Drury boys hoops pushes for win at Wahconah
DALTON -- The Drury boys basketball team is frantic.
That urgency may be just what the Blue Devils need to reach the Western Massachusetts tournament.
"We got embarrassed at our place on senior night [by Hoosac Valley]," said Drury coach Jack Racette. "And we've responded with two good wins. ... Our backs are against the wall, so maybe with a little bit of pressure we start responding a little bit better."
It was the response from Kareen Beckett midway through the fourth quarter of Tuesday's 63-48 win at Wahconah that buoyed the Blue Devils. After Collin Parrott's 3 tied the game at 41, Beckett launched his own long-range bomb seconds later. It sailed through the net and the Warriors would never pull even again.
"Coach always tell us to stay poised," Beckett said. "I got the ball, was scoring decently all night. I set my feet, pulled up and it went in."
It was one of four 3s from Beckett on the way to 14 points. Tyler Briggs added 14 as well and Nolan Bird made nine free throws in the fourth on the way to 20 for Drury (8-9). The Blue Devils must beat Pittsfield tonight to reach the postseason.
The Warriors (9-10) are in the same boat. Wahconah needs a win over Hoosac Valley on Thursday in the season finale or it will miss the tournament.
"We need to win, obviously," Parrott said. "We have one day to prepare. We're going to have to work hard [today] to get it on Thursday."
Parrott led the Warriors with 14 on Tuesday, including seven in the fourth. Wahconah built a nine-point lead in the second quarter, mostly on the back of strong play inside from Cole Morrison. The freshman had six of his nine in the period.
All that work evaporated when the Blue Devils scored the final eight points of the second to cut the halftime lead to one. Whenever the Warriors made a move in the second half, Drury had a deep response. When Wahconah tied the game at 32 late in the third, Briggs hit back-to-back 3s to push ahead.
"They're crucial shots," Briggs said. "Without those 3s, we wouldn't come out, have a good victory. Other than that, we all worked the ball today. Beckett had some 3s. I knocked them down myself. In the end, it's all teamwork."
Those were shots Racette said his team wasn't knocking down earlier in the year. Even more important, the coach said, was the defense. While Morrison hurt the Blue Devils on the boards in the first half, he only took two shots in the second. Wahconah made just one basket over the final four minutes.
Those same kind of stands were tougher to come by for the hosts.
"Our defense kind of let us down at the end," Parrott said. "We didn't make many stops when we needed to."
Drury was a perfect 14 for 14 at the line over that same stretch to keep its postseason hopes flickering.
"We have to win," Beckett said. "We're fighting for our lives right now."
To reach Christopher James:
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