LENOX >> The Lenox boys basketball played an aggressive full-court pressure defense, using their active hands to disrupt Franklin Tech throughout, leading to a 57-42 win on Thursday in the quarterfinals of the Western Massachusetts Division IV tournament. The Millionaires await to winner of No. 1 Hopkins Academy and No. 9 Sizer. They're returning to The Cage after losing in the quarterfinals last season.
Lenox's pressure prevented Franklin Tech from establishing any rhythm on offense. The Eagles fell behind early and the Millionaires had an answer for every one of their scoring runs. The host pulled away by using its 23-15 turnover advantage to create scoring opportunities in transition.
"That was something we were working on a little in practice," Lenox coach Scott Sibley said of his team's pressure. "We switched up our traps and it's kind of a work in progress. I do think it created some turnovers. ... I give credit to Franklin Tech for not panicking and playing pretty strong with the ball."
The Millionaires' Patrick Colvin said his team wanted to exploit Franklin's guards with pressure, and their ability to communicate through a raucous crowd allowed them to function well on offense and defense.
They jumped ahead quickly, holding the Eagles to just four points in the first quarter, and started the second on a 6-0 run.
Franklin's Colin Gould and Joel Farrick helped spark a 10-2 run to end the first half, cutting the deficit to 26-18. The teams continued to trade baskets, however, and the visitors never got closer than six points during the second half. Gould led Franklin with 16 points.
"It made it difficult to set up our offense," Franklin coach Matt Llewelyn said of Lenox's pressure. "A couple more ball fakes would've done [us better]. We didn't a good job of getting the ball in the middle and that was our plan."
Franklin's post player Zach Korpewski struggled against Lenox's 6-foot-5 post player Tom Reynolds. Reynolds did a good job of boxing out Korpewski and grabbing away rebounds. He scored four points, grabbed eight rebounds (three offensive) and had five blocks.
When Korpewski was out of the game, the Eagles struggled even more to control the boards. Lenox used its skill on the glass to create second and third scoring chances, leading to open 3-pointers or uncontested drives to the lane.
"The defense boards and the offensive boards were the key to this game," Llewlyn said. "They got a lot of second-chance shots — even on their 3's. We couldn't convert around the hoop and they could. That's what made the game a six, eight and 10-point game. ... We couldn't catch up from there."
Colvin led the way for the Millionaires. He made four 3-pointers, leading to game-high 24 points. He scored 12 of his 24 in the fourth quarter. Outside of Colvin, other Millionaires picked their spots to contribute on offense. Tom Hedges scored six of his 10 in the third, allowing his team to withstand Franklin's 7-2 third-quarter closing run. Kevin Coakley added nine points and several rebounds as well.
"Reynolds played a huge game," Colvin said. "He's been getting into foul trouble because he's been bringing his hands down and at the last second he'd go for the block. But [tonight] he kept his hands straight up and he altered shots."
Daignault 2-0-5, Hastings 1-0-3, Gould 7-2-16, Despiens 0-0-0, Johnson 1-0-2, Farrick 3-1-7, Berymann 0-0-0, Koripewski 4-1-9. Totals: 18-4-42.
Colvin 7-6-24, Reynolds 2-0-4, Hurley 0-0-0, Shepard 2-3-7 Parkinson 0-0-0, Farevaag 1-0-3, Coakley 4-1-9, Hedges 5-0-10, Downer 0-0-0. Totals: 21-10-57.
3-pointer goals — FT 2 (Daignault, Hastings). L 5 (Colvin 4, Farevaag).
Contact Akeem Glaspie at 413-496-6252