Western Mass. boys basketball seeds announced

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SPRINGFIELD >> Berkshire County basketball teams learned the route needed to win a Western Massachusetts tournament championship, as the tournament seeds were revealed on Saturday at the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame. All games are scheduled for 7 p.m.

Defending Division III champion Hoosac Valley (11-9) earned a No. 5 seed, three spots lower than its seeding last season. The Hurricanes will host No. 12 Hampshire on Tuesday. A win would setup a match-up against No. 4 Pioneer Valley on Friday.

Perhaps the hottest team in the county, Mount Greylock, earned a No. 6 seed. The Mounties (14-6) enter the tournament on six-game winning streak, capped by a win over Taconic. They'll host No. 11 Frontier, also on Tuesday.

"We're definitely a confident group right now," Greylock coach Bob Thistle said. "We're a younger team, but we don't look at ourselves as a younger team anymore. We feel like we're more experienced as the season has gone on.

"We have to play well on Tuesday night. Your record is 0-0 and everybody is starting over."

Greylock would advance to face No. 3 Palmer on Friday with a win.

Also in Division III, No. 7 Drury will host No. 10 Renaissance on Tuesday. A win advances the Blue Devils to face No. 2 Easthampton.

In Division II, rivals No. 5 Pittsfield and No. 4 Taconic get a chance to declare a clear winner in the crosstown rivalry, as the two teams will meet in the quarterfinals on Friday. The teams split their match-up 1-to-1 during the regular season and the home team won both games. The higher-seeded Braves (17-3) will host the Generals (13-7), and Taconic coach Bill Heaphy said he's looking forward to facing Pittsfield in a do-or-die situation.

"It's exciting," he said. "It's a great thing for both programs. We split during the season and people want to see this game. The kids will be really fired up. It's what this tournament is all about." The winner advances to face No.1 seed Shepherd Hill. A date and time has not been set for the semifinals.

In Division VI, Lenox earned No. 4 seed. Millionaires coach Scott Sibley said clinching a first-round bye gives his team several days to prepare for the next opponent. He added that, while playing a play-in game gives team's a game of postseason experience, Lenox's three-point win over Lee in their season finale provided a tournament-type atmosphere.

"The place was packed and the student bodies were into it," he said of their game against Lee. "We got the opportunity to play in a loud environment and see how they have to rely on each other. That's something we're going to try to experience again in the gym. How they have to communicate with hand signals."

Also in the D-IV tournament, No. 11 McCann Tech will travel to No. 6 Hampden Charter. Ironically, it was Hampden's forfeited game against the Hornets that allowed them to qualify for the Tournament. Hampden originally won the game 74-57.

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All games are scheduled for 7 p.m.

Division II

Quarterfinals, Friday

No. 5 Pittsfield at No. 4 Taconic. Winner advances to face No, 1 Shepherd Hill.

No. 6 Quabbin at No. 3 Longmeadow. Winner advances to face No. 2 Tantasqua.

Division III

First Round, Tuesday

No 12 Hampshire at No. 5 Hoosac Valley. Winner advances to face No. 4 Pioneer Valley on Friday.

No. 11 Frontier at No. 6 Mount Greylock. Winner advances to face No. 3 Palmer on Friday.

No. 10 Renaissance at No. 7 Drury. Winner advances to face No. 2 Easthampton on Friday.

No. 9 Mahar at No. 8 Mohawk. Winner advances to face No. 1 Sabis on Friday.

Division IV

First Round, Tuesday

No. 12 Westfield Tech at No. 5 Franklin Tech. Winner advances to face No. 4 Lenox on Friday.

No. 11 McCann Tech at No. 6 Hampden Charter. Winner advances to face No. 3 Quaboag on Friday.

No. 10 Pioneer Valley Christian at No. 7 Turners Falls. Winner advances to face No. 2 Granby on Friday.

No. 9 Sizer at No. 8 North Brookfield. Winner advances to face No. 1 Hopkins on Friday.

Contact Akeem Glaspie at 413-496-6252


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