Hoosac Valley boys basketball rallies past Drury to secure tournament spot

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CHESHIRE — The first win for interim coach Ben Raimer, a rivalry win over their archnemesis, and a spot in the Western Massachusetts Division III tournament.

Not a bad Friday night for the members of the Hoosac Valley boys basketball team.

The Hurricanes rallied from an eight-point deficit in the second quarter against Drury, coming all the way back for a 59-54 win that earned the team its playoff ticket.

"Yeah, we started off a little slow, couldn't make a few of our shots," Hoosac's Carson Meczywor said. "Once a few of them got down, we gained some confidence and then started rolling, I guess."

Rolling might have been an understatement.

Midway through the second quarter, Dante Woodson scored on an offensive putback for Drury to make it a 19-11 advantage for the Blue Devils (11-7, 3-4 Berkshire North).

But from there, the 'Canes (10-8, 2-3) started taking over. Meczywor scored on a feed from Shawn Kastner with 2 minutes to play in the half, and that sparked an 8-2 run to end the stanza. Hoosac kept the momentum going in the second half as the teams traded leads early, but another spurt over the second part of the third quarter turned a 27-27 game, into a 40-31 advantage for the hosts.

"Excitement, primarily for the guys," Raimer said. "They've been busting their tails, we've been switching up a lot of things [we] primarily played 1-3-1 zone throughout the season. The last couple of weeks, we said listen, if we want to be able to beat these teams in the tourney, we have to put in a man-to-man defense, show what we can do. Kind of get back to the roots of Hoosac Valley basketball."

Drury, the defending D-IV champ that has already secured their tournament spot, didn't go away, but couldn't recover fully from the drastic swing that Hoosac put together.

To start the fourth, Drury chipped away and chipped away at the lead, with a pair of Scott McGuire Jr. free throws tying the game up at 42-42. That was the last tie of the game.

Hoosac responded with a 3-pointer by Meczywor on a feed from Cole Desroches, then Meczywor got a steal, and Kastner fed Izaha Stubbs under the hoop for two. Stubbs then hit a pair at the line to push the lead to seven, and a Zach Swistak bucket made it 51-42.

Drury, though, refused to relent, and an off-balance trey by McGuire made it 56-54 late in the fourth.

Meczywor answered on the next possession with a pair of free throws, the Stubbs hit one more at the line after a miss by Drury to give the game its final score.

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"We started off a little slow, so did they, but once I got into foul trouble, the team helped me, lifted me off the bench," said Stubbs, "and they had helped me get a lot of energy to come off the bench in the second half to finally work and make a run."

Kastner finished with a double-double, putting up 10 points and 13 rebounds. Stubbs went for 17, Meczywor had 18 points and five assists for Hoosac, and Desroches had 11 points. McGuire went for 19 in the loss, while Tim Brazeau had 11 points and five rebounds, and Louis Guilotte had seven points and six rebounds.

The win for Hoosac was its first against Drury since Jan. 6, 2016. Raimer said that getting this win meant a lot for his players.

"I can't imagine graduating from Hoosac Valley, playing varsity ball, and not beating Drury High School," he said. "I'm glad those guys were able to deliver on that tonight. They stepped up, the character was there, five leaders on the floor every time we were out there. I was very pleased by that."

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DRURY (54)

McGuire 5-9-21, Sarkis 1-3-6, Guillote 3-1-7, Moulton 0-0-0, Woodson 2-0-4, Vidal 2-0-5, Brazeau 5-1-11. Totals 19-14-54.

HOOSAC VALLEY (59)

Meczywor 5-5-18, Desroches 3-1-11, Stubbs 6-4-17, Swistak 1-0-2, Kastner 5-1-11, Davis 0-0-0, Owensby 0-0-0, Levesque 0-0-0, Richardson 0-0-0. Totals 21-10-59.

Drury     11     10     10     23     —     54

Hoosac     5     14     21     19     —     59

3-point goals — D 3 (McGuire 2, Vidal). HV 6 (Desroches 3, Meczywor 2, Stubbs).

Geoff Smith can be reached at gsmith@berkshireeagle.com, @GSmith_Eagle on Twitter and 413-496-6254.

Hoosac     5     14     21     19     —     59

3-point goals — D 3 (McGuire 2, Vidal). HV 6 (Desroches 3, Meczywor 2, Stubbs).

Geoff Smith can be reached at gsmith@berkshireeagle.com, @GSmith_Eagle on Twitter and 413-496-6254.

3-point goals — D 3 (McGuire 2, Vidal). HV 6 (Desroches 3, Meczywor 2, Stubbs).

Geoff Smith can be reached at gsmith@berkshireeagle.com, @GSmith_Eagle on Twitter and 413-496-6254.


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