It’s been happy holidays for the Durfee boys and girls basketball teams as both squads won their respective holiday tournaments. The Hilltopper boys won their own Skip Karam Holiday Tournament, while the Lady Hilltoppers captured the Taunton Holiday Classic.
In the boys’ finals match-up, the game went down to the wire, as Durfee held off a late charge from a talented Taunton squad, 76-73. The Tigers went into that contest undefeated. Durfee, which started quickly in the game, built a double-digit lead in the third quarter while Taunton standout Tyler Santos was on the bench due to foul difficulty.
Santos returned to the game and the Tigers quickly closed the gap. The Toppers were equal to the task however, as clutch performances from Jeyden Espinal and Devontae Stewart helped Durfee fend off the Tigers’ surge. Espinal was named the Tournament MVP.
Durfee had a balanced attack with Espinal leading the way with 21 points. Stewart had 19 points, while Jaleale Simmons added 17 points and Avonte Lamore chipped in with 13. Santos, with a dominating fourth quarter performance, lead all scorers with 28 points.
In the semi-final round game, Durfee had little trouble in advancing with a dominating 90-41 win over Brighton. Taunton had advanced by handing Dartmouth its first loss of the season, 61-57. Hunter Matteson scored a game high 31 points to lead Dartmouth in that one. The Indians had an easy go of it against Brighton in the consolation game.
The Durfee girls took the Taunton Holiday Classic with a solid 49-29 win over Holliston in the finals. With the win, the Lady Hilltoppers remain perfect on the year at 5-0. Mya Hayes-Paulette led Durfee with 12 points, while Jada Holley added 10. Both girls were named to the All-Tourney team
In the semi-final round match-up, Durfee handed host Taunton its first loss of the year with a 49-39 victory. Hayes-Paulette led Durfee with 14 points in that one, while Holley added 10 and Landry Caron and Julia Hargraves chipped in with eight points each.