DALTON -- A relentless defensive effort and balanced scoring were the key components in the Wahconah boys basketball team's 45-30 win over Mount Greylock on Friday night.
The Warriors never trailed Friday, and in fact led the visiting Mounties by double digits for most of the game.
"I thought our defensive intensity was outstanding tonight," said Warrior coach Dustin Belcher. "Our center, Cole Morrison, did a great job containing [Greylock center Jake] Benzinger. He's only a sophomore, and he had a great game. Obviously, we gave him a lot of help, but Cole played well."
"Greylock played pretty well, but our defense was very good tonight," said Warrior senior Marcus Duncan, who led the team in scoring with 10 points. "They came to play, but we just played better."
The Warriors jumped out to a 9-0 advantage, holding the visitors without a point for the first 6 minutes, 27 seconds. Wahconah's 2-3 zone was very active, jumping out to contest Greylock's long-range shooters and then descending on the 6-7 Benzinger when he had the ball.
The Mounties have a number of ways to get the ball to their big man, but Wahconah's back line of Morrison, Duncan and Marco Anastasio was keenly aware of them. The Greylock big guy was held scoreless from the field Friday, connecting on only three of four free throws.
That shifted the burden onto Greylock's perimeter people, and while they got a sufficient number of open looks, they did not cash in on enough of them.
Up 11-3 after a quarter, Wahconah pushed the lead to 17-3 on back-to-back three-point buckets by Ryan McMahon. The two teams traded baskets after that, and Wahconah led, 24-10 at intermission.
As the third quarter opened, Greylock made a run. A 3-pointer by Eric Hirsch and a pair of free throws by Cole Jackson whittled the Warrior lead to nine at 24-15. But Duncan hit a hoop in the paint and Kevin Boino scored off a nice feed from Collin Parrott, and Wahconah was back on top by 13. Greylock got no closer.
Jackson led Greylock with 10, while Benzinger had 12 rebounds to lead all players.
To reach Derek Gentile:
or (413) 496-6251.
On Twitter: @DerekGentile.