The Burlington High School boys basketball team continued to show their stuff on the court last night with a victory of Salem High in the first round of the MIAA Division 2 North tournament.
Despite starting four seniors who went to the Garden last year, the Salem Witches were stunned by Burlington, which pulled off the upset with some last-minute heroics by junior Captain Mark Melanson.
With the score tied 64-64, Melanson hit a long three-pointer with just 10 seconds left on the clock and then hit two free throws to sink the Witches' hopes of another deep tournament run.
"I was hoping they'd kind of overlook us," Burlington Head Coach Tom Lyons said. "I'm not sure if they did. That is a very good high school basketball team."
Salem's run-and-gun style of play didn't wear down the Burlington Red Devils, who matched the Witches' 10 three-pointers with 10 of their own, including five by Melanson.
Witches Co-captain Raphy Medrano led Salem's attack with 21 points and league MVP Antonio Reyes had 15.
Salem Head Coach Tommy Doyle spent a good while in the locker room with his team after the game. An emotional Doyle said his seniors were trying to look at the positives.
"Some of the seniors stepped up and spoke that they were very proud to be a part of it and they really enjoyed the run we had the last couple of years," Doyle said. "It's tough. We're certainly broken-hearted."
Burlington will play the winner of Wednesday's game between Marblehead and Boston Latin in the quarterfinals.