Six Berkshire County high school basketball teams have a chance to win five Western Massachusetts championships today.
The day begins, as it traditionally does for Berkshire County basketball fans, with a 10:45 a.m. championship game. This year, it's the Division IV girls game where Mount Everett will play Quaboag. The day will end when the Pittsfield boys play Tantasqua for the Western Mass. Division II championship.
The Eagles have never won a Western Mass. basketball title. The last sectional title for a girls team at Mount Everett was in 2013, when the softball team won a D-III title over Turners Falls.
The girls basketball team (18-4), a No. 2 seed, will seek to join the softball and the 2012 baseball team as Western Mass. champions, when the Eagles face fifth-seeded Quaboag (15-8) in the first of six games.
The only All-Berkshire final of the six-game marathon come next, but about four hours after the Eagles tip off. Scheduled for a 2:15 start, second-seeded Hoosac Valley (19-5) will seek its fourth straight title when it plays No. 4 Drury (16-6).
It was Hoosac's 47-35 win over Drury in March 2013, that started Ron Wojcik's team on its current run of Western Mass titles. This will, however, be a rubber game of sorts because the Blue Devils beat Hoosac, 48-46, for the Western Mass. Division II title back in 1981, making this the third time the two teams have played for a regional title.
Four titles would be an impressive haul, but it pales in comparison to Monument Mountain's run of five straight Division II titles from 1996-2000, and the seven straight D-III crowns for Lee from 1993-99.
By the way, Monument's run ended in 2001, with a loss to Drury.
As it did last year, Hoosac will play back-to-back title games. The defending champion Hurricane boys (14-9) are the No. 5 seed and they will take on second-seeded Easthampton (20-2) in the 4 p.m. Division III title game.
The two Pittsfield schools will then take center stage. The PHS girls (18-4) are the No. 3 seed and will face No. 1 Longmeadow (20-1) in a 5:45 game that is a rematch of a game played at the Hoophall Tournament earlier this season. The Lancers earned a 63-40 decision that night.
The Lancers are seeking their second Western Mass. title in three years. Pittsfield hasn't won a Western Mass. title since taking the Division I crown in 2002, beating East Longmeadow 52-51. The Generals had gone back-to-back in 2001 and 2002. Their win in 2001 was a 55-40 decision over Longmeadow.
In the 7:30 finale, the No. 5 Genereals (15-7) will take on No. 2 Tantasqua (19-2) for the Division II championship. The last Western Mass. boys champion from a Pittsfield public high school was Taconic in 1977. Pittsfield's last Western Mass. title came in 1973.
The Berkshire County girls teams have a chance to do something that hasn't happened since 1996, win three titles. That year, Pittsfield won the Division I title, Monument Mountain took Division II and Lee won Division III.
The last time two Berkshire County boys teams won titles in the same year was 1988, when Drury took the Division II crown and St. Joseph the Division III title. St. Joe went on to win a state D-III title that year.