Ben Faraci Comes Off Bench to Save Woodbury Middle School 31-28

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Ben Stewart (left) and Brendan Burke defend against a Wamogo player on Tuesday.

WOODBURY – Seventh-grader Ben Faraci hadn’t seen much time off the bench lately for the Woodbury Middle School basketball team. But Faraci’s fourth-quarter effort off the bench sealed the Warriors 31-28 victory Tuesday over Wamogo.

Faraci scored 7 points in the fourth quarter, including 3-for-3 from the foul line, to hold off Wamogo’s comeback bid. Wamogo made it a 29-28 game with 28 seconds left to play when Faraci calmly sank a pair of free throws.

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“The last couple of games I’d been relying on the older kids to carry us, but we’ve been too passive,” Warriors head coach Chris McGrath said. “I told the kids that if they weren’t going to shoot the ball, I was going to put guys in who would shoot the ball. That kind of played itself out down the stretch and worked out in our favor.”

But it was a tale of two halves for the Warriors. WMS rolled out to an 18-5 halftime lead with a stellar defensive performance, but hung their heads in disappointment in the locker room at halftime, McGrath said.

“Sometimes you can get a lead and it’s not a good thing,” McGrath said. “I don’t think we were overly confident. We needed to remind them that [Wamogo] beat them on Saturday, and now they are back again.”

Aiden Colby led WMS with 14 points and 11 rebounds, and Ben Stewart added 6 points and 6 rebounds. Ben Conti had 6 rebounds and Braeden Purser-Eber had 5 rebounds, including four key offensive ones down the stretch.

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