SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- When the Mount Greylock boys basketball team was clicking this season, it was stretching defenses with its outside shooting and utilizing one of the region’s best big men in the paint.
On Saturday, it was Sabis that had the inside-outside game firing on all cylinders.
The third-seeded Bulldogs used three third-quarter 3-pointers to erase most of a 12-point Mount Greylock lead and rode center Aaron Williams’ big fourth quarter to a 59-54 win and a berth in this week’s Western Massachusetts Division 3 semi-finals.
Williams, hampered by early foul trouble, scored nine of his 11 points in the fourth and pulled down nine second-half rebounds for Sabis (10-11).
Mount Greylock’s Sean McCormack scored a game-high 32 points and grabbed 18 rebounds in his final game for the sixth-seeded Mounties (15-7).
But McCormack scored all Mount Greylock’s points in the third quarter and accounted for all of his team’s second-half field goals before drawing his fifth foul with 16 seconds left to play.
“It’s hard to hear,” Mount Greylock coach Bob Thistle said. “You can’t win with one guy scoring. … There were some situations where had good looks and others where we took poor shots. It’s always a team win and a team loss.
“But you can’t win the game unless you have the inside-out game going. And we never really got that outside game going.”
In the first half, it looked vintage Mount Greylock. Toby Foehl and Cole Wojtkowski each had a 3-pointer in the first quarter, and Brady Foehl had five assists as the Mounties took a 32-20 lead into the locker room.
Mount Greylock beat Sabis’ press early to run off 11 straight points to open the game. A turnover and a Wojtkowski lay-up gave the visitors an 11-0 lead and forced Sabis to take its first timeout with fewer than three minutes off the clock.
Sabis answered with an 11-0 run of its own, but Mount Greylock finished the first quarter on a 7-0 run that ended with a McCormack bucket in the post on a feed from Brady Foehl.
In the second quarter, the Mounties outscored Sabis, 14-9, but, in a harbinger of things to come, Brady Foehl’s triple with about two minutes left was the only Mount Greylock field goal from a player not named McCormack.
Sabis came out of the locker room with a 7-0 run to make it a two-possession game on Tre Hodge 3-pointer.
Mount Greylock got a couple of buckets in the post from McCormack to get its lead back to 36-28 midway through the third, but Sabis went on a 17-6 run that spanned the third and fourth quarters and took a 45-42 with an and-one from Williams with 5 minutes, 1 second left to play.
The Bulldogs never relinquished the lead and went up by as many as 10 with less than a minute left. But Sabis’ inability to convert its free throws and Mount Greylock’s refusal to give up kept things interesting.
A Jaren Suttles foul shot gave the home team its largest lead at 57-47, but he missed his second shot, and Brady Foehl (eight points) got the rebound and got to the line himself. He made his first with 54 seconds on the clock.
After the Mounties forced a turnover, McCormack hit a 3-pointer to make it a two-possession game, 57-51. Sabis then missed a pair at the line, and Sam Dils grabbed the rebound and went to the line for the Mounties.
He hit one of two with 25 seconds left to get the deficit down to five points.
Sabis went 2-for-4 at the line over the next nine seconds to push its lead to seven, but Toby Foehl (eight points) was fouled attempting a 3-pointer with 10 seconds left. He made two of his three to get the Mounties back within five, but those were the last points by either team.
“We had everything we wanted,” Thistle said. “We had a 12-point lead, and we had two of their best players in foul trouble. You have those days when you just miss shots and don’t execute. The ball wasn’t falling for us.
“But like the kids have done all year long … they worked hard to the end. I’m proud of them. I give Sabis a lot of credit.”