Tank Roberson is All-Eagle boys basketball MVP again

Sunday April 21, 2013

PITTSFIELD -- It was as much a celebration as it was a basketball season for Taverick "Tank" Roberson this past winter.

The Crusaders' talented guard had already recorded his 1,000th point near the end of last year. This season, it was only a question of how high on the county's all-time points list he would get.

Roberson is the MVP of the All-Eagle basketball team for the second year in a row.

As it turned out, Roberson ended up with 1,654 points for his career, including a career-high 47 in a December game against Westfield Vocational.

There was some discussion of that game, a 105-point win for the Crusaders. Here's the reality. St. Joseph didn't schedule the game; it was part of a Christmas tournament. The alternative was to forfeit it.

Crusaders' coach Paul Brindle, leading 53-19 at intermission, started his regulars at the beginning of the second half and began pulling them out almost immediately. This included Roberson.

"By the time the player I was going to sub for Tank finally got in," said Brindle, "Tank had scored 22 points."

In less than three minutes.

That's 47 points in about 19 minutes of playing time. Not bad.

Roberson is a two-time All-Eagle MVP. He is in rare company. Pittsfield's Sedale Jones won a pair of MVPs, although he shared one of them with teammate Jerome Edgerton. And Hoosac Valley star Robbie Burke is also a two-time winner.

And of course, his coach, Brindle, was also a two-time winner.

And the names he passed! Legends like Lee's long-range bomber from the 1960s, Johnny Walker. Drury's scoring machine from the 1970s, Billy Reeves. Pittsfield High School athletic icon Mark Belanger. And of course, Frank Scago, who held the crown of the Crusaders' all-time scorer before it was annexed by Roberson.

Both Brindle and Roberson believe that Tank's confidence is the trait that turned him from a strong player into a great one.

"He knew when to score and he knew when to get everyone else involved," said Brindle.

"There were times in games in previous years when I'd disappear," said Roberson in an interview several weeks ago. "This year, I had the green light."

Brindle believes his guard will go down in history as one of the greatest players in county history. In addition to his point totals, Roberson is St. Joseph's all-time leader in assists, steals and 3-point baskets. And, presumably, the all-time leader in all-time categories, as well.


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