ROCKPORT -- Jody Norton remembered Tucker Meredith from a year ago.
In the Rockport boys basketball team’s lone win last season, Meredith torched Norton’s North Shore Tech/Essex Aggie squad for a game-high 23 points.
This time around, Norton hoped, the Bulldogs would be able to contain him. And, for a time, they did. But in the midst of a third-quarter explosion by the Vikings when the two teams met at Rockport High last night, Norton’s hopes were dashed.
Meredith hit four consecutive 3-pointers midway through the third quarter to pace a 23-2 run that allowed Rockport to cruise to a 60-44 victory, their second-straight win to open the season.
“We were hoping to limit (Meredith) because he hurt us a lot last year,” Norton said. “Then he got going, he hit those four bombs, and things started to fall off from that point.”
“That’s all Nick Scatterday, Michael McCarthy and Shaun Aspesi getting met the ball. It’s them driving and kicking,” a humble Meredith added. He did, however, admit that “when my feet are set, I feel like I can hit almost anything.”
It sure seemed that way last night.
To look at the outcome of last night’s contest, though, one would be hard-pressed to believe it once appeared to be slipping away from the Vikings. Meredith and fellow co-captain Scatterday were stuck on the bench for much of the second quarter with foul trouble, and the Bulldogs hung right with Rockport.
The Vikings’ full-court defense was broken with ease throughout much of the first half, and with a relative lack of offensive identity, the game seemed to be slipping away from Rockport.
Were it not for the efforts of A.J. Balzarini, who finished with a game-high 20 points, the Vikings would have likely faced a bigger halftime deficit than the four-point hole they were looking at heading into the break.