Wahconah basketball comes up short in quarterfinal at Sabis
SPRINGFIELD -- Collin Parrott pumped his fist with every 3-pointer he made, his face contorted in a wellspring of emotion.
Unfortunately for the Wahconah sophomore, it was the ones he missed that defined Thursday's 56-42 loss to Sabis in the Western Massachusetts Division II quarterfinals.
"They threw an extra defender on it and I was rushing it," Parrott said. "I had to sit there, look on a roll or maybe drive more. I shouldn't have rushed it so much."
After his fifth 3 cut the deficit to two with 5 minutes, 40 seconds to play, Parrott missed two more deep looks at the basket. The sixth-seeded Warriors (10-11) wouldn't make another shot until the dying seconds, letting No. 3 Sabis finish the game on a 15-3 run. Parrott finished with 18 points in his first postseason appearance while Marco Anastasio had 11.
The biggest challenge for Wahconah was overcoming a bigger, bruising Bulldogs club that barely surrendered any ground inside the 3-point arc. Sabis (8-13) had almost twice as many rebounds and forced the Warriors into desperation shots when they tried to penetrate.
"They were pretty good and they could jump," Anastasio said. "You just got to box out and keep playing physical. Maybe you get a couple calls here and there, but it is pretty tough."
The Bulldogs scored 16 points at the foul line to just two for Wahconah. Xavier Garcia had 19 points while Nelson Zayas Jr. added 13, including seven in the fourth quarter.
Scoring was a challenge for the Warriors, but the perimeter game kept them in it. On one second-quarter possession, Kevin Boino missed a 3 and got his own rebound before drawing a foul. He missed both free throws, but on the ensuing inbounds Parrott knocked down a 3 to give Wahconah a lead.
It was the same way in the second half when Parrott hit a 3 at the end of the third before scoring five straight points in the fourth to cut lead to two.
That's when Zayas delivered the knockout punch to the Warriors. He hit a basket followed by a 3. Wahconah couldn't recover.
Without any shots falling late, Wahconah was headed home. But the Warriors return to Dalton with a strong core that turned around a team that went 2-18 a year ago.
"We had great seniors, who kind of from the beginning told us we're going to go on a drive here and make the tournament," Parrott said. "We believed in that. They led us to it."
To reach Christopher James:
or (413) 496-6252.
On Twitter: @BECJ2k.