McCann Tech boys basketball just misses tournament spot in road loss at Hampden Charter

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SPRINGFIELD — The McCann Tech boys basketball team has battled a slew of injuries and illnesses all season, but still found itself in a position to qualify for the Western Massachusetts Division IV tournament on Wednesday night.

The Hornets, though, just couldn't get buzzing enough.

Playing at Hampden Charter on the Wolves' Senior Night, McCann Tech came out strong and took a lead, but a strong third-quarter run propelled the hosts to a 69-62 win, and kept McCann (9-11) from qualifying for the tournament.

"It's kind of been up and down for the last two months," McCann coach Chris Bullett said. "Injuries, sickness, everything, then just trying to put it together. I'm proud of the guys that played tonight.

"Cole [Boisvert] is off the JV team, a month ago, and he played great, he gave it his all. These guys are a pretty good team, we just came down a little firepower short."

Inoah Lewis was a force for Hampden Charter, putting up a game-high 27 points while putting the team on his back at times to get the win. Nick LaForest (20 points) and Bruce Davis (17) managed to put up points for McCann, but Lewis' drives coupled with the absence of seniors Darius and Darian Tovani proved to be a fatal combination.

McCann was up after one, 16-12, and a 3-pointer by Davis on a feed from LaForest pushed the lead up to 23-15. After an empty possession the other way, McCann came back and LaForest picked out Davis again on a 3-ball to make it 26-15. That's when things started going downhill.

Lewis came back down the floor and found Shaun'Dez Buckhannon for a triple, then went coast-to-coast on a drive to get the deficit back down to six. Lewis scored again to cut the deficit to two, then hit a 3-pointer to put his team up 29-26.

"That's why he's got 1,000 points," Bullett said of Lewis. "He's a good player. We had a plan coming in, but he's hard, once get starts going downhill, it's hard [to stop him]."

Still, McCann got the deficit back down to one on a bucket by Sean Sumner (11 points), and trailed by just three at the break.

To open the third, Hampden Charter went on what proved to be the back-breaking run.

Davis tied the game up with the first points of the third, but then the Wolves went on a 16-5 run to go up 49-38 on a hoop by Curen'cee Smith.

The Hornets got the deficit back down to six by the end of the quarter, and got within three at 53-50 when Sumner stole the ball and found LaForest the other way for an and-one which the junior guard converted.

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But Lewis answered with a finish in the lane, then stole the ball and finished at the rack to make it 57-50 in an instant.

McCann kept trying to extend the game, but couldn't make up the ground.

"Yeah, our guys don't quit, it's just a matter of needing that next guy to make a basket when everyone gets tired," Bullett said, "to get ahead instead of getting just four down. It seems like it went from 4, to 7, to 9 a few times there."

Davis finished with eight rebounds, four assists and hit five 3-pointers. LaForest had six rebounds, and Lucas Jamros had six points and eight boards.

Lewis finished with nine rebounds and four steals, and Colby Ranck matched his 14 points with 14 rebounds.

———

MCCANN TECH (62)

Davis 6-0-17, Griswold 3-0-6, LaForest 6-5-20, Boisvert 0-0-0, Jamros 2-2-6, Gagne 1-0-2, Marko 0-0-0, Sumner 5-0-11. Totals 23-7-62

HAMPDEN CHARTER (69)

Lewis 10-4-27, Buckhannon 1-0-3, Caban 0-0-0, Smith 3-2-8, Ranck 5-4-14, Abange 0-2-2, Joseph 2-1-5, Mersincavage 5-0-10. Totals 26-13-69

McCann     16     14     15     17     —     62

Hampden     12     21     18     18     —     69

3-point goals — MT 9 (Davis 5, LaForest 3, Sumner 1). HC 4 (Lewis 3, Buckhannon).

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

Hampden     12     21     18     18     —     69

3-point goals — MT 9 (Davis 5, LaForest 3, Sumner 1). HC 4 (Lewis 3, Buckhannon).

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

3-point goals — MT 9 (Davis 5, LaForest 3, Sumner 1). HC 4 (Lewis 3, Buckhannon).

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


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