Wahconah boys basketball celebrates 9 seniors in home win over Pittsfield
DALTON — Wahconah may have entered the season with nine seniors on the roster, but the Warriors were very much a work in progress.
As those nine members of the Class of 2020 were recognized at Monday's Senior Night, head coach Dustin Belcher continued to see that progress continue.
One of those seniors, Kevin Huban, scored a game-high 33 points to drive Wahconah by Pittsfield High, 67-57.
The win came from much more than Huban's electric scoring.
"We've gotten a lot better. Guys understanding and filling the roles out there. This is a good way to wrap up the regular season here at home," said Belcher. "Couple of the other guys gave us hustle plays, some energy. Great to see them all get involved, it was a great team effort."
With the Generals (7-12, 2-5 Berkshire North) rolling midway through the fourth quarter, cutting what was a 14-point deficit through three quarters to 56-48 on a pair of 3-pointers by Craig Jackson and Toby Wheeler, things got uneasy for Wahconah (14-4, 4-3).
Pittsfield guard Kymani Harley got out in transition on the next possession and took the ball deep down the baseline into the paint. Waiting there, stoic, was senior center Luke Hescock, who took Harley in the chest and was awarded a charge for his sacrifice.
Down the other end, senior wing Tom O'Connor drew attention with a jab from the perimeter and dropped off a pass to classmate Griffin Salvini in the left corner. With his entire student section inches behind, Salvini drained the triple to make it an 11-point goal with four minutes to play.
"That's going to go down as one of the top moments of my career," said Salvini. "They were on a good run, and Tommy passed me the ball in the corner and I just hit it."
Pittsfield didn't go away, getting additional treys from sharpshooter LaQuan Brown and Harley to stay within single-digits. Harley connected on one to make it 65-57, but Hescock came up big again late.
After a missed layup became a loose ball in the Wahconah offensive zone, Hescock tracked it down near the foul line, and immediately sent a wraparound pass inside to Huban for the quick two to staunch the bleeding. Hescock also made a pair of free-throws in the final minute to seal the win.
Other seniors were involved throughout, with Zak Bernardo hitting a 3 and defending the perimeter as part of the Warriors' ever-changing barrage of zones. Easton Eberwein was monstrous throughout the first half, doling out four assists in the second quarter alone, and connecting on a rare triple as well. Gabe Davis knocked down a jumper in the first quarter when the Wahconah offense was sputtering to an 18-8 deficit.
The Generals roared out of the gate, needing a win to stay alive in the hunt for a playoff berth. Jackson went for 12 of his 21 in the first quarter, including a pair of 3-pointers. The long-range well dried up for the visitors after that, though. Jackson was forced to the bench with foul trouble for much of the second quarter, and an 18-12 lead after one quickly dissipated once O'Connor, Eberwein and Huban got going in transition. Pittsfield didn't hit a 3-pointer in either of the middle quarters, and was held to just one bucket through seven minutes of the second. A late rush by Harley and Moorer helped, but a 24-2 run had the Generals trailing 34-24 at halftime.
"I think we're way better. We're far more structured and organized than we were," said Salvini, who was a big part of the Warriors' rangy defense. "Pittsfield has a lot of good shooters on their team, so we are just trying to close out and not let them get open looks."
Harley finished with 13 points, while Kenny Jackson grabbed 15 rebound to go with six points. For Wahconah, O'Connor scored eight of his 11 after halftime and added 10 rebounds. Hescock had six points and 12 boards.
C. Jackson 7-4-21, Moorer 3-1-7, Pringle 0-0-0, Soldato 0-0-0, Brown 3-0-7, Wheeler 1-0-3, Harley 6-0-13, K. Jackson 3-0-6, Binns 0-0-0. Totals 23-5-57.
Mendez 0-0-0, Bernardo 2-0-5, Huban 12-8-33, Voight 0-0-0, Eberwein 1-0-3, Salvini 3-0-7, Davis 1-0-2, O'Connor 5-0-11, Astore 0-0-0, Hescock 2-2-6. Totals 67
Pittsfield 18 6 14 19 — 57
Wahconah 12 22 18 15 — 67
3-point goals — P 6 (C. Jackson 3, Brown, Wheeler, Harley); W 5 (Bernardo, Huban, Eberwein, Salvini, O'Connor).
Mike Walsh can be reached at email@example.com, at @CLNS_Walsh on Twitter and 413-496-6240.
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