Wahconah Boys' Defense Shines in 2-0 Start

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires.com Sports
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DALTON, Mass. -- Two games into the season, the Wahconah boys basketball team is yet to allow an opponent as many as 40 points.
On Friday, Wahconah did not allow Mount Greylock 10 points in any one quarter en route to a 57-27 win.
“I thought our defensive intensity was awesome,” Wahconah coach Dustin Belcher said after his team improved to 2-0. “We played the other night against Lenox, and I thought our defensive intensity was good but our execution wasn’t great. Tonight, it kind of came together on the defensive side.”
Tom O’Connor scored 19 points and grabbed nine rebounds, Antwaun Fye scored 14 with seven boards, and Tim Clayton grabbed nine off the glass.
Wahconah took control with a 12-0 run to end the first quarter, taking a 17-6 lead and never looking back.
Mount Greylock (1-2) struggled at the offensive end without all-league caliber big man Sean McCormack, who played in the Mounties’ first two games but then took some time off as he recovers from a concussion he suffered at the end of the football season.
“I think if you say we’re going to hold a team under 60 points in a high school basketball game, you should be alright,” Mount Greylock coach Bob Thistle said. “We just didn’t put the ball in the basket tonight.
“We’re working our rotation without McCormack. He’s working his way back, but there are no excuses. We’re trying to get better. Our next game is against McCann, and we’ll try to get to 2-2.”
Toby Foehl hit three 3-pointers on his way to an 11-point night to lead Mount Greylock’s offense, which also got eight points from Sam Dils.
Wahconah’s decisive run started at the foul line, where O’Connor knocked down a pair midway through the first quarter to erase Mount Greylock’s 6-5 lead. On Wahconah’s next trip, Tom Burris set up O’Connor in the post for an easy 2.
O’Connor and Jeremy Girard (eight points) hit from behind the arc on back-to-back trips to push the lead to 15-6, and O’Connor closed the run with an assist from Fye.
Belcher felt his team gave away some points by missing a few bunnies in the paint. Helping set up those easy chances were five first-half 3-pointers to stretch the defense.
“We knocked some shots down,” Belcher said. “I thought Antwaun Fye had a great game for us. He provided so much energy for us. Tommy O’Connor hit some big shots.
“We’ve got to be balanced. We’re going to have to all do our jobs. And we’ll be successful if we do that.”
Wahconah (2-0) goes to Lee on Monday.
Mount Greylock goes to McCann Tech on Tuesday.
Thistle is not hitting the panic button after back-to-back losses in December.
"There's no quit in us," he said. "It's a long season. We were 0-2 last year, and we ended up with a good year, so we'll keep going."
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