SPRINGFIELD -- It’s that time of year, as Western Massachusetts teams prepare to take the first step toward a state title and compete in the Western Mass. tournament.
In Division II, two Pittsfield teams earned high seeds, with Pittsfield hauling in a No. 2 seed and Taconic slotted right behind in third.
Pittsfield (17-3) will host No. 7 Sheppard Hill (12-7) in the first round, and Taconic (15-5) will hosts No. 6 Quabbin. Both games are Feb. 28 at 7 p.m. Longmeadow (18-2) earned the No. 1 seed.
Taconic coach Bill Heaphy said earning a home tournament game is a big accomplishment for his team.
"We feel good about the seed," he said. "Wasn’t sure if we were going to get the 3 or the 4, but the home game is the key. Now it’s about getting information on Quabbin."
While Heaphy said he was pleased with the seed, one downfall of hosting a tournament game is that Pittsfield is hosting its game at the same time. Playing games at the same time will fracture some of the local support, but Heaphy said in the end, it’s about playing the game.
In Division III, with 10 teams qualifying for the tournament. The play-in games are held Tuesday at 7 p.m., with the quarterfinals starting Friday at 7 p.m.
Hoosac Valley earned the highest seed among county teams. The Hurricanes were awarded the No. 3 spot and avoided a play-in game. They await the winner of the No. 6 Greenfield vs. No. 10 Palmer matchup.
Hoosac Valley’s Sean Ryan-Kut said confidence is high for his team looking at the potential tournament opponents. Hoosac beat Greenfield on the road 61-59 in its second game of the season.
"I feel like our team has progressed so much from that game, and we’re a completely different team," he said. "After that, we’re going to have our hands full."
No. 5 Wahconah will travel to No. 4 Mahar on Friday.
Wahconah coach Dustin Belcher said he’s proud of his team for making the tournament and is getting ready to further scout Mahar. He added that with strength of schedule factoring in so heavily in the Walker System, he wanted his team to play a tougher schedule this season.
"We upped our schedule from a year ago knowing that that’s a major factor in the Walker System," he said. "Overall, I’m pretty happy. You’ve got to go out and win the games no matter what seed you are."
Monument Mountain is the other county team in the D-III tournament. The Spartans, who are the No. 7 seed, won’t have to wait nearly as long to get their postseason underway. They host No. 10 Pioneer Valley on Tuesday.
With three county teams in Division III, the earliest possible Berkshire County vs. Berkshire County matchup would take place in the semifinals with Monument Mountain facing Hoosac Valley. Monu ment would have a tough road, however, needing to win Tues day, and then beat unbeaten No. 2 Renaissance (20-0) on Friday.
In Division IV, three more Berkshire County schools are represented in the bracket, as No. 5 Lenox (14-6) draws Berkshire County’s highest seed and will host No. 12 Franklin Tech (13-7) on Monday.
No. 9 Lee (10-10) will travel to No. 8 North Brookfield, and No. 11 McCann Tech (13-7) will travel to No. 6 Hopkins (12-8).
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