CLAYMONT — Archmere dialed long distance early in the game, building up a 12-point advantage, one they would not relinquish in a 34-27 win over MOT Charter in boys basketball on Jan. 11 at Moglia Fieldhouse.
The Auks won the opening tip and went on a possession that lasted nearly 90 seconds and included two offensive rebounds before Alex MacWilliams hit a baseline three-point-shot. It was 5-2 Auks when Matt McCarthy drained the first of three three-pointers in the opening quarter. P.J. Blessington provided the inside points, scoring once off his own miss and also on a short turnaround jumper in the key. McCarthy’s last triple came from nearly 30 feet out as the buzzer sounded to stake Archmere to a 16-5 lead.
The three-point party continued into the second. Chris Albero connected to increase the lead to 12 at 19-7, but they would make just one more from distance the rest of the game. MOT Charter started finding the range from in close when Renard Rhem checked in off the bench. The senior forward hit a short jumper, then scored in close, and finally grabbed an offensive rebound and downed a short turnaround shot to extend his own personal run to six points, cutting the lead to six.
That was it for the Mustangs in the second, and the Auks got half of those points back before halftime on a free throw from P.J. Blessington and a Matt Malloy field goal.
After a third quarter that included a total of just seven points, the offenses came back to life a bit in the fourth. Rhem opened the final quarter with a jumper, cutting the Auks’ lead to 10. The teams traded buckets for a few minutes until back-to-back field goals — a short baseline jumper by Justin Duncombe and a corner three for Rhem — pulled the Mustangs within five with about two minutes to go.
They couldn’t get any closer, however, with some turnovers proving costly. Albero and McCarthy combined to go three for four in free throws in the final minute, and the Auks had the victory.
McCarthy led the Auks with 11, and Albero had 9. Archmere (5-2) travels to indian River on Saturday for a 12:30 p.m. tip.
For the Mustangs, Rhem scored 11, and Duncombe added 7. MOT Charter fell to 3-5 and returns home Friday to host St. Andrew’s at 5 p.m.
All photos by Mike Lang.