Pittsfield's Adopo is strong from line in victory over Taconic
PITTSFIELD -- Amancho Adopo had little problem drawing fouls Thursday night for Pittsfield High School.
What had been the problem in the past, though, was making free throws.
"I had a couple of games [that] I was just off," Adopo said.
He was on Thursday.
Adopo hit 18 of his 21 attempts, scoring a game-high 34 points as the Generals held off city rival Taconic 83-75.
Pittsfield led a back-and-forth game by just a point with 2:16 to go, but used an 11-4 run to put the game away. Adopo scored 13 points in the Generals' 32-point fourth quarter.
"He's put up some games where he's 3 for 9 [from the free-throw line]," PHS coach Steve Ray said. "Obviously, if we're telling him he's the guy that's got to get to the rack ... it only stands to reason that he has to hit the foul shots when he gets there.
"What we did get from him in the second quarter and the fourth quarter was that drive to the rim."
Sophomore Scott Steinman was Pittsfield's key off the bench, scoring 16 points. That included a 4-point play at the 3:36 mark of the third quarter to stretch Pittsfield's lead to 46-41.
"That gave us a new life, and it gave these guys an inspiration," Ray said. "We're very proud of the way the sophomores have stepped up in the last few weeks. Scott had a breakout game."
What the 4-point play didn't give Pittsfield, though, was the lead for good. The Braves went punch-for-punch with the Generals for much of the fourth quarter, using their size (namely, juniors Mike Taylor and Drew Scace) to their advantage.
"We knew it was going to be a slugfest with these guys," Ray said. "It was last time, when we went to overtime. Our challenge tonight was going to be how we could handle their big men."
Scace's two free throws at the 3:01 mark of the fourth gave the Braves their last lead at 69-68. Pittsfield, however, was able to get Taylor in foul trouble and hold him to just one field goal in the fourth.
"We wanted to get them involved early," Taconic coach Bill Heaphy said.
Taylor's 16 points helped take pressure off guards Trayvon Sims and Shaq Ardrey, as Heaphy had hoped. Sims led Taconic with 24 points and seven rebounds, while Ardrey added 20 points and seven boards.
Heaphy, though, said missed shots in the paint doomed the Braves.
"A miss, an offensive rebound, a miss ... there were at least four that we were talking about, when we were up two or three," he said. "Those are killers right there. In spite of all that, you're still in the game."
Adopo -- who pulled down a game-high 12 rebounds -- especially forced the issue in the second quarter, getting to the line often and shooting 10 for 11 once there.
He said the toughest challenge for him was finding shots against Taconic's zone defense. Judging from his free throw totals and the 20 field goal attempts he had beside that, though, he seemed to create plenty of opportunities for himself and others.
"We'd just swing the ball and attack the gaps," Adopo said. "Get the ball in the middle, and that's how we'd beat it."
Four Generals -- Adopo, Steinman, Justin Hopkins (13) and Ty Discoe (10) -- scored in double figures. Pittsfield's depth was also beneficial, as the Generals' bench outscored Taconic's reserves 25-3.
In the end, though, Adopo's offense was what put PHS ahead to stay. He scored 11 of his team's final 19 points, and found sophomore Anthony Jones down low for two big assists in the final 2 minutes.
"We didn't do a good job keeping him out of the paint," Heaphy said. "I didn't think our help side defense reacted quick enough. I don't think we paid enough attention to that."
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