Drury boys basketball pulls away from Taconic late

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CAROLINE BONNIVIER SNYDER — THE BERKSHIRE EAGLE
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NORTH ADAMS — The first quarter between the Taconic and Drury boys basketball team was an offensive showcase.

The squads raced up and down the court for transition baskets, drained three-pointers and converted layups in the post. The game appeared headed for 200 total points, but Drury made the defensive adjustments necessary to slow down the Braves, pulling away in the fourth quarter for an 80-63 win on Tuesday.

Drury coach Jack Racette said he wanted his players to keep the ball out of Taconic senior Javier Osorio's hands. Osorio scored 12 of his 17 points in the first half. In the second half, the Blue Devils trapping press forced Osorio to give up the ball and the Braves' offense suffered. Quinten Gittens' layup tied the game at 46 with 2 minutes, 15 seconds left in the third quarter. Reece Racette answered with a 3-pointer off a feed from Max Daugherty. J.J. Middleton added a 3-pointer with 20 seconds left in the quarter, putting the Blue Devils up six. They finished the quarter with a seven-point lead and would not trail again.

"Honestly, we just stick to our game plan and stay with the pressure," Reece Racette said. "I thought early we really had them throwing the ball away. I thought we were able to get more possessions, but with all the offensive rebounds we give up it kind of evens out. So we've got to stay with our pressure."

Turnovers plagued Taconic throughout the game, but the miscues were backbreaking in the final quarter. Gittens' 3-pointer cut the Braves deficit to four to start the fourth. Scott McGuire responded with four straight points, before Osorio answered with a trey. The squads traded baskets before Osorio sank a pair of free throws. Taconic's lone senior tried to keep his team in the game, but his was held scoreless for the final 4:30 of the contest. Chad Lawrence and McGuire hit back-to-back threes to ice the game. Drury closed on a 13-3 run.

"We really kept the ball out of the middle of the floor," the elder Racette said of slowing down Taconic's offense. "Osorio is tough. We had it he was knifing through and making things happen. We we got it out of his hands, the next guys were OK with it, but they weren't like him."

Taconic is one of the few teams that can match Drury's fast-paced offense. When the Braves forced the Blue Devils to run half-court, Drury spread the floor by putting four strong shooters on the court. McGuire made contested shots from the perimeter, forcing his defender to stick close. With the floor spaced, the lane opened up and Racette drove fearlessly to the whole, even with big men Josh Tayi and Mohamed Sonogo protecting the rim. The aggressive approach led to trips to to the line. Racette went 12 of 18 from the charity strip, helping the junior score a game-high 31 points. McGuire finished with 21 points. Conor Clark added 11 points. Robert McCown led Taconic with 18 points. He exploited Drury's lack of size inside, but the visitors struggled from deep.

Beating a team two divisions higher is a definite resume-booster for Division IV Drury. Jack Racette said playing in the North Division of Berkshire County is always good preparation for the tournament.

"We've always wanted to play in the North and those are the teams we play," he said. "Divisions don't mean anything to me. They're all high school kids is the way I look it at it. It's a quality win over a quality opponent. They've been playing some good basketball.

"That's what we need going into the tournament. We've got to play in those tight games, start to feel the pressure on those foul shots. Start to feel the pressure on the 3-point shot and start to feel the pressure when we need a rebound. Pittsfield coming on Friday, Hoosac Valley — we're going to be battle tested."

———

TACONIC (63)

Womble 2-0-6, Gittens 3-2-8, Osorio 5-5-17, Percy 2-0-4, Pelkey 0-0-0, Cross 1-0-3, Sayers 0-0-0, Brown 0-0-0, Tayi 0-1-1, McCown 5-8-18, Sonogo 2-2-6. Totals: 20-15-63.

DRURY (80)

McGuire 9-2-21, Massey 1-0-2, Lawrence 1-2-5, Racette 10-12-31, Middleton 1-0-3, Clark 3-4-11, Daugherty 2-1-5, Sarkis 0-0-0, Rodriguez 1-0-2. Totals: 28-21-80.

Taconic     18     16     13     16          63

Drury     20     17     17     26          80

3-point goals — T 7 (Womble 2, Gittens 2, Osorio 2, Cross). D 4 (McGuire, Racette, Lawrence, Clark).

Akeem Glaspie can be reached at aglaspie@berkshireeagle.com, at @TheAkeemGlaspie on Twitter and 413-496-6252.


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