PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- It is a fair bet that the Boys and Girls Club of the Berkshires has been home to many a birthday celebration over the years.
It also is likely few have been this well attended.
Taconic senior Quentin Gittens scored 21 points in front of 1,000 fans to help lead his team to an 84-62 win over Pittsfield in the concluding game of Friday’s War on the Floor City Series Basketball Championship.
His teammate and classmate Quincy Davis scored a game-high 23 thanks to four first-half 3-pointers.
But Gittens was money in a decisive fourth quarter, scoring 12 points in the period to help Taconic turn a 10-point game into a virtual laugher.
“That’s all Quentin, Quentin just being assertive and knowing that we want to get the ball to the rim, to get to the foul line,” Taconic coach Bill Heaphy said. “And he can do that. He’s very good at doing it. He picks his spots.”
And this spot was special.
“It was a great win tonight, especially against PHS, so it was fun,” Gittens said. “It was packed. And everyone has always played in this gym from third grade to eighth grade, so it’s always great to play here because it’s everyone’s home court. Everyone has an even playing field. Everyone knows the rims.
Gittens was appreciative of how Davis’ outside shooting allowed players like himself to get to those rims.
“It really stretches the floor, especially when you have someone like Quincy, Dedric [Moody] or [Christian] Womble who can hit from almost anywhere,” Gittens said. “That really brings it out and allows me, Junior [Mohammed Sanogo] and Isaac [Percy] to really get inside, draw fouls or kick it out to get even more 3s.”
Friday marked the fifth time in nine games that the potent Taconic offense has gone over 80 points. One of the exceptions in that stretch was a 44-27 win over Pittsfield the first time the teams met on Jan. 23.
PHS coach Brandon Mauer said there was not much more his team could have done on a night when Taconic (14-3) was making shots like it did Friday.
“The made some back-breaking shots,” Mauer said. “Quincy [Davis], credit to him, he was making shots from forever. They were going in.
“It’s tough. You tell your kids to go out and play tough defense, and they do, and they hit impossible shot after impossible shot. … We hoped we could contest them on the outside, and it turned out that even when we contested them, they were making 3s. I’m actually pretty happy with my team’s effort. They came out and played hard.
“They never gave up.”
Taconic looked to be poised to deliver a knockout blow when Davis knocked down a triple to make it 28-17 early in the second quarter.
But Pittsfield rallied with a 13-3 run to get back within a point and eventually tied it, 33-33, before a putback by Sanogo (15 points, eight rebounds) gave Taconic a 35-33 half-time lead.
The Generals’ comeback was fueled by Craig Jackson, who scored 11 in the second quarter en route to a team-high 16 points.
“He had a great game,” Mauer said. “He was our energy coming off the bench, and he gave us everything we needed.
“In the second half, they were back-breaking.”
Taconic built its lead gradually over the course of the third quarter. A jumper from the left wing by Percy (18 points) got it back to a 10-point margin at 54-44.
It was still 10 points going to the fourth before Gittens took over. He scored his last points of the night with two minutes left with a conventional three-point play that gave Taconic its first 20-point lead at 78-58.
Taconic will look to extend a 13-game winning streak on Tuesday when it hosts Wahconah.
Pittsfield (9-7) hosts Drury on Tuesday.