NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Mount Greylock boys basketball team kept its post-season hopes alive with a big 63-43 win over McCann Tech on Wednesday night.
Mount Greylock (8-10) came into Wednesday’s game knowing exactly what it needs to do in order to keep its hopes at a Western Mass bid alive, and the Mounties certainly came out looking like a team ready to make that jump.
Mount Greylock turned the pressure up early, forcing 12 turnovers in the first quarter alone. McCann Tech (12-5) had trouble with the pressure all game long and it showed. Even when McCann was able to beat the press, it was forced into outside shots that the Hornets weren’t necessarily planning to take. They were sped up all game long, and it saw McCann Tech in an early 18-7 hole, after the first quarter.
Mount Greylock freshman Derek Paris poured in seven first quarter points on his way to a team-high 16.
“It’s cliche, but we say to him he’s not a freshman anymore, he has almost a full year under his belt as far as a basketball season and he has courage,” Mount Greylock coach Bob Thistle said. "He doesn’t back down and he’s not afraid to fail, he really had a great game for us”
Toby Foehl added 15 and Mitchell Jesuit had nine in the win.
Second quarter action saw Mount Greylock continue the pressure, going on a 7-0 run to start. Second chance opportunities were key for the Mounties as they were able to get score easy baskets off missed shots. Mount Greylock held McCann Tech to just 12 first-half points and outscored the Hornets, 22-5, in the second quarter alone. The half-time score saw Mount Greylock ahead by 28 points and looking like an easy win on the road.
The halftime break seemed to work for the Hornets as they finally started to settle into the game. With back-to-back offensive boards and put backs by Jeremy Beany, McCann finally started to click on offense. The Hornets started the quarter on a 10-3 run and flipped the script on Mount Greylock holding the Mounties to just five points. Jackson Owensby was big off the bench scoring 12 points, While Jeremy Beany added 11.
Unfortunately for McCann it was a little too late for the full comeback. The Hornets were able to cut the lead to 15 but couldn’t seem to bring it any closer. With some timely hoops from Mount Greylock they were able to see this game off and inch closer to their post season goals.
This was Mount Greylock’s fourth straight victory. They will need to continue this run and win the next two games in order to make the Western Mass tournament.
“We’ve been embracing this as a playoff run that we are on,” Thistle said. “We’ve won four in a row after a 4-10 start and that’s thanks to defense.
"We have to win the 50/50 balls and we need to generate offense with our defense tonight and I was pleased with how we came out on the road in the Hornets nest here. We tip our cap to them, but I think we wanted more in the first half.”
The last two games of the season will come against Lee at home tomorrow and Lenox on the road, Feb. 19.
For McCann, this was just their first loss after an eight-game win streak. The Hornets will regroup on the road against John J. Duggan Academy.