MIAA state basketball tournament: Drury and Taconic boys, Hoosac girls head to AIC looking for spot in finals
After a busy Saturday at UMass, three Berkshire County basketball teams returned home with Western Massachusetts championship trophies in tow. Now, those three programs are setting their sights on adding some state hardware to go with the sectional crown.
The Hoosac Valley girls and Drury boys will start the state semifinals action tonight at American International college, with the Hoosac girls facing Millis in the Division III semifinal while Drury plays Worcester Tech in the D-IV boys game.
On Wednesday, the Taconic boys will take their turn on the court at AIC against Westborough, as the Braves look to make a second straight D-II state final.
Tickets for the games are $12 for adults, and $10 for students. Tickets can be purchased at the door, or ahead of time online at https://gofan.co/app/school/MIAA.
Division III girls
The Hoosac Valley girls reclaimed the Western Mass. D-III title this season, taking down Greenfield in the final on Saturday to win the program's fifth D-III title in the last six years. In all four of the previous D-III Western Mass. wins, the Hurricanes went on to win their state semifinal contest. In order to do that again, Hoosac will have to get by Millis.
Millis (24-1) is no stranger to the state semifinals, albeit at the Division IV level. The Mohawks made the switch to D-III in 2018 after winning four straight Central Mass. championships in D-IV.
In order to claim the D-III sectional this year, Millis played four games in the Central Mass. tournament. The Mohawks, the No. 3 seed, topped David Prouty in the opener, 60-24, then beat Northbridge 53-36 in the quarterfinals, No. 2 Millbury 40-31 in the semifinals and No. 4 Sutton — the defending sectional champion — in the finals 59-31.
In that championship game, Millis went on the defensive to get the win. The Mohawks were up by as many as 30 points in the game, and didn't allow a single field goal in the fourth quarter.
Senior captain Abby Clark led the scoring for the Mohawks in the final, putting up a game-high 15. Sophomore Abigail Miller scored 11 of her 13 points in the second half.
Millis enters on a seven-game winning streak. Millis won back-to-back state championships in D-IV from 2014-15, and the team was a state finalist in 2016.
Division IV boys
Drury made history by snapping a lengthy Western Mass. championship drought, and Scott McGuire Jr. said after the game that the team isn't ready to stop now. In order to keep the season going past today, McGuire and the Blue Devils are going to have to stop a team that's on its own magical journey.
Worcester Tech won its first Central Mass. championship in 30 years Saturday, when the Eagles beat Assabet 64-51. That game was the fourth between the Colonial Athletic League rivals on the season, and Worcester Tech won the last three straight.
The Eagles earned the No. 1 seed after going 19-1 in the regular season, and earned a bye through the first round of the Central Mass. tournament. In the quarterfinals, Worcester Tech dispatched Parker 71-34, then beat Maynard 62-38 in the semifinals.
The Eagles have been hot since the start of 2019. The team lost to Assabet on Jan. 8, and has proceeded to win 18 of 19 games since.
Drury will have to try and contain Tech's 6-foot-3 center Brendon Hamilton, who scored 13 points in the Central Mass. championship game. Jose Bonilla added 12 for Tech in the sectional final. According to the team's MaxPreps page, Worcester Tech has three players over six-feet tall. Zaire Peart creates for the team as the point guard.
Division II boys
Taconic is making its second straight appearance in the state semifinals after taking care of Chicopee on Saturday. While last year's journey was "kind of unreal," according to Quentin Gittens, "this one, it really sinks in."
On the opposing sideline will be a team making a rare appearance at this stage of the year. Westborough won its first Central Mass. championship since 1991 with a victory over Medway in the D-II finals Saturday. The Rangers (19-4) got to the state semifinals by winning two games in districts. The No. 1 seed opened with a bye through the quarterfinals, then defeated Wayland 49-48 in the semis, and Medway 73-39 in the finals. The final score in that game is interesting, considering the teams were tied at 30-30 at one point in the third quarter before the Rangers blew things open.
Westborough has been on a roll as of late, rattling off eight straight wins since falling to Wachusett on Feb. 5.
In the Central Mass. finals, senior Matt Doherty scored his 1,000th career point for the Rangers. His twin brother, Mike, is also a 1,000-point scorer for the team. Matt had 15 points in the win, while Mike had 14 points. Domenic Casparriello led the team in scoring, putting up 21 points.
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