Pittsfield boys hoops can handle tough stretch of games
On paper, it looks like a tough task for the Pittsfield High School boys basketball team: three games in four days, a stretch that ends tonight against Mount Greylock.
Coach Steve Ray's squad, though, was just waiting for a chance to play.
"We had 16 days off, so we're ready," he said. "A little tired? Maybe. But we're in shape and had over two weeks off, so that helps."
This week's results support Ray's claim. Pittsfield rolled to an 85-53 Tuesday at Lenox, and had little trouble dispatching of Monument Mountain, 83-60 Wednesday night in Great Barrington.
The still-unbeaten Generals will have their hands full in the lane tonight, though, when 6-foot-7 junior Jake Benzinger finds his way to the post for Mount Greylock.
Pittsfield has one of the fastest teams in Berkshire County, but it can't match Benzinger's size. That, Ray said, puts the pressure on Anthony Jones -- and many other Generals -- to defend against him.
"He's just 6 feet, barely 6 feet," said Ray of Jones. "So it's going to be a challenge, really. He's gonna need help. It's going to have to be a team effort, really."
Pittsfield's offense runs through Amancho Adopo. Ray said Adopo -- who scored 29 points Tuesday and another 26 Wednesday -- is also pulling down about 20 rebounds per game.
But, perhaps more importantly, he doesn't have to be the one bringing the ball down the floor. That job belongs to freshman Bryce Daley, who allows Adopo to get better looks at the basket.
And Daley isn't alone.
"As people defend and deny [Adopo] going to the rack, this year we've got Scott Steinman, who's contributing from the perimeter," Ray said. "Jones is averaging 14 or more a game, and Chad Shade's in double figures, too."
If any coach other than Ray knows these Pittsfield players well, it's Greylock coach -- and former PHS coach -- Bob Thistle. Ray expects Thistle to have Greylock ready for tonight's game, which tips off at 7 p.m. at PHS.
"We've played some good teams with Holyoke, Longmeadow, Smith Academy ... so we got some great exposure down there [in the Pioneer Valley]," Ray said. "Coming back to Berkshire County, we know everyone's after us. Everybody's looking forward to playing us, and there's some great coaches in Berkshire County who [are] going to keep these guys ready."
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