Adopo, Pittsfield Storm Past Hurricanes
CHESHIRE -- When his Pittsfield High School boys basketball team fell behind 15-4 in the first five minutes on Thursday night, coach Steve Ray showed supreme confidence.
And his Generals made sure that confidence was rewarded.
Pittsfield outscored Hoosac 62-29 the rest of the way to take a 66-44 win and improve to 6-2 on the season.
Ray said he did not want to take a first-quarter timeout and chose instead to let his team find its way on its own.
"I was hoping they'd try to figure it out because you never know how the end of the game is going to go," Ray said. "(Hoosac coach) Billy Robinson has a way of coaching these guys up. And I saw what happened in the St. Joe game. I said, 'That could be us in a two-point dog fight,' and I didn't want to use them all up.
"Plus our offense is a transition off of our defensive pressure. Sometimes you have to give them a few minutes to get going out there -- to make the mistakes and figure out who the matchups were, realize a guy might have a step on them. And they make the adjustments and then they get going."
The biggest adjustment of the night was Ray's decision to switch to a 1-3-1 zone, which neutralized the hot hand of Hoosac's Matt Braman.
Braman hit three shots in the first six minutes for the Hurricanes (3-5) but finished with just 14 points.
Pittsfield, meanwhile, got 24 points and 21 rebounds from junior guard Amancho Adopo and 17 points from senior Aaron Bradley.
Adopo started Pittsfield's comeback with a shot from the elbow to make it 15-6. And he gave Pittsfield its first lead with 3 minutes, 59 seconds left in the second quarter when he was fouled putting back a rebound of his own miss in transition and finished the conventional three-point play to make it 21-19.
Hoosac led once more, briefly, when Trevor Alibozek (eight points, 13 rebounds) scored from the elbow on the first possession of the second half to make it 23-22 for the 'Canes.
But Pittsfield went on a 15-2 run to take control of the game and never looked back.
That run included a steal and dunk by Adopo and a great hustle play by Bradley, who saved on offensive rebound on the baseline with a bounce pass to set up a basket by Joshua Boulais.
Rebounds were an issue all night for Hoosac, and not just because of the high-flying Adopo. Pittsfield outrebounded the Hurricanes 50-34.
Hoosac's problems on the glass were symptomatic of what Robinson describes as a lack of passion from his players.
"We're not hitting the glass at all," Robinson said. "It's like one shot and done every possession. That's the problem.
"We don't have heart to go to the glass. The Adopo kid -- you saw him go to the glass today. Everytime they missed a shot, Adopo was going from the top of the key or the wing to the glass. Our guys stand and watch. That's the difference."
The other difference was that Pittsfield zone, which held Hoosac to 10 points in the second and third quarters combined.
"We really haven't seen much (zone), to be honest with you," Robinson said. "Everyone's been playing us man-to-man. ... But we know how to attack a zone. If shots don't fall, shots don't fall, and then we're not getting any offensive rebounds at all."
The Hurricanes have more than a week to put this loss behind them before traveling to Taconic on Jan. 18. Pittsfield jumps right back into the fray on Saturday with a tough non-league game against Cathedral.
With nearly half the regular season gone, Ray said his Generals still have room to get better.
"I think we've got a lot of opportunity for improvement," he said. "We're 6-2 now, and our goal is to get to the tournament, so we have four more to go."