Drury boys basketball team opens season with big win over Hopkins Academy

AMHERST — For a first game, it was not a bad day for the Drury boys.

The Blue Devils went on a 18-4 run to open the second quarter and they never looked back in a 73-45 win over Hopkins Academy in the Pioneer Valley Tip-Off at the Curry Hicks Cage.

It was a big day for Drury junior guard Scott McGuire, who scored a career high 35 points, pulled down eight rebounds and had two steals.

"That's pretty quiet, man," Racette said to McGuire with a laugh.

McGuire had 13 of his 19 first-half points in the second quarter, while Racette scored eight in the second stanza to help the Blue Devils pull away from the Golden Hawks.

"When we win, we focus on the stuff we did wrong and what we can do better," said McGuire. "The first game is the first game. We're not going to come out and be what we're going to be in the second half of the season. I could really care less about the points.

"It's the 'W' that matters."

Teammate Reece Racette had a double-double with 22 points and 10 rebounds. He came close to a triple-double after recording seven steals.

Drury led 37-25 at halftime after Hopkins cut into a 19-point lead, outscoring the Blue Devils 9-2 over the last 1:55.

Hopkins came out firing in the second half, outscoring Drury 6-2, and cutting the Blue Devil lead to single digits for the first time since midway in the second quarter.

But when Racette scored to put the Blue Devils up 42-31, the Drury defense turned up the heat. While Drury didn't score, neither did Hopkins. In fact, the Golden Hawks had six consecutive empty trips down the court. That led to a 14-2 run, putting the game in the win column.

"They're very experienced and they play the right way. They returned 55-plus points in scoring from a year ago. They know their system," said Hopkins' first-year coach Adam Ginsburg. "They were at end-of-season form early in the year."

Not if you ask Drury coach Jack Racette.

"Honestly, no I'm not," said the veteran coach, when asked it he was pleased with the opening-day effort. "We did some good things, obviously. When we could get out and run, we were good. When they got their zone set up, we did not execute. It was the first game. Wins are wins, so onto the next one."

Ginsburg spent last year as an assistant coach at Division I Iona College. In the 12 previous seasons, he was at UMass where he worked for Travis Ford and Derek Kellogg. Ginsburg was not retained when Matt McCall came on board.

He got to watch a Drury team take his squad apart in that 14-2 run that spanned more than four minutes.

After Racette's hoop started the run, McGuire got behind the defense after Hunter Sarkis rebounded a miss by Hopkins' Nathan Waldon. Sarkis then got a hoop on a steal-and-score, making it 46-31.

The Golden Hawks' Caleb Graves got inside to score two of his eight points, and Ginsburg called time out.

The time out did not slow the Blue Devils down as they scored the next eight points — four each by Racette and McGuire.

"When we get our pressure going, we can crank it up on teams," Coach Racette said. "There wasn't a lot of depth there [for Hopkins], and you could see it in the third and fourth quarter. We started taking the game over with steals and easy baskets."

Waldon led Hopkins Academy with 15 points, but he scored only two of them in the second half.

"If we're holding teams in the 40s, then we're absolutely going to give ourselves the best chance to win," Reece Racette said. "I couldn't stress it enough. We came into halftime, we were up 12, and we've got to play [like it's] 0-0. Our defense is going to win us ballgames, and our offense is going to get going based off of our defense.

"Me and Scott, being captains, we've got to lead these guys and not just be focused on offense."


DRURY (73)

McGuire 15-5-35, Rodriguez 0-0-0, Moulton 0-1-1, Racette 7-7-22, Woodson 0-0-0, Collins 0-0-0, Massey 2-0-5, Pettengill 0-0-0, Dewey 0-0-0, Daugherty 0-1-1, Sarkis 3-0-7, Davignon 0-0-0, Brazeau 1-0-2. Totals 28-14-73.


Waldon 6-0-15, Beck 0-0-0, Ciaglo 3-3-10, Phifer 2-0-4, Verdi 0-0-0, Zina 0-0-0, Graves 2-4-8, Pipeczynski 0-0-0, Tudryn 1-1-3, Antes 2-1-5. Totals 16-9-45.

Drury     12     25     20 16     —     73

Hopkins     10     15     10     10     —     45

3-point goals — D 3 (Racette, Massey, Sarkis). H 4: Waldon 3, Ciaglo.

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


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