Morris defense stifles RCS

A smothering Morris defense overwhelmed the Roxbury boys’ basketball team as the Mustangs rolled to a 49-27 opening round victory in Section IV, Class D play Tuesday night.

Kyle Ciaravino was the primary target of the stifling defensive effort. The Rockets’ defeat was a disappointing end to a Roxbury season that saw the Rockets playing inspired basketball down the stretch. In winning, Morris advances to the quarterfinals hosting Stamford on Friday night.

Morris contained the area’s top offensive scoring star defending Ciaravino by committee. The Mustang’s shifted man-to-man coverage between three players, Levi Decker, Zack Doyle and Kerry Smith with Decker assigned the bulk of the work. When Ciaravino had the ball on the perimeter and attempted to drive, Morris help side defenders would clamp on a double team. When Roxbury’s scoring leader tried to post a defender around the basket, the entire Mustang defense would collapse around Ciaravino. Making matters worse, the entire Roxbury team went stone cold launching shots away from the basket.

Things looked promising in the opening minutes of the game. Roxbury’s Derek Cowan pulled down a long offensive rebound and drove to the basket with the game’s first score. And, Roxbury’s man-to-man defense confused the Mustangs in the early going holding Morris scoreless for the first three and one-half minutes of the game.

It was Decker who opened the floodgates nailing a three-point Morris strike from the left wing starting a 19-point Mustang run. Skylar Maricle’s power move from the left block and a Mike Deluca foul shot set up back-to-back Decker three-point tallies. In just two minutes time the Morris juggernaut had rolled off 12 straight points. Morris was never headed.

Decker led all scorers with 16 points for Morris. Kerry Smith added 11 for the Mustangs.
Ciaravino finished a stellar senior season scoring 11 points for Roxbury.