three-pointer from Sanborn’s Jake Pitre, which helped slow the bleeding a little. 

A huge reason for this Oyster River lead was sophomore Matt Jernigan. He opened up the game with back-to-back three-pointers, and he ended the quarter with 12 points.

The second quarter was less one-sided than the first, but Sanborn could not expose the Oyster River defense and cut the lead down. Luca Varney and Jack Carpenter hit timely shots from beyond the arc to help extend the Bobcat lead even more. 

Sanborn’s Dylan Rego connected on a shot in transition at the buzzer, but it only cut the lead to 35-23 going into the break. Rebounding was a big factor in Oyster River’s success in the first half. 

“That is the identity we want to build in our team, and the last couple of games, we’ve done a good job,” said Atkins. The Bobcats are not the biggest team, but they rebound as a unit and work hard, which was on display tonight.

Coming out in the second half, Oyster River got in foul trouble extremely early, with three quick fouls in under two minutes of play. Sanborn was in the bonus early, which gave them plenty of chances from the foul line. 

Despite this, they could not capitalize on free throws, which were a big reason they were unable to claw back into the game. The quarter ended in a tie, and the lead remained 12 points in the Bobcats’ favor entering the fourth. 

Oyster River remained in control in the fourth quarter, just as they had the whole game. Owen Jacques and Ethan Brewer both knocked down three-pointers in the quarter, and they held a double digit lead up until the end.

They led by 13 points with time running down, but two Sanborn triples from Chase Frizzell and Dylan Rego cut it to 7 points down the wire. Nevertheless, the Bobcats ran away with the victory 63-56. 

With this win, Oyster River improves to 4-3, with two of their losses coming to Pelham and Manchester West, two top teams in the division. They are now on a two game win streak after coming into this game off of a 40 point victory over Bishop Brady.

“We just tried to put a complete game together, and I thought we did. If we can put together 32 good minutes, we can play with any team in the division,” said Atkins. The Bobcats proved tonight that they can be very competitive in Division II.

They were paced tonight by a balanced scoring attack led by 18 points from Matt Jernigan. Jack Carpenter added 10 points, while Ethan Brewer and Luca Varney each scored 9. As a team, the Bobcats knocked down 10 three-pointers. 

Sanborn was led by their scoring duo of Chase Frizzell and Dylan Rego. Frizzell scored 18 points, while Rego scored a game high 20 of his own. 

“I thought we did a good job on their two best players and making it tough for them to score. I thought we came out and set the tone there,” said Atkins.

Rego and Frizzell both averaged over 22 points a game coming into tonight, and the Bobcats were able to limit both of them to below their season averages. 

Oyster River looks to continue their win streak this Friday as they make the long trek to face a tough 4-1 Kennett team.

Sanborn falls to 2-5 after tonight and extends their losing streak to three games. They look to right the ship and bounce back on Friday in a home matchup against Bishop Brady.

[Sanborn coverage is sponsored by What’s The Scoop?]