AMHERST, Mass. -- John Howland scored 28 points and grabbed 10 rebounds Saturday to lead the Tantasqua boys basketball team to a 70-49 win over Pittsfield in the Western Massachusetts Division 2 Championship Game on Saturday at Curry Hicks Cage.
"We didn't really have an answer for him tonight," Pittsfield coach Steve Ray said of Howland. "He's just too strong for us. He's got a complete game. He's the real deal for sure. We knew we were going to struggle with him, but he had a complete game tonight."
So, too, did Tantasqua, which got multiple 3-pointers from three players not named Howland, led by Adam Phillips, who hit five triples on the way to a 18-point night.
"When're you're trying to go down and double Howland when he's posting up down low, you can't do that without helping," Ray said. "And when you help and the other guys are hitting shots, it makes it a challenge.
"For us, with a struggling offense, it makes for a long night."
Pittsfield's Anthony Reinhold and Joshua Moore scored 11 points apiece, and Moore grabbed seven rebounds.
Second-seeded Tantasqua (20-2) used a 25-12 third quarter to open up a commanding 20-point lead and never looked back.
Pittsfield's last chance to make it close may have come with 2 minutes, 32 seconds left in the third quarter, when Moore hit a foul shot to make it 49-35. But Tantasqua scored the next six points to close the quarter up, 55-35.
Ray said it was disappointing not to be more competitive in the sectional final, but it cannot deter from what the Generals accomplished this season.
"But at the end of the day, we know we can build on this," he said. "People have been writing us off for a couple of years now. We lost [Amancho] Adopo, who was arguably one of the best players in Western Mass, and we went 15-5. We lost Bryce Daley, and we went 15-5.
"Here we are again this year. We came on strong and peaked at the end of the year. Our tank ran out a little bit at the end."
Tantasqua moves on to Monday's state semi-final against Concord-Carlisle at the DCU Center in Worcester.