PITTSFIELD -- Coming off an emotional win against city rival Taconic, the Pittsfield boys basketball team avoided a letdown with a commanding 99-73 win over St. Joseph on Monday night.
With leading scorer Amancho Adopo held out of the game due to a coach's decision, starters Chad Shade and Scott Steinman shouldered the scoring load for Pittsfield. Generals coach Steve Ray said Adopo will be back in the lineup Thursday against Hoosac Valley.
Shade scored a game-high 29 points, and Steinman finished with 22. Shade said it wasn't hard for the team to focus on St. Joe after Friday's tough win.
"We knew we were going to have to come out strong," he said. "We started out a little slow, but came out strong in the second half and got the win."
For Ray and Pittsfield, the focus is squarely on making a deep playoff run. With Thursday's matchup against Hoosac Valley looming, depth and having several players contribute to the scoring column will give the team a boost.
"What's nice about this team is, we have a lot of guys that can contribute in a lot of different ways," Ray said. "We play big, we can play the wing, and every game we're getting deeper. We're putting more guys out there. ... Every game we're getting one step closer to the tournament, and we're getting prepared."
In addition to Shade and Steinman playing extended minutes, Jerry McDonough, Josh Conant, Alex Weber and Matt Capeless also saw increased playing time. Capeless finished with 13 points. Weber finished with 11.
The Generals have a host of capable wing players on the roster, but play in the paint will be key especially against Hoosac big man Jameson Coughlan.
With forward Anthony Jones out the remainder of the season, Shade has been playing with the bigs down low.
Monday, Shade showed the ability to grab rebounds, run the floor and finish at the rim -- even dunking in the second half. He also drew the assignment of guarding St. Joe leading scorer Pat Latini, who finished with 27 points.
Ray said Shade's versatility is a big plus for his team.
"That's the thing that makes this team special, we have guys that can play multiple positions," Ray said. "Shade can play on the block with anyone in the county. He can also play the wing for us, and he gives us an added dimension of when he grabs a rebound, he can go and bring the ball up the court."
Heading into Thursday's game against Hoosac and Senior Night on Friday against Lee, Ray said the key for his team will be playing with intensity.
"We seemed to come out flat tonight, so the key for our team is matching the intensity of the other teams," he said. "Every team in Berkshire County is coming to give us their best shot -- we have to be ready for that."
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