PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- On a night when the most prolific scorer in the history of Pittsfield girls basketball played her final home game, the biggest cheer of the night went to a member of the visiting team.
For a meaningless basket.
That was all you needed to know about the Generals’ 70-20 win over Commerce on Friday in the Western Massachusetts Division 2 quarter-finals.
Zuleka Garcia was the recipient of those applause when she knocked down a 3-pointer with 1 minute, 45 seconds left in the first half for her team’s first points of the game.
Her triple trimmed Pittsfield’s lead to 38-3 but did not bring back any of the Generals’ starters, including all-time leading scorer Peyton Steinman, who long since had left the game.
Steinman scored a season-low six points -- 13 below her average -- but did pass out a couple of assists as well in her shortest outing of the season.
Bella Aitken, who joined Steinman on the bench early in the second quarter, scored a game-high 13 points.
Toni Satrape came off the bench to finish in double figures with 10 points and grabbed seven rebounds. Kendra Castagna scored eight and accounted for 10 boards, and Julia Eline-Wright dished out a game-high four assists.
Every Pittsfield player in uniform scored at least two points and had at least one rebound.
The third-seeded Generals (14-7) advanced to Tuesday’s sectional semi-final at Curry Hicks Cage in Amherst against No. 2 Longmeadow.
The Lancers, who dropped a 65-59 decision at Pittsfield’s Moynihan Field House back in December, had a bye in the quarter-final round, which allowed them to scout Friday’s game -- a fact not lost on PHS coach Joe Racicot.
“The whole team from Longmeadow was here to watch it,” Racicot said. “[The Generals] knew what they had to do, and they did it. And Longmeadow didn’t see much.”
They did get to see a lot of Pittsfield’s bench, which was was impressive against Commerce’s regular lineup. Commerce (13-8) only dressed seven players, so the Generals’ reserves got a lot of experience going up against a Western Mass qualifying unit that won double-digit games in the regular season.
Pittsfield will be pushed a lot more on Tuesday against Longmeadow, which finished 11-9 playing in the rugged Valley League.
“We’ve got a nice history running here [with Longmeadow], and we’re looking forward to it,” Racicot said. “We beat them here, but on a neutral site, you never know what could happen.
“We enjoy the competition, and we’re looking forward to it.”