Western Mass. basketball tournament gets underway
Today marks the opening round of the MIAA Girls Division II, III and IV Western Mass. Tournaments.
Three of the five Berkshire County teams in action today earned home games.
In Division II, No. 7 Taconic hosts No. 10 Commerce.
In Division III , No. 8 Monument Mountain hosts No. 9 Drury, and No. 7 Mount Greylock hosts No. 10 Mahar.
In Division IV, both Berkshire County schools play road games, as No. 9 Mount Everett travels to No. 8 Smith Academy, and No. 10 Lee travels to No. 7 North Brookfield.
The Lee girls earned a spot in the tournament despite going 3-17 on the season. Because Lee is a Division 4 team playing in the a league made up of Division 2 and 3 schools, a .500 record (3-3) against other Division 4 schools allowed them to qualify for the tournament.
While Lee will travel to Central Mass. to play its opening-round game, Drury will not have to leave Berkshire County for it’s game against Monument.
Drury is 2-0 against Monument of the season, but Monument will have the added advantage of being at home with a tournament crowd.
Monument coach Chris Unsworth said, having some familiarity with his opponent will help, but ultimately it’s about execution.
"There’s some advantage for both teams with knowing who you’re playing, and what you do," he said "Usually part of the tournament is about not knowing the other team. When it comes down to it. ... When the game starts, it will be a close matchup and whoever plays the best will win."
Monument and Drury are in the same league, but the hour drive to Great Barrington from North Adams is similar to what a Springfield team would drive to get to Berkhshire County.
Unsworth said he’s not sure what to expect crowd-wise, but he’d expect to see a good number of opposing crowd members no matter where the opponent was from.
On the court, he said the familiarity with Drury could go out the window with new wrinkles and plays installed throughout the season.
Ultimately, he’s confident in the work his team put in to get to this point.
"You’d rather be playing at home than traveling. We earned our seed based on our schedule and how tough it was," he said. "It should be a fun atmosphere."
To reach Akeem Glaspie:
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On Twitter: @THEAkeemGlaspie.
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