PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- La’Quan Brown was deadly from downtown, and his fellow seniors had a big night as the Pittsfield boys basketball team topped Hoosac Valley, 73-49, on Tuesday.
Brown hit five 3-pointers on the way to a team-high 17 points. Fellow seniors Craig Jackson and Kymani Harley added 12 and nine points, respectively, as Pittsfield (6-9, 2-3 Berkshire County North Division) snapped a two-game losing skid.
Coming off the emotional lift of the pregame Senior Night festivities, Brown knocked down three 3s in the first half to help Pittsfield go to the locker room with a 29-26 lead.
Harley then contributed seven points and an assist in a 12-0 third-quarter run that allowed Pittsfield to open up a double-digit margin it never relinquished.
“We needed that lift, and they needed that lift,” Pittsfield coach Brandon Mauer said of the senior trio. “We’ve had some pretty close games that haven’t come our way. And I think that when we pushed it out in the second half there, hopefully we turned the corner for ourselves. Because we have a lot of games that we need to win going forward here.”
Pittsfield has to go 4-1 in its last five games, starting with Friday night’s meeting with Taconic at the Boys and Girls Club, in order to make it into the Western Massachusetts tournament.
Hoosac Valley (9-6, 1-3) entered Tuesday’s game needing one win to make the post-season, and the Hurricanes played like a team on a mission in the first half.
Izaha Stubbs (game-high 20 points) converted both ends of a one-and-one midway through the second quarter to give Hoosac Valley a 17-16 lead that ended up being its last advantage of the night.
PHS went on an 8-2 run moments later to take a six-point lead. First, Christian Pringle set up Brown for a triple that broke a 19-19 tie.
Then, after Stubbs scored at the other end, Keamu Arce Jackson fed Brown for a second straight 3. After Keamu Jackson got a defensive rebound, Brown fed Craig Jackson in the post to put Pittsfield ahead, 27-21.
Hoosac Valley pulled back within one in the final minute when Cole DesRoches hit one of his three 3-pointers, but Tobias Gaulden-Wheeler (10 points) finished the half by converting both ends of a one-and-one to make it 29-26 at the break.
It was 31-31 early in the third quarter before Pittsfield’s 12-0 run that turned out to be the turning point.
Harley got things started with a drive to the basket and then set up Brown for a 3 on Pittsfield’s next possession. The Generals scored on six of seven possessions in the run, ending with Craig Jackson getting fouled attempting to put back an offensive rebound and hitting both his free throws to make it 43-31.
Craig Jackson finished with 11 rebounds. Marlon Binns had 10. Pittsfield’s efforts on the glass were a big reason why it started to pull ahead in the third.
“It was trust on the offensive end,” Mauer said of the run. It was trust with finding somebody who was open. Most of that stuff was pushed out by offensive rebounding. Christian Pringle and Toby Wheeler. They both just did exactly what I asked them. They crashed the boards. They gave us a huge lift first and second half.”
Hoosac Valley never got closer than 10 points the rest of the way.
The Hurricanes will take their second try at qualifying for Western Mass on Friday when they host Wahconah.