BART Charter basketball rallies to beat Eagle Hill

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STEPHANIE ZOLLSHAN — THE BERKSHIRE EAGLE
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NORTH ADAMS — It's been a slow climb, but the view on Tuesday evening was pretty sweet for the basketball team from Berkshire Arts and Technology Charter School.

BART came from 12 points down in the third quarter — and nine down to start the fourth — to stun Eagle Hill 60-57 at the North Adams Armory.

"This is the toughest team," said BART coach Robert Daugherty. "Three years ago, they beat us 86-6. To play with them, that was my goal for this team."

Eagle Hill had beaten BART 61-60 earlier this season, which Daugherty considered a victory, but that competitive loss only set the stage for Tuesday's comeback thriller.

The two sides traded punches in the first half, playing to a draw through one quarter, before the visiting Pioneers grabbed a 31-24 halftime lead.

Eagle Hill rode a strong third quarter from Hampton Carver, who scored eight of his 10 points in the frame, to climb in front at one point 48-36. Brandon Bamba did his best to keep the home squad alive, though. The junior's third 3-pointer of the quarter saved face and had the Wolfpack down nine entering the final frame.

Brandon Bamba finished with a game-high 22 points, but it was his brother, Isaac Bamba, who shocked BART back to life in the fourth.

Isaac Bamba (16 points) connected on a deep 3-pointer to start the fourth, and then scored on a fastbreak layup, drawing contact and hitting his free throw. It was a six-point swing in the opening 30 seconds of the period, and BART was suddenly trailing just 48-45.

A few minutes later, the brothers connected on another triple, with Isaac lining a cross-court pass to Brandon, who went right into his shot and drained the shot to tie the game up at 52-52 with 4:10 left.

"These guys never feel like they're ever down. They always play like we're winning. We come back every time," said Daugherty. "Frankly, we were out-matched. They just play so well as a team. I can't say much. I love them."

BART's lone senior William Peets was a monster all night on the boards and in the paint. He finished with five points, 12 rebounds, nine blocked shots and three assists. Trailing 54-53 inside the final two minutes, Peets posted up under the hoop on an inbounds play. Isaac Bomba found him for the easy go-ahead bucket. A possession later, Peets did the dishing, driving baseline and dumping off to Sawyer Moser for an inside two to make it 57-55, BART.

Eagle Hill managed to tie the game up on a Rowan Bernier layup, and that's where the score remained until Peets was fouled on an offensive rebound with 10.7 seconds on the clock.

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Peets hit 1 of 2, but the rebound went to Brandon Bamba, who was quickly fouled, before calmly sinking both his foul shots for the three-point advantage.

Owen Brady added seven points and nine rebounds, including four points in the fourth quarter. Reggie Delphia had a strong first half, scoring all eight of his points before the break. He finished with nine rebounds as well.

BART has six more games on the schedule, but the focus truly now turns to the program's next step, winning in the postseason. They are at White Oak this afternoon and back home against Buxton, but the season finale is one that is circled, as PVCICS comes to town. The Dragons eliminated BART in the RVAL tournament semifinals last season at the Armory. The Wolfpack get a chance for some redemption on Feb. 4, before the playoffs begin on Feb. 10.

"What I like about this is that there are so many areas where we can improve that are just mental," said Daugherty. "I'm expecting to see [Eagle Hill] again in the second round of the tournament, or maybe the finals. That's the rest of the season, preparing for them again."

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EAGLE HILL (57)

Ben 1-0-5, Bernier 2-0-4, Foley 5-2-12, Rasmussen 1-0-2, Nicolas 2-1-5, Carson 2-1-5, Schumacher 2-0-4, Turner 1-0-3, Carver 4-2-10, Ryan 3-0-8. Totals 23-6-57.

BART (60)

Delphia 4-0-8, Peets 2-1-5, Brady 3-1-7, Aubin 0-0-0, Moser 1-0-2, I. Bamba 6-1-16, B. Bamba 8-2-22, Ferguson 0-0-0. Totals 24-5-60.

Eagle     14     17     17     9     —     57

BART     14     10     15     21     —     60

3-point goals — EH 3 (Ryan 2, Turner); B 7 (B. Bamba 4, I. Bamba 3).

Mike Walsh can be reached at mwalsh@berkshireeagle.com, at @CLNS_Walsh on Twitter and 413-496-6240.


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