WORCESTER – The Worcester 78’s defeated the New England Outtatowners 152-125 in a home-game win this Sunday.
Here are five takeaways that stood out from the 78’s dominant victory:
Great defense leads to great offense. The team seemed to unite as one defensive unit that would not make it easy for the Outtatowners to score the basketball. “The defense predicates the offense,” said Tony Gallo during halftime. “Me and Kamahl have 40 point nights, and it all starts on D.” Well, Gallo certainly makes a valid point. The 78’s combined teamwork in the second half led to easy blocks, rebounds, and forced turnovers against their opponent.
Let it fly. The Worcester 78’s are a consistent team from the three point line. This team trusts each other. Gallo or Kamahl Walker may pull up from deep (and most likely they’ll drain the shot), but even if they miss, the team rushes back to make a defensive stop. No easy buckets. No complaints. Team chemistry and unselfish play allowed the 78’s consistent open shots from the three-point line. Coach Leo believes that “we did a great job of turning down good shots for great ones. When we do that, we make a lot of 3’s.”
The Worcester 78’s are mentally strong, and they know it. This team likes each other and it shows in their unselfish play. It always seems like each player on the 78’s knows exactly where their teammates are going to be on the floor. They come out and compete even when things get tough. The Outtatowners were a stark juxtaposition as confusion and frustration began to overtake them as the 78’s held a substantial lead in the third and fourth quarters. The Outtatowners gave up. The crowd knew it and so did their opponent.
Sam Longwell-The Quiet Assassin. Longwell was the leading scorer of the Worcester 78’s with 25 points. Longwell is one of those players that just goes out and scores. He doesn’t have to be flashy because he doesn’t have to be. Longwell has a way of moving without the ball that leaves his defenders stunned. Before they know what hit them… Splash! Longwell for three.
The Dynamic Duo: Gallo & Walker. Gallo was on fire in the first half. It didn’t seem like there was anything that he couldn’t do. He had 22 points from shots taken inside and beyond the arc. His defense was magnificent. At one point, he jumped high into the air as he recorded a stunning block on a player twice his size. Walker took over in the second half as everything seemed to click for the 78’s offense. Walker’s seemingly inhuman ability to score at will and break down his defenders defense complement his way of controlling the pace to benefit his team. Their great play is contagious and will help them win in future games.