The Lenox boys basketball team is aware of the tough task it faces heading into its match-up against Hopkins Academy in the Western Massachusetts Division IV semifinals at the Curry Hicks Cage tonight.
The Golden Hawks have dominated their competition this season, sporting a perfect 21-0 record. Hopkins has a 28-point average margin of victory, out-scoring opponents by 593 points.
The Millionaires experienced the Golden Hawks' dominance firsthand with a 71-54 loss during the regular season. John Earle led the way with 21 points, Sam'i Roe had 20 and John Morrison added 11. Lenox coach Scott Sibley said Hopkins' ability to have multiple scorers carry the load offensively makes them tough to stop.
"It creates headaches," he said. "Once you get to three or four [scorers] it makes [defense] very difficult. Our hope is to take away one or two of them and have another one have an off night.
"We're hoping in the fourth quarter to have a shot to pull out the win."
Lenox comes in as the underdog based on seeding and its previous meeting with Hopkins, but Sibley said the tag is something his team embracing. The Millionaires lost seven seniors from last year's team, as well as Division-I recruit junior Bailey Patella, who transferred to Vermont Academy before the start of the season. Facing a season that looked to be a rebuild, the Millionaires used their doubters to propel them back to the Curry Hicks Cage after losing in the quarterfinals last season.
"The kids are playing with a chip on their shoulder," Sibley said. "We lost seven seniors and Bailey Patella and people thought it would be a down year. Those losses hurt, but we've had kids step up and we're getting more kids involved and we're running plays well.
"Everybody brings something different. It takes a little bit of everything to make a team. These guys have found their niche and it made us stronger."
Players such as Patrick Colvin, Kevin Coakley and Tom Hedges — roles players on last year's team — have thrived in their increased roles. Colvin has taken over the scoring load left from Patella's departure. The senior guard is a strong shooter off the dribble and in catch-and-shoot situations. He showcased his strong shooting with a 26-point performance in a win over Wahconah. He made five 3-pointer against the Warriors.
Another player that's progressed well throughout the season is 6-foot-5 big man Tom Reynolds. Reynold did not play basketball last season after spending two years on the junior varsity team. He provides solid rebounding and shot blocking for the Millionaires.
Reynolds height inside could lead to some easy looks near the basket for the Millionaires. Sibley said they'll need to slow the game down to keep the Golden Hawks from created fast break scoring opportunities.
"They work hard and take it to you," he said. "They're deep and play great team basketball. We've faced challenges throughout the season and done pretty well, ... Hopefully that will continue on [tonight]."
Contact Akeem Glaspie at 413-496-6252