Eastern boys get payback against Berlin

The Bristol Eastern boys basketball team had business to take care of Monday night at the Thomas M. Monahan Gymnasium.

The opponent was Berlin, which beat Eastern by a point, 56-55, back on Jan. 22 in Berlin. That was the most recent loss for the Lancers, who won their next three games.

Eastern made it four straight wins, hammering Berlin by a 72-47 margin. The Lancers improved to 12-3.

Eastern had four players score in double figures, led by 17 points from Jordan Chisholm. Brayden Dauphinais tallied 15 points, Zaveyn Tate added 13 and Lucas Sward chipped in 10. Brady Bell just missed double figures with eight points. Nine different Lancers scored in the game.

In the first half, it was all about Chisholm. The junior guard went off for 11 points over the first 16 minutes. Chisholm helped Eastern vault over Berlin after an early 6-2 deficit. He made a pair of free throws, nailed a 3-pointer, and converted on a mid-range shot off a spin move for seven first quarter points. Chisholm’s two baskets in the second quarter both pushed the Lancers to their biggest lead of the first half, which was eight points. The home side led, 31-24, at the break.

Eastern ran away from Berlin in the second half, outscoring the visitors, 41-23. Tate tallied 10 of his 13 points after halftime while Dauphinais put in nine of his 15. Tate and Dauphinais took turns attacking the Redcoat basket. Tate and Dauphinais alternated for the first two baskets of the second half, and when Tate scored off a spin move, Eastern had a 40-26 lead and Berlin needed time at the 4:38 mark. 

It only got worse from there for the Redcoats. Chisholm dribbled into a pull-up 3-pointer, then Tate went all the way for a layup following a turnover for a 45-26 lead. Berlin again needed a timeout, this time with 3:53 left in the third quarter. Dauphinais and Sward propelled Eastern to a 54-37 lead after three quarters.

The Lancers outscored the Redcoats, 18-10, in the fourth quarter. In the first half, it seemed like every Berlin shot that struck the rim somehow bounced in. There was even a dead-on bank from mid-range. In a sign of how much the momentum had changed, a ball was deflected under the Eastern basket, but Bell was right there to scoop it up and lay it in.

The Lancer starters got a chance to root on their teammates, including Ben Kozikowski, who faked a three to their chagrin, but drove for a layup to their elation. Kozikowski then found Isaiah Lawrence-Bynum for the team’s final basket.

A three-game week continues on Thursday for Eastern when it plays at Middletown at 6:45 p.m. The Lancers host nonleague foe Watertown on Saturday at noon to close out the week.