Wahconah boys basketball team caps 2018 with win over Mount Greylock
The Berkshire Eagle
DALTON — After 13 days off, the Wahconah boys basketball team returned to action with a 66-35 win over Mount Greylock. The Warriors improve to 3-1 with the win and the Mounties fall to 2-3.
Wahconah came out of the gates hot, finishing the first quarter with a commanding 20-13 lead. Tom O'Connor, who ended the night with 15 points, scored eight points in the frame. O'Connor played a modern point-forward position for the Warriors, often times pulling down a rebound and then was off to the races, leading the fast-break offense.
"[Having freedom to push up the court] helps a lot," O'Connor said. "If I get a rebound I get to push it and take control to get a look I want on offense."
With the help of his 6-foot-5 frame, O'Connor was the tallest player on the court, and used it to his advantage throughout the game.
"When we face smaller teams, I feel more confident taking it to the rack," O'Connor said. "I know I don't need to jump and can go straight up without worry about fouls."
On his own, O'Connor didn't have to worry about getting into foul trouble, but that wasn't the case for the rest of the Warriors. The Mounties found themselves in the bonus just two minutes into the second quarter, however, they couldn't take advantage.
"We missed shots all night long and that is something we will get right back to work to on," Greylock coach Bob Thistle said. "We are a young team, but we can and will shoot better. I'd like to credit Wahconah for playing some great defense. Coach Belcher did a great job with his kids"
Greylock shot 50 percent from the free throw line in the first half (7 for 14), allowing the Warriors to get out to 33-17 lead at halftime. Wahconah followed up the first half with a strong defensive outing in the second half, allowing just 16 points, but more importantly they only committed three second-half fouls before the starters came out with five minutes remaining in the game.
"I felt we made some silly mistakes in the first half and some of those fouls were from not being in the right spot," Wahconah coach Dustin Belcher said. "Some of it was just getting back into routine, but we did talk at halftime and we did a better job for sure."
O'Connor and Kevin Huban, who ended the game with a game-high 22 points for the Warriors, led the way in scoring for the Warriors. Coach Belcher, though, was excited to see his team play well off of one another.
"It's a great group of guys," coach Belcher said. "We are missing one of our big guys in Tom Burris, but guys are stepping up each night for us. I think it gives us confidence that when anyone's number is called they can step up and get the job done."
The Warriors are expecting Burris to be back in a week or two, but role players Jake Gai and Griffen Salvini combined for 12 points off the bench, stepping in while Burris recovers from his injury.
The Mounties, who were led by Derek Paris' 11, and Malcom Waynick's 10 points, are focused on getting back to practice and rebounding from the loss.
"Up until tonight the intensity and fire has been there," coach Thistle said. "Again, we credit Wahconah for playing a great game, but no excuse, they wanted it more than we did. The intensity for a young team trying to gain experience every night has to be there. We'll work and try to find our identity. Our goal is to get into the tournament and go from there."
Foehl 3-0-8, Santos 0-0-0, Locklear 1-0-2, Paris 3-5-11, Waynick 2-4-10, Falk 1-0-2, Sheridan 1-0-2, Brady 0-0-0, Jezovir 0-0-0, Wellspeak 0-0-0. Totals 11-9-35.
Howes 0-0-0, Salvini 2-1-5, Clayton 0-2-2, Huban 9-3-22, Gai 3-0-7, Roughley 2-1-6, Bernardo 1-0-2, O'Connor 7-1-15, Eberwin 1-1-3, Lee 1-0-2, Day 1-0-2, Hescock 0-0-0. Totals 27-9-66.
Mount Greylock 13 4 8 10 — 35
Wahconah 20 11 19 16 — 66
3-point goals — MG: 4 (Foehl 2, Waynick 2), Wahconah: 3 (Huban, Gai, Roughley).
Jake Mendel can be reached at email@example.com, at @JMendel94 on Twitter and 413-496-6252.
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