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ESM hoops sides earn exciting victories

Spartans sweep Fulton; boys fall to Ludden

Of Sean Richardson’s 20 points, eight came from free throws. Brandon Breen stepped up for nine points, while Eyan Underwood had seven points. MacDougall and Jah-Meer McDuffie got six points apiece.

Way back on Monday, ESM played the first of two games in a 10-day span against Bishop Ludden, who had just risen to the top spot in the state Class A rankings.

Showing why it was so highly regarded, the Gaelic Knights beat ESM 60-41, doing most of its damage in the first quarter as it jumped all over the Spartans and built a 20-4 advantage.

To its credit, ESM played Ludden on fairly even terms the rest of the way, getting 10 points from three different players – Richardson, McDuffie and Underwood – while Dan MacDougall added nine points. The Gaelic Knights stayed in front, though, as Ben Hackett led them with 21 points, six rebounds and three assists.

With no time to rest, The Spartans went to Homer 24 hours later and were in a tight battle until the final minutes, when it pulled away for a 52-41 victory over the Trojans.

After it gained a 17-8 first-quarter lead, ESM nearly saw that lead vanish, Homer rallying to pull within 27-25 by halftime. Staying cool, the Spartans held the Trojans to five points in the third quarter, giving it time to regroup offensively and make a strong late push.

Through it all, Richardson carried a large part of the load, as his 25 points accounted for nearly half of ESM’s production. MacDougall, with 11 points, and Underwood, with 10 points, also reached double figures as Jeff McDuffie returned and got three points.

ESM’s girls took care of last Tuesday’s game against Homer, rolling past the Trojans 50-38. The Spartans erased an early deficit with an 18-9 second-quarter push, and extended the margin to 39-23 by the end of the third period, out of Homer’s reach.

Cassella, with 12 points, led a well-balanced attack. Eure worked inside for 10 points, while Danielle Ventrone managed nine points. Eight different ESM players picked up field goals.

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