Roberson's 25 Lead Crusaders Past Pittsfield
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — If something is working, don't change it.
And nothing in Berkshire County has worked much better than the St. Joseph boys basketball team the last couple of years.
But heading into Saturday's meeting with Pittsfield, Crusaders coach Paul Brindle decided to shake things up a little bit.
"We are a man-to-man team, that's all we ever play," Brindle said after his team topped the Generals, 75-59. "Today we played zone the entire game, which I don't think is our strength, but it played our strength tonight because we limited a very good player."
That good player is Pittsfield junior Amancho Adopo, who scored 12 points in the renewal of the city rivalry in Berkshire County's other city.
Pittsfield and St. Joe was one of the most anticipated match-ups of the sixth annual Berkshire County Boys Basketball Coaches vs. Cancer Showcase, and for most of their matinee, the teams failed to disappoint.
Taverick Roberson and Michael Carpenter scored 25 and 23 points, respectively, and Jon Bianchi had seven points, 10 rebounds and two assists for the defending Western Massachusetts Division 3 champions.
St. Joe (3-2, 3-0 Berkshire County) led by by just six at half-time, and when Tanner Hanford fed Ty Discoe for a 3-pointer with 4 minutes, 30 seconds left in the third quarter, it cut the Crusaders' lead to just five, 37-32.
But St. Joe went on an 11-4 run, and Pittsfield never got closer than eight points the rest of the way.
"We have a lot of experience on this team," Brindle said. "We have eight seniors who have been in big games, and they know how to handle it when teams make runs on you. Pittsfield would make a run, and we'd respond with our own run. What happened was, Pittsfield ran out of runs, and we continued to build on it.
"And the biggest key is when you have a point guard like Tank Roberson and you have an off guard like Mike Carpenter, you know you're going to have the potential for good shots every time down the floor. And that's what happened the second half."
Carpenter rounded out his stat line with eight rebounds and six assists.
Roberson thrilled the crowd in that third-quarter run that gave St. Joe a working margin for the rest of the game -- scoring twice in transition, stealing the ball once and knocking down two foul shots in that stretch.
Adopo was complemented by Aaron Bradley and Ty Discoe with 12 and 11 points, respectively. And although Adopo did not get as many points as he might on some nights, he did grab 21 rebounds and pass out a couple of assists.
"Adopo is so athletic," Brindle said. "He can get to the rim on anyone."