Brian Keefe scored 20 points as the Hopkinton High School boys basketball team closed out its pandemic-shortened season with an exciting 60-56 home victory over rival Ashland on Tuesday afternoon.
Josh Czerepuszko added 17 points for the Hillers, who finished with a 3-6 record.
Hopkinton trailed 16-13 after one period, but Czerepuszko scored first six points of the second quarter and the hosts would never trail again. Keefe hit a pair of threes in the period as part of his 11-point first half, and HHS led 31-25 at the halftime break.
The Hillers’ lead peaked at 14 in the third quarter, 42-28, but Ashland then went on a 9-0 run to close within five. Czerepuszko answered with two free throws and Caleb Rahaim drilled a 3-pointer to get the lead back to double digits at 47-37. Ashland scored two late baskets to make it 47-41 heading into the final quarter.
A Max Dever trey to start the final period brought Ashland within three points, 47-44. Czerepuszko again had the answer, scoring on a driving basket to put Hopkinton up 49-44 and starting a six-point run.
Ashland refused to go away, however. Trailing by nine points with 1:36 remaining, the Clockers went on an 8-2 run and closed to within three points at 59-56 with 11 seconds remaining. An offensive foul on the ensuing inbounds play gave the ball back to the visitors, but Jake Rymsza, who scored a game-high 22 points, could not shake Keefe’s defense and was off the mark on his bid to tie the game with 3-pointer. Keefe then hit a free throw with 1.9 seconds remaining to ice the game.
In the girls’ game at Ashland, Lauren Cho scored 14 points to lead the Hillers to a 51-23 rout.
Kiki Fossbender scored 10 points and Caroline Connell netted nine for Hopkinton, which closed the season at 7-5.
After taking a 13-7 lead through one quarter, the Hillers dominated the second period. Cho scored seven points in a 13-1 run, and Hopkinton took a 28-10 lead into halftime. Connell sparked a 9-0 run to open the third quarter as the Hillers opened up an insurmountable lead. It was 39-12 heading into the final period.