Westport wins holiday tourney with victory over Bronx powerhouse


A strong fourth-quarter performance and some clutch free throw shooting enabled Westport to upend a tall and talented  John F. Kennedy High School team from the Bronx, N.Y., Sunday, in the finale of the Burgo Basketball  Association Holiday Invitational  at the Greater New Bedford Vo-Tech High School.

Westport, whose record is now 8-1 on the season, trailed in the early going but managed to keep things tight at halftime. The second quarter  featured a 10-point run by Kennedy, but Westport answered with an 8-point run of its own a the end of the half to keep the game close, a hot spell that continued into the early going of the third quarter.

Westport came out strong in the third quarter, taking a 39-31 lead by the end of the period helped by the shooting of point guard Tom Yeargin who would be the game's leading scorer with 18 points.

Trailing as the fourth quarter wound down, Kennedy tried to rally but was frustrated by the Westport defense and some cold shooting which kept Kennedy off the scoreboard for much of the quarter.

With time winding down, a desperate Bronx team sent Westport to the foul line on almost every possession. The  Wildcats didn't waste the opportunities, hitting 15 of 23 shots from the line in the last three minutes of the game.

Kennedy plays in the highly competitive Bronx AA League where it has had a strong season record so far.

Scoring leaders for Westport were: Yeargin (18), Friar (12), Chris Hartnett (11), Kirby (8), Rich Hartnett (6). Silvia 2).


Westport edges Classical

To get to the final, Westport knocked off Classical by a double overtime score of 60-55 on Saturday. Kennedy made it to the finals by beating Barnstable 66-61.

Yeargin's three-point shot with one second left (on a pass by Rich Hartnett) sent the Classical game into overtime and hit a last second shot to then send the game into double overtime.

Erratic shooting in the first half left Westport in a deep hole in the second half when the Wildcats trailed by as many as 10 points.

Westport was led by Ryan Kirby who scored 14 points including a critical three-pointer as time wound down in the first overtime.  Other scorers were: Yeargin (11) , Chris Harnett (10), Friar (8), Rich Hartnett (9), Willard (4), Vincelette (2), Silvia (2).

Westport dominated the second overtime to emerge with the 5 point win.

Westport was due to play next at Blue Hills on Tuesday.


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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.