McGuire Comes Up Big as Drury Tops Pittsfield in OT
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. -- Scott McGuire Jr. has hit a lot of big shots in his young career with the Drury boys basketball team, but none were much bigger -- or much longer -- than the one he hit on Friday night.
McGuire drilled a 3-pointer from six feet beyond the arc with a hand in his face at the end of regulation to tie Pittsfield, 66-66, in a game Drury eventually won, 80-75, in the first overtime.
McGuire finished with a game-high 25 points, and Reece Racette added 17 points and six assists as the Blue Devils (13-3) won their sixth straight and avenged one of their three losses.
Drury came back from a nine-point deficit midway through the fourth quarter and scored the last six points of regulation to force OT. In the extra period, J.J. Middleton drained one of the Devils’ 12 triples from the top of the key to give Drury a 79-73 lead with less than a minute left.
McGuire had four of those 3s -- two in the fourth quarter, including the tying shot from high on the left wing.
“McGuire did some things like a sophomore, and then he did some things he should be doing,” Drury coach Jack Racette said. “That was a big-time shot.
“I was going to call timeout. We’re down three, and I’m thinking, what play do we have against a zone that will give us a shot. We had the ball in the guy’s hands where I know he likes to dribble and fade away, so I let it go.
“We got beat down there, and he turned it over the last possession when we were down two. He came up big for us, that’s for sure.”
Edwin Rodriguez was big for Pittsfield with 24 points and 11 rebounds. Joe Cracolici scored 18, and Craig Jackson added 16 for the Generals (7-9).
Cracolici scored twice in an early 10-0 run that gave Pittsfield a 12-6 lead. He finished the first half with 13 points, and Pittsfield led most of the half.
Drury used an 8-0 run late in the second quarter to take a 29-26 lead when McGuire scored in transition after a Middleton steal.
That run saw three big defensive plays from the Blue Devils. Max Daugherty, took two charges and McGuire took one in the post in a span of 2 minutes, 35 seconds to keep Pittsfield off the scoreboard while Drury erased a five-point deficit.
“Early on, we didn’t [take charges], but we started to buckle down and, like I said, it was a gritty performance for our guys,” Racette said. “That’s the only way we can play. We can’t protect the rim any other way than by taking charges. Guys started stepping in, and then it just becomes a physical game. And I think our guys can handle that kind of physicality.”
Pittsfield’s Jackson hit the first of three buzzer-beaters in the game, a triple to send the teams to the locker rooms tied, 29-29.
Buzzer-beater No. 2, a Rodriguez 3 at the end of the third quarter, capped a 9-2 Pittsfield run to give the Generals a 47-41 lead going to the fourth.
It was 59-50, Pittsfield, after Sincere Moorer drove the left wing midway through the fourth quarter.
But Drury chipped away at that advantage, starting with a McGuire 3-pointer from the left wing corner. A minute later, he set up Racette for a triple to get the lad down to five, 56-61. Racette scored on an assist from Conor Clark to make it a four-point game. The teams then traded points until Rodriguez hit a pair from the line with 46 seconds left to give Pittsfield its last lead of the night, 66-60.
Middleton hit his first field goal of the game with 39 seconds left to make it a one-possession game, and the Generals were whistled for traveling in the paint with 18.6 seconds on the clock, setting the stage for McGuire’s game-tying 3.
Drury started overtime with a conventional three-point play by Racette, but Rodriguez answered with an and-one at the other end to tie it, 69-69, with 3:09 left.
Drury then scored the next three before Clark took a charge in the post with 2:02 on the clock.
Chad Lawrence connected from behind the arc to give Drury it’s biggest lead, 65-69, but Pittsfield got it back to a three-point game on a Higuera eight-footer inside of a minute to play.
Middleton’s second late 3-pointer pushed it to 79-73, and after a putback from PIttsfield’s Jackson, McGuire hit a foul shot with 8.4 seconds left in OT to provide the final margin.
Pittsfield will look to get back in the win column on Monday when it takes on Taconic in the second half of a girls-boys double-header at PHS.
Drury has its rivalry game at Hoosac Valley on Tuesday.