WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- The defining moment of Monday’s 79-51 Mount Greylock Western Mass Division 3 boys basketball tournament win came late in the second quarter.
It started with Sean McCormack making an unbelievable save on the baseline to snag an offensive rebound, which he heaved toward the sideline on the left wing toward Patrick Storie. Storie dove out of bounds and kept the ball alive, directing it toward Sam Dils, who caught it and fired a pass to a wide open McCormack in the post for two points and a 34-21 lead over Narragansett (11-10).
It was one of four assists on the night for Dils and went toward McCormack’s team-high totals of 15 points and 15 rebounds as the fifth-seeded Mounties (16-5) played their way into Thursday’s quarter-final round, where they will host No. 13 Southwick (11-10), a 44-36 upset winner over Mahar on Monday night.
The hustle and the passing Mount Greylock showed on that scramble with about 2 minutes, 15 seconds left until half-time was indicative of the Mounties’ approach all night.
“That really was impressive,” Mount Greylock coach Bob Thistle said of that moment. “X’s and O’s aside, energy is going to really help us in a ballgame like this. We had this team scouted, and they have some really nice players. You can’t overlook anybody.
“If you don’t bring the energy, you’re going to get beat in the tournament. You don’t get a second shot at it. So I’m really proud of the kids.”
McCormack led four players in double figures for Mount Greylock, which got 14 from Dils and 10 apiece from Brady Foehl and Cole Wojtkowski.
The Mounties also got 16 assists on 31 field goals. Five of those dimes came from senior center Cam Hadley.
“We didn’t want to go with the first shot we had but wanted to keep going and look for the best possible shot we could get,” Hadley said. “We worked it in low with Sean [McCormack] and out high with Pat [Storie] and Brady [Foehl]. We really worked well with that.
“They were playing really tight ‘D,’ so we were running offensive plays that would go back door and all that and try to get them off the dribble and quick passes get ‘em out of that. That’s what we tried to focus on.”
Mount Greylock started to assert itself with a 10-0 run to end the first quarter. Wojtkowski got it started when he hit a 3-pointer off an assist from McCormack to make it 17-9, and he ended the run moments later with another 3 off another McCormack assist to make it a 15-point margin.
It was just an 11-point lead at half-time, but the Mounties stormed out of the locker room with a 12-2 run to open a 21-point bulge.
“We always have a strong third quarter coming out of the half, because we know if they did, they’d be able to get back into it,” Hadley said. “We needed the energy, and we brought it. We really went hard.”
Storie had three steals in the quarter. Two of them he turned immediately into lay-ups going the other way.
“Those were really big, too,” Hadley said. “The steals really helped, and the defensive helped. It absolutely gave us some momentum.”
In the fourth quarter, Mount Greylock got four points from reserve Alex Backiel and a crowd-pleasing 3-pointer from backup Sam Culver to help put the game away.
Narragansett got a game-high 22 points and seven rebounds from Ben Raymond. Tyler Dill scored for for the visitors.
Thistle expects a stern test from the Rams on Thursday.
“I saw them play down at Palmer,” Thistle said. “They gave Palmer a great game. I think they lost by six or seven. They have three guys who can shoot the 3-ball, three guys who have 30-plus 3s. So that’s going to be important, that we get out on those guys.”