Harrigan goes for a basket

Surrounded by Paulo Friere defenders, Taconic's Sean Harrigan tries to make a basket in the D-V semifinal MIAA State Basketball Tournament, Final Four round at Wahconah. Harrigan has been named the Western Massachusetts Boys Basketball Player of the Year by the Basketball Hall of Fame.

The Taconic boys basketball team did not reach it’s ultimate goal, earning a fourth consecutive state championship game berth. The consolation prize for Sean Harrigan is pretty good.

Harrigan and Chicopee’s Yamirelis Matos have been named recipients of the 11th annual Western Massachusetts Player of the Year awards, presented by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Harrigan is the second Taconic player in the past three seasons to win the boys award, as current UMass-Dartmouth player Isaac Percy shared the 2020 honor with Chicopee’s Kobe Parker.

“We once again praise the outstanding seniors who were selected as Western Mass. All-Stars, and we congratulate Sean and Yamirelis on their Player of the Year honors,” John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame said in a release. “We wish all these remarkable young athletes well and know they will make Western Mass proud as they continue their basketball and academic journeys.”

Harrigan, a senior, played in 23 games for the Thunder, averaging 16.7 points per game. In the regular season, he averaged 17.6 points a game.

During the regular season, he scored in double-figures in all but one game. He had a season-best 26 points in a Jan. 19 win at Wahconah. In two games against city rival Pittsfield, Harrigan scored 24 and 20 points respectively.

The senior had 16 points in the 46-43 win over Springfield ICS in the PVIAC’s Western Massachusetts Class B championship game. Harrigan scored eight of his team’s final 10 points, including an old-fashioned 3-point play with 2:29 remaining in the fourth quarter, and never trailed again.

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The release from the Hall of Fame stated that Harrigan “is a returning All-Berkshire/All-Western Mass guard and a tremendously talented quick, fast, athletic player who is a matchup nightmare for the opposition. Sean is one of the top scorers in the region, thanks to a variety of deep and midrange shots as well as floaters and runners in the lane to score. Sean is also one of the best defenders at his position and he has turned into one of the better rebounding guards in the area.”

The Thunder missed out on earning a ticket to the state finals in Lowell, losing to Paulo Friere 47-45 in a Final Four game on Tuesday.

Matos, who will play basketball at Division III Wilkes, helped lead the Pacers to the PVIAC Class A championship game, where they lost to MIAA State Division I finalist Springfield Central. The No. 11 seed in the Division II field, Chicopee lost in the round of 16 to No. 6 Dracut.

The Western Mass Players of the Year will receive their awards during halftime of their respective game at the Western Massachusetts All-Star Game on Friday, March 25, on the Jerry Colangelo Court of Dreams at the Hall of Fame. The first game of the evening will feature the Class C and D boys’ teams at 5:30 p.m., followed by the girls’ matchup at 7. The final game of the evening will showcase the Class A and B boys’ teams at 8:30.

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Harrigan will play in the Class A-B All-Star Game, while Matos will play in the girls game.

Howard Herman can be reached at hherman@berkshireeagle.com or 413-496-6253.

Sportswriter-Columnist

Howard Herman is a sports columnist at The Berkshire Eagle. The dean of full-time sportswriters in Western Mass., he has been with the Eagle since 1988, and is a member of the New England Baseball and Basketball Hall of Fame.