WILLIAMSTOWN — In a game that started as a back-and-forth affair, the Mount Greylock boys basketball team used its defense and improved free throw shooting to shut down McCann Tech in the second half, winning 69-53 on Monday.
The Hornets ran a fast-paced, quick-trigger offense, keeping the game close early. They attacked in transition and did not hesitate to shoot open shots.
Trailing after at halftime, McCann's Dante Cellana made one of two free throws to start the third quarter, cutting Greylock's lead to three points.
The Mounties responded with a 14-0 run, however, helping them maintain a comfortable lead for the remainder of the game.
"We changed our defenses up a little bit, but I think we made free throws in the second half," Greylock coach Bob Thistle said. "I give McCann credit. They've got a new coach and he's got them playing hard. I knew it was going to be a tough game."
The Mounties were eight of 16 from the free throw line in the first half. They improved to 15 of 17 from the stripe in the second half, allowing them to expand their lead.
McCann's Jacob Ostribinski did a good job of finding open space to get off his shot in the first half. He scored 13 points before halftime, but he was shut out in the second half.
As a team, the Hornets struggled to find offense from half-court sets in a slower-paced second half. McCann Tech coach Luis Carmona said his players did not execute properly, but his team is still trying to adjust to his system.
"We didn't follow our plays all the way through," he said. "New group, new system, it's a process. We're going to have games like this. I'd rather have this now, than later in the season."
While McCann struggled to execute, the Mounties played well in transition and in the half court. Aaron Ronnow played aggressively, attacking the basket, drawing fouls and converting at the line. He tied for a team-high 19 points, with eight coming from the stripe. Sam Dils distributed the ball well, putting teammates in positions to score. With 6:09 left in the game, he found Pat Storie for a 3-pointer, giving the Mounties' their first points of the fourth quarter and extending the lead back to double digits. Storie had 19 points. Dils added seven.
The Mounties improved to 2-0, and Thistle said he's pleased with how his team is progressing early in the season.
"I really like the makeup of our team," he said. "I think it's a selfless team, and we're trying to get them to be more selfish too. I think we're moving the ball well, and 2-0 is where we wanted to be before Christmas break."
Jordan 3-2-10, Field 0-0-0, Tower 2-1-6, Galipeau 1-1-3, Racette 2-0-5, Ostrobiniski 6-0-13, Lincoln 1-1-3, Lemire 1-0-2, Cellana 2-1-5. Rodriguez 0-0-0, Beany 0-0-0. Totals: 20-8-53.
Dils 1-5-7, Ronnow 5-8-19, Filson 1-4-6, Astle 0-0-0, McCormack 2-3-7, Foehl 1-1-4, Storie 7-2-19, Joy 1-0-2, Condon 2-0-5, Hadley 0-0-0. Totals: 20-23-69.
3-point goals — MT: 5 (Jordan 2, Tower 1, Racette 1, Ostribinski 1). MG: 6 (Ronnow 1, Foehl 1, Storie 3, Condon 1).