NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Drury boys basketball team punched its ticket to the Cage with a 85-53 win over McCann Tech, at home, Thursday night.
It was a packed house for this highly anticipated and rare “battle of North Adams” as Drury (17-5) took on in-city opponents McCann (15-6).
It was a loud atmosphere perfect for booking a Western Massachusetts Division 4 semi-finals trip to the Curry Hicks Cage. It was a slow start for both teams as they worked out early kinks. Drury was able to control McCann with its full court pressure, but the Blue Devils were a bit sloppy with their end product.
Two straight steals off the start led to zero shots as Drury turned the ball over both times. For McCann Tech, Lucas Jamros was able to get things going, scoring their first four points of the game. Drury finally started to get things going offensively with two 3-pointers from senior Reece Racette. Racette had 16 points on the night. This got the crowd into the game, and Drury really started to pick things up on both ends of the floor. Twelve of their 18 came from the beyond the arc in the quarter giving them an 18-10 lead after one.
Second quarter action saw Drury ramp things up a little bit more finding their rhythm offensively in both the half court set and off of turnovers. They extended their lead to 34-17 off the tail end of a 7-0 run that would force McCann into a timeout. From that point on it was all Drury, pushing the tempo and getting easy looks around the hoop. This was largely due to Scott McGuire, who scored 15 of his 38 points in the quarter. McGuire was able to get wherever he wanted on the court with easy layups and outside shots. With under less than minute to go in the quarter McCann was able to get a small little run to bring them within 20 points just before the half.
In the second half you could start to see McCann wearing down, unable to keep pace with Drury. turnovers started to pile up and easy looks for Drury were coming one after the other. It was a solid shooting night for Drury and the home court advantage really looked to be a small bonus for them shooting.
“We shot the lights out up here tonight, but that’s what home court can do, and that’s why it’s nice to have that 1-4 seed,” Drury coach Jack Racette said.
This is the first time these two teams have met in a long time, and the first time in the playoffs with Drury going to Division 4 a couple years ago. Hopefully it’s not the last time these two teams will meet with being in the same town it was a great atmosphere not just for a playoff game but for a community as well.
“We couldn’t have drawn this up any better,” Racette said. "We always wanted to play them, but with their league schedule, they say they can’t play us, but with them being Division 4 and us being Division 4 it worked out perfectly. I think it’s good for the community, and we played really well tonight.
Well is exactly how they played finishing the game off early, they were once again able to get some rest for their starters as they look to focus on another semi-final appearance in back to back years at the Cage.
“For our seniors they know exactly what it’s like, they know the mental discipline needed, but you know how it goes, the atmosphere is a lot different, you don’t shoot as well, but I think we’ll be ready,” Racette said.
For McCann Tech, it’s the end of the road to a great season that all the players and coaches should be proud of. After knocking off the No .6 seed Granby in the first round they will be proud of the effort they gave this year. And with only one senior graduating they will look to be back in this position next year.
“I liked our kids’ effort in the first half, but all in all it was a good season for us and a lot of guys got experience that we needed and with 10 guys coming back next year, playing in a game like this won’t hurt them.” McCann Tech coach Chris Bullett said.