With his team trailing by four points and just 60 seconds left on the fourth quarter clock, Doucette took over the gym floor at Wilmington High, scoring the final five points of the game and leading TMHS to a thrilling, 43-42 victory over Shawsheen Tech in the consolation game at the Knights of Columbus Larry McGrath Basketball Tournament Wednesday night.
After Shawsheen's Devin Summiel (game high 15 points) scored from in close to make it 42-38 with just over a minute to go in the game, Doucette responded by swishing a three-pointer to pull the Redmen to within a point. Doucette then drew and offensive foul on Shawsheen's Steve Reynolds to get Tewksbury the ball back with 45 seconds to play.
With just 10.9 second left, Doucette drove the lane and got fouled. He drained both free throws to put his team ahead, and sealed the deal by blocking Shawsheen's last-second shot as the buzzer sounded.
"I couldn't let my team lose this game," Doucette said. "We lost a bad game yesterday against Wilmington so today we just had to get a win somehow, and I wasn't letting us lose."
The win was Tewksbury's second against three losses, and TMHS head coach Phil Conners was visibly relieved that his Redmen pulled this one out.
"It was big that he (Doucette) stepped up," Conners said. "He made two big free throws under pressure down the line. We executed down the end, which was good to see. It's a learning process, and it's better to learn on a win."
The Redmen turned in one of their best defensive efforts of the season, creating multiple turnovers with full court pressure on Shawsheen. But the Tewksbury offense never really got going in this game, as TMHS suffered through two long scoring droughts in the second and third quarters.
"We probably had 10-15 really good looks that we just missed on," Conners said. "There's nothing you can do about it, you just gotta keep shooting."
Senior guard Bobby Lumbard once again led the Redmen with 12 points, while sophomore forward Kevin Dick had eight. Doucette scored seven points in the game, and Sean Foley added six. Chris Crawford and Chris Fandel each scored four points and Anthony Chiccarelli added two.
Tewksbury visits Melrose Friday night.
HOCKEY TEAM SWEEPS UP IN MAINE
The usual suspects were at it again as the Tewksbury High hockey team made it a clean sweep in the Maine Invitational, downing Falmouth (Me.) High School, 3-2, Wednesday night. The Redmen return home having won all three of their games on the three-day trip to Maine.
Junior center iceman Derek Petti scored two goals and assisted on a third and senior defenseman PJ Mugford scored on yet another blast from the point as Tewksbury pummeled the Falmouth net with 43 shots in the game.
The win was the fifth in a row for the red-hot Redmen, who lost their opener to Chelmsford but have been unstoppable ever since.
"We pretty much dominated them (Falmouth), but their goalie was really good," Tewksbury coach Derek Doherty said. "We had a ton of chances but their goalie made some real nice saves. We played pretty good though. We forechecked well and we put pressure on them in the defensive zone."
Derek Petti scored his fifth goal of the season on a pretty give-and-go play with younger brother Ryan Petti just 3:23 into the game to give Tewksbury the lead. Mugford scored his fifth goal of the year on a power play eight minutes into the second period to make it 2-0. Derek Petti and Shannon Alukonis assisted.
Sophomore goaltender Taylor Lirakis relieved freshman starter Kyle Paquette in goal midway through the second period. For Lirakis, it was her first career varsity appearance.
Yarmouth closed to within a goal with just under a minute to play in the second period, but Derek Petti responded with his team-high sixth goal of the season in a man-down situation just nine seconds before the second intermission. Mugford and Lirakis both assisted on that play, as Lirakis made her first game a memorable one by picking up a rare (for goaltenders) assist, and Mugford collected his team-high fifth assist on the play.
Yarmouth did close to within a goal with six minutes to play, but Tewksbury kept all the action in the offensive end after that and closed out the win.
"It was a great trip," Doherty said. "We got three good wins and a trip like this is great for team building and bonding."
The Redmen, now 5-1 overall, hope to carry their momentum into Sunday's big Merrimack Valley Conference/Dual County League clash with Boston Latin, at home at the Breakaway Ice Center (7:00 p.m.).
"Hopefully we can keep it going," Doherty said. "They (Boston Latin) have their whole first line back. It's going to be a true test."
MELROSE TOPS TMHS GIRLS BASKETBALL TEAM, 45-37
The Tewksbury High girls basketball team fought Melrose tooth-and-nail for 28 minutes in the opening round of the Melrose Holiday Tournament, but the Redmen ran out of gas in the final four minutes of the game and Melrose prevailed, 45-37.
Junior forward Nicole Chaet scored two free throws to pull Tewksbury to within a point at 36-35 with 4:39 to play in the fourth quarter, but the Redmen could only muster two more points after that, and Melrose closed with a 9-2 run to pull out the win.
"We missed a lot of open shots, and we missed a lot of free throws in the second half," said Tewksbury coach Mark Bradley. "Until we start making the shots we gotta make, we're gonna struggle."
Sophomore guard Sara Semenza led Tewksbury with 14 points, while junior forward Nicole Chaet had 10, eight from the free throw line.
"I think the girls played hard but we made a few mental mistakes," Bradley said. "I thought we had a lot of quality possessions but I think we also had a lot of bad possessions. Thats what we have to correct."
Sophomore guard Shannon Semenza added five points for Tewksbury while sophomore center Chelsee Porcaro had four. Senior guards Sheri Liggiero and Katie Doherty scored two points each.
Tewksbury plays Burlington in the tournament's consolation game Thursday at 5:30 p.m. in Melrose.
LONDON ADVANCES TO LOWELL HOLIDAY SEMI-FINALS
It was a difficult day for most of the Tewksbury High wrestling team in the early rounds of the 44th Annual George Bossi Lowell Holiday Wrestling Tournament.
Senior 170-pounder Chris London was the lone TMHS wrestler to advance to the quarterfinals of this prestigious tournament, winning both of his bouts by pinfall. London drew a first-round bye, then pinned Tyler Mattison of Mt. Anthony, Vermont in just 2:00. In the third round, London pinned Shawsheen Tech's Chris Sorenson at 1:17 of the second period.
London will face Phil Smith of Salem, N.H. in the quarterfinals on Thursday morning.
Senior 182-pounder Derek Tarpey lost his first round match to Trevor Martin of Waltham, but rebounded with three straight wins by pinfall in the consolation bracket. Tarpey pinned Sean McCoy of Shawsheen Tech, Mike Eithier of Newton North and Zach Canto of Central Catholic to advance to the consolation bracket quaterfinals on Thursday.
Senior 160-pounder Mike Davidian lost his opening round match, 8-3 to Shawsheen's Nick Hoar, but rebounded with consolation bracket wins over Canton's Jon Oslin and Malden Catholic's Evan Stickel before being eliminated in the fourth round.
Tim Martel won his first round match at 195 pounds pinning Jesse Diaz of Nashua South in the third period. Martel then lost a close 6-4 decision to Tom Beucler of Reading and beat Manny Suarez of Central Catholic in a 20-9 major decision before losing in the fourth round.
Dan Altavesta won his first round match at 152 pounds, pinning Dylan Wolusky of Catholic Memorial in 59 seconds. Altavesta then lost two straight and was eliminated.
Brandon McCarthy lost his opening round match at 145 pounds in a narrow 3-1 decision but rebounded with two consolation bracket wins. McCarthy beat Aaron williams of Plymouth NH in a decision and pinned Patrick Biatico of Malden Catholic before losing in the fourth round.