Taconic Boys' Defense Stymies Mount Greylock
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. -- The Taconic boys basketball team Thursday allowed just 44 points in a win at Mount Greylock.
And it was the most points Taconic has allowed in its last five games.
Robert McCown scored 18 points and grabbed seven rebounds to lead Taconic (6-4) to a 55-44 win in a game played at MCLA because of construction at Mount Greylock.
Coach Bill Heaphy’s team allowed more than 40 points by an opponent for the first time in its current five-game winning streak.
The good news is that Taconic gave up just 11 points in the second half. It allowed only two points in the fourth quarter until the Mounties (4-4) converted a pair of free throws in the closing moments with the subs on the floor.
“We've been playing that way all year, except now the last few games, we're not fouling nearly as much,” Heaphy said. “We still foul a little bit, but we're not bailing out teams by doing that. We're getting in better position. The ball pressure is good, the help's great. And they've bought into it.”
Taconic led a back-and-forth game by just one, 41-40, entering the fourth quarter.
Christian Womble pushed the lead to four by converting a Javier Osorio assist for a 3-pointer on Taconic’s second possession of the quarter.
Two trips later, Isaac Percy put back an offensive rebound to push the lead to 46-40.
Percy finished with eight boards, as did Osorio. Quintin Gittens had nine on a night when Taconic built a 47-20 advantage on the glass.
“As I'm thinking it through, they really beat us on the glass,” Mount Greylock coach Bob Thistle said. “They outrebounded us all night long. That's a big part of their victory tonight.”
Another Percy putback with about two minutes left pushed the lead to eight points. He finished with 10 points, and Womble had 12.
After Cole Wojtkowski (team-high 15) gave the Mounties hope by scoring in transition after a Sam Dils steal with 1 minute, 9 seconds on the clock, Taconic was able to break Mount Greylock’s press and get a conventional three-point play by Womble to push the lead to 51-42.
After that bucket, McCown was whistled for a technical foul, which was his fifth of the game with 1:03 left.
“We're a young team,” Heaphy said later. “There are a lot of lessons we take away from every game we play. That's part of the process.”
Quintin Gittens helped put the game away by going 3-for-4 at the line in the final minute. Osorio also hit a foul shot to make it 55-42 with 37 seconds on the clock, signalling both coaches to empty their benches.
That technical foul with a nine-point margin and just more than a minute left? Typical of the second half, Mount Greylock missed both free throws.
“I think we took our time, we got some good looks, and it just didn't go down,” Thistle said. “Credit Taconic for playing good defense, but if we shot like we did in the first half ...
“I think, at the end of the day, we just didn't score, and we had good looks. You have to check it off and move on. Against Pittsfield the other night, a lot of those shots went down.”
Mount Greylock is back at MCLA on Tuesday to face Lee.
Taconic goes to Bennington, Vt., to face Mount Anthony on Monday.