The Oliver Ames boys' basketball team went into Tuesday's home game knowing it was facing a major height disadvantage.
But it wasn't the Milford Scarlet Hawks' size or athletic ability that beat the Tigers, nor was it the experience of a team that has a deep roster filled with juniors and seniors.
Not only are the Scarlet Hawks big, experienced, and athletic, but they can shoot the lights out.
Undefeated Milford defeated OA in the Davenport Division game, 73-49, to improve to 8-0.
The Tigers dropped to 4-3.
"This is a team that’s very, very skilled," Oliver Ames coach Don Byron said. "They’ve got good size, and they’re real experienced. Their top seven kids are all seniors. This is a year I’m sure [they've been] looking forward to. We did a reasonable job with some of the ones that we knew were open three-point shooters. But, they had kids coming off the bench. They were probably eight or nine deep in their rotation and their kids could still shoot the ball."
Milford had six players nail at least one 3-pointer Tuesday. Ten players put points on the board in what was a well-rounded scoring effort. Senior forward David Mercier led the Scarlet Hawks with 14 points. Senior center Michael Soares and senior guard Aaron Annibal added 11 while senior guard Joseph Atkinson pitched in 9.
"We’re a senior team," Milford coach Steve Manguso said. "We have a lot of guys with experience. I was proud of my guys tonight. They played very well."
The Tigers fell behind early and, despite going on some runs, were not able to catch up to the Scarlet Eagles. Byron was not disappointed with his team's effort, however.
Sophomore Ryan Carney was in foul trouble early, putting his team at a disadvantage.
"For the first time in a while we had to play for a long stretch of time without Carney," Byron said. "He’s been a real effective scorer for us. When that happens, trying to find points is a little bit of an issue."
Senior point guard Andrew Reardon picked up much of the slack, leading the Tigers with 17 points.
"He had a nice night," Byron said of Reardon. "He made good decisions. He saw there was a void that had to be filled and made real good decisions. He went to the hoop hard and challenged some good big kids and did well."
Despite being in foul trouble, Carney chipped in with 9 points. Sophomore center Brendan Welch added 8 and senior guard St. Clair Ryan added 7.
After facing a gauntlet of Hockomock teams (Mansfield and Milford) with a combined record of 15-1, the Tigers will travel to 4-3 Sharon Friday for another important Davenport Division game.
Milford will look to remain unbeaten at home against Forboro.
"I like this group," Manguso said. "They’re a great bunch of kids. They’re fun to coach and they’re just trying to get better like everyone else."