NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Sports

March 24, 2014

HE'S GOTT GAME

Georgetown's Matt Gott is the Daily News Boys Basketball Player of the Year

(Continued)

Gott’s emergence in the post was also a boon for teammate Pat Bjork, who at 6-foot-5 usually attracted a lot of attention from opposing defenders in the paint. Now, defenders could double-team one player and risk getting beaten by the other, or they could go with single coverage and wind up getting beaten by both.

“Teams had to account for our two inside players, and if they neglected one of them, the other would probably go off,” Spears said. “So having a tandem like that really bolstered our offense.”

Coming into this year, Georgetown was looking to bounce back from a couple of down years. Gott has played varsity since his sophomore year, but during those first two years the team won between four and six games, missing out on the postseason both years.

Before the season began, Gott and the rest of the Royals knew that coach Rowinski had fallen ill and wouldn’t be coaching the team this year, but once they learned that Spears was coming out of retirement to fill in, the team didn’t skip a beat and wound up jumping out to a 5-2 start.

But then on Jan. 13, the team learned that Rowinski had passed away due to complications with a blood disorder. The Royals were scheduled to play Amesbury that night, and suddenly the team was faced with a decision of whether or not to play.

“His wife came in and told us he would have wanted us to play, so we played,” Gott said. “We used that as inspiration to lead us forward.”

The Royals played inspired basketball that night, blowing out Amesbury 73-56 in a hard-fought and emotional victory. Gott scored 18 points in the win, which helped spark a four-game winning streak that all but secured Georgetown’s place in the postseason.

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