Team Effort Carries McCann Boys
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Shane Fuller filled the scorebook with 2s.
Justin Schneider and Matt Belini filled it with 0s.
Both were key contributions in the McCann Tech boys basketball team's 55-46 win over Franklin Tech on Friday night.
Fuller, as usual, led the Hornets in scoring, pouring in a game-high 27.
But McCann coach Mike Nykorchuck was raving about the defensive efforts of Schneider and Belini, who held Franklin's dangerous Chris Wetherby scoreless in the first and third quarters. And those zeroes next to Wetherby's name were the difference as McCann (4-4) ran its Tri-County record to 4-1 against an Eagles team that boasted a 4-1 league record of its own coming in.
"We didn't play a box-and-one, we didn't play man-to-man," Nykorchuck said. "We played our regular zone. But what we did was say, when Wetherby ... who in his last few games scored 37, 39 and 35 points ... is in your area of the zone, I want you to deny him the ball. They held him to eight points tonight.
"And those are kids, Justin Schneider and Matt Belini, who never get enough credit. They go unnoticed. Even tonight, they're not going to show up in the stat sheet. But without them, we don't win this game tonight.
"That totally frustrated their offense. We said if somebody's going to beat us, make sure it's not him."
The Hornets had plenty of big statistical contributions as well — even without Fuller's big night.
Kyle Parada had 12 rebounds and eight blocked shots, and Rahmer Vincent had 13 rebounds, five steals and two assists.
And Collin Racette had three 3-pointers, including one midway through the fourth quarter to open up an eight-point lead that never got smaller.
All in all, it was the finest outing so far for a McCann team that has won four of its last five.
"I've been on a lot of teams as a player and coach, but I never really think of a total team win as much as it was tonight," Nykorchuck said. "It was all the role players defining their role, accepting their role and going above and beyond. That's what everybody did tonight.
"It's all the people doing the little things that don't show up in the stat sheet. That's why we won tonight."
McCann jumped out to an early 10-2 lead but fell behind, 21-19, by half-time.
Coming out of the locker room, Nykorchuck called a play to free up Fuller for a 3, and he converted to regain the lead, and the teams then went back and forth throughout the third quarter, which ended with the Hornets up one, 37-36.
The fourth quarter started out all McCann, with the Hornets in command at both ends of the floor in a 13-3 run
Parada got it started with a blocked shot that resulted in a transition lay-in for Schneider.
Fuller then hit a 3 from the corner, and Vincent had a steal and breakaway to make it 44-36, McCann.
After Franklin hit a 3 coming out of a timeout to make it 44-39, Racette's triple pushed it to an eight-point margin, and a miss at the other end led to another Racette 3 to make it 50-39.
Schneider dropped in a 3 with an assist from Fuller, and Fuller made a couple of foul shots down the stretch to provide the final margin.
McCann hosts Pioneer Valley Christian on Tuesday.