Wright leads Newton North past Cambridge
Newton North senior Ethan Wright '18 showed off his extensive offensive arsenal while leading the Tigers to a 70-45 victory over Cambridge on Friday night, ending the Falcons’ 53-game winning streak in the process.
The Princeton-bound guard scored 10 consecutive points in the first quarter and 19 points during Newton North’s 27-3 run to take a commanding 31-13 lead in the second quarter.
And the two-time defending Division 1 state champion Falcons could never recover.
“We didn’t treat this differently from any other game,” said Wright. “We just wanted to go into it with the same mindset, but there was some extra motivation and we were pretty hyped up in practice and warm ups.”
Wright got going with a couple of strong takes to the basket, taking advantage of overly-aggressive defenders with a spin move from the elbow.
He was left open from deep and made Cambridge (8-1) pay with four triples, dropping 22 of his game-high 36 points in the first half on 9-of-15 field goal shooting.
“Ethan had a phenomenal start,” said Newton North head coach Paul Connolly. “We were a little nervous and it took a little while for our guys to get acclimated to the crowd and the speed of the game. But once Ethan got the ball in the open court, he was hard to guard. He’s a special talent.”
In the third quarter, Cambridge switched a smaller defender to cover Wright, hoping to deny him the ball, but the rangy 6-foot-4 guard went to his post game and punished the Falcons in the paint.
With Wright drawing extra defensive attention, Ezra Pemstein ’19 and Noah Neville ’18 were able to chip in with nine points each, scoring key baskets in the second half after Cambridge came up with a 6-0 spurt to make it a 42-30 game.
Neville credited Wright’s performance with turning the game around after Newton North (6-2) fell into an early 10-4 hole.
“It brings a calmness to everyone,” Neville said of Wright’s hot start. “Once his shot starts falling, it raises the confidence of the whole team.”
Clearly not lacking for confidence, Wright sealed the deal with a smooth crossover and pull-up three to make it 58-38 midway through the fourth quarter. Wright also pulled down nine rebounds and dished out three assists, while shooting a perfect 6-for-6 at the free throw line.
Afterwards, the Newton North faithful stormed the court to celebrate, a moment Wright said he wouldn’t soon forget.
“That’s the kind of stuff you dream of,” said Wright. “It’s a really exciting moment seeing all your friends and family jump around. I just felt pure joy.”
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