PITTSFIELD -- When Pittsfield guard Amancho Adopo hit a 3-pointer early in the third quarter for his 1,000th career point, he felt as if a weight lifted off his shoulders.
On Senior Night, and with leading scorer Adopo reaching a career milestone, Pittsfield shook away the nerves and beat Lee 85-65 Friday.
"I sensed a lot of nervousness, particularly on Adopo," Pittsfield coach Steve Ray said. "He was sick to his stomach with nerves before the game. We were happy to participate in it, and now we can get focused on the task at hand, the Western Mass. tournament."
Pittsfield started the game slowly, as Lee and their 1,000-plus point scorer, Heamon Williams, looked to play spoilers.
Williams' back-to-back threes capped a 10-3 run to start the second quarter for Lee, putting the Wildcats up by three.
Pittsfield regained the lead on a Bryce Daley 3-pointer with a little more than two minutes remaining in the half. Pittsfield took a six-point lead into halftime, with Adopo three points away from 1,000.
After halftime, Adopo wasted little time getting the milestone out of the way. Daley fed Adopo on the left wing, and the senior guard nailed the shot. Adopo led Pittsfield with 28 points.
"Everybody was expecting me to get 1,000, so I felt like I had to get it," he said. "It was a lot of weight off my shoulders. I was relieved."
The three put Pittsfield up seven, but Williams would keep Lee in the game. Lee's senior forward scored nine straight points to bring Lee within seven at the end of the third. Williams led all scorers with 39 points, including four 3-pointers.
Lee coach Dan Korte said it was interesting to see two 1,000-point scorers go at it, even if they were not matched up often.
"They're such different type of players, but when you have two guys that can put the ball in the basket it's fun to watch," he said "[Williams] had some big shots, and put us on his back at times and got us through some adversity."
In the fourth quarter, however, the Generals outscored Lee 28-15 to seal the win.
"We put our main lineup back in and we picked it up on defense," Ray said. "We went back to man-to-man defense and I think we matched up better. Our defensive pressure gave us some transition points. That really started stretching the lead."
Friday's win was a special moment for all the Pittsfield seniors. Seniors Matt Capeless, Josh Conant, Bobby New, and Kyle Shade moved to the starting lineup for Senior Night.
Shade said it was a special night for him as he nears the end of his basketball career. After missing two years of football due to concussion symptoms, Friday's game meant that much more to him. He had nine points.
"It means a lot to me. I missed my sophomore year, I missed my junior year and came back for my senior year. This is it for basketball for me," he said. "It's great to have a senior night with a group of guys that are real special."
After the game, Ray said, he still sees areas where his team can improve. With games against Wahconah, Hoosac and Taconic coming in the next two weeks, he said it is up to his coaching staff to get the players mentally prepared for the end-of-season grind.
"It's up to the coaching staff to get these guys ready for the intensity we're going to see for the rest of the season," he said. "Every game going forward is going to be like a playoff atmosphere."
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