Photo Gallery | Taconic boys basketball falls to Hopkins
AMHERST — Taconic coach Bill Heaphy said his team looked flat right from the opening tip and the Braves could never shake their funk, losing 73-56 to Hopkins Academy during the first game of the Pioneer Valley Tip-off at the Curry Hicks Cage on Sunday.
Taconic could not find its groove on offense, as the team looked out of sync throughout. Hopkins jumped out to 20-11 lead in the first quarter and the Golden Hawks never trailed.
"We didn't come mentally ready to play," Heaphy said. "When you don't come ready to play, you're not alert and you don't concentrate. I just thought we were flat from the minute we got off the bus."
Heaphy added that Thursday's close season-opening win over Longmeadow led to a letdown against Hopkins.
Hopkins, however, started the game shooting well, especially from long range. The Golden Hawks, made three consecutive 3-pointers in the first quarter and six for the game. Spencer Butterifield had 16 points with three 3-pointers. Brett Morrison had 13 points with two trey. Sami Roe led all scorers with 19 points.
The Golden Hawks strong shooting offset a clunky game, that lacked flow due to heavy fouling from both sides. Hopkins reached the bonus early in the second quarter, but it could not capitalize missing 11 free throws and allowing Taconic to stay in the game.
"We have talented shooters," Hopkins coach Angelo Thomas said. "Taconic is a really tough and physical team. ... We knew they were going to play hard and we had to respond to that if we were going to have a chance. In the first half we didn't respond well. Luckily we were hitting shots."
The Braves trailed by 12 at halftime, and their inability to hit 3-pointers prevented them from cutting into the Golden Hawks' lead.
Treyvon Ringgold's presence inside was Taconic's main source of scoring. He hit back-to-back lay-ups early in the third quarter, cutting the deficit to 10, but the Braves could not get closer. The senior led Taconic with 24 points and 10 rebounds. He was the only Taconic player in double figures.
Ringgold provided production in the front court, but Taconic's guards struggled. Isaiya Mestre and Deonte Sandifer combined for 33 points against Longmeadow, but at The Cage the duo combined for four.
"When you're not the biggest team in the world, you have to rely on shooting," Heaphy said. "We had opportunity to hit gaps, instead of continuing to drive and knocking people over. That's not how you did. It was just a lot of things that we did terribly."
S. Butterfield 5-3-16, Gaglo 2-0-5, J. Butterfield 1-0-2. Earle 4-0-8, Roe 5-9-19, B. Morrison 4-3-13, J. Morrison 4-1-9, Pipezynski 0-1-1. Totals 25-17-73.
Cotto 1-0-2, Mestre 0-0-0, Stracuzzi 1-0-2, Walker 1-0-3, Cooney 3-0-6, McNeice 1-0-3, Abel 0-1-1, Murphy 1-0-2, Reardon 1-1-3, Ringgold 8-8-24, Pfeiffer 1-0-2. Totals: 21-12-56.
3-point goals — H 6 (S. Butterfield 3, B. Morrison 2, Gaglo 1). T 2 (Walker 1, McNeice 1).