Westfield Newsroom

Saints sharp in final season contest

As the Gateway defender dives at the ball, Jonathan Baillargeon (22) pulls the back and is clear for an uncontested jump shot Thursday night at Westfield Intermediate School. (BILL DEREN PHOTO)

WESTFIELD – Two St. Mary’s boys basketball seniors and their fellow Saints applied an exclamation point to their 2021 winter sports season.
St. Mary’s wrapped up the season with a resounding 58-24 win over Gateway Thursday night at Westfield Intermediate School. It was the final game of the high school sports winter season for St. Mary’s; it was just the second game of the “Fall II” season for the Gators.
Three players reached double digits scoring for St. Mary’s. Saints’ Brady Collins led the way with 18 points. Josh Baillargeon and Tom Baillargeon scored 10 apiece. Colin Reed pumped in eight points. Nate Campbell, Nick Montenero, and senior Omario Nelson each contributed four.
“It means a lot (to be part of this program),” Nelson said. “There’s a lot of rising stars on our team. I see a lot of potential. Playing with them was very fun.”
St. Mary’s used an 8-0 run to establish its presence right from the get-go. The highlights of the early run included a nice spin move and teardrop in the lane from Collins and a sweet ankle-breaking move from Josh Baillargeon, who shook off his defender and swished a jump shot from long range.
While St. Mary’s surged right through the first window of opportunity, the Saints blew the doors right off the walls of the gymnasium with a 22-0 second quarter run to seize an insurmountable 33-8 late first half lead.
St. Mary’s shut down Gateway in the second quarter, holding the Gators to just one made field goal, a Ryan Keach two in the closing seconds of the first half.
Just when Gateway showed signs of life in the second half, St. Mary’s was there to shoot down their spirits. Perfect example was when Keach canned a 3-pointer midway through the third quarter. Collins countered with a 3-point shot of his own.
“We really play our hearts out,” St. Mary’s senior Kegan Foley said. “We were neck and neck with every team that we played against this year. …I’m honestly so thankful to be a part of this team and this community.”
Despite the absence of a tournament this season, spirits were still high at season’s end.
“We had a good record. Without the tournament, it doesn’t matter,” Nelson said. “We played very well and I’m proud of our team’s excellent performance.”
Although graduation is just on the horizon for Nelson and Foley, the two Saints seniors will be in action in the spring. Foley will play lacrosse; Nelson will play on the baseball team.

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