PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Taconic girls basketball team took down city rival Pittsfield in a 43-31 win, Friday night, at home to advance to the Western Massachusetts Division 2 semi-finals.
Playing twice in one year was not enough for these two squads as they met up in the first round of the sectional. In both regular season matches Taconic (17-4) was able to come away with the win and Friday was no different, with the help from Taea Bramer, who scored 18 points, and Johnahyah Curry, who had 16.
It was a sloppy start for both teams as the first four possessions combined ended in turnovers. It was no surprise what the game plan was early for Pittsfield (11-10) and that was get the ball inside to Lexi Garvey. She finished the game with a team-high 12 points. Alexi Sondrini scored seven and Natasha Shade added five. The low scoring game seemed to favor the Generals as they were able to hang around with the sloppy play from both sides.
It wasn’t until Bramer knocked down back-to-back 3-pointers to give Taconic the lead when things started to go its way. Taconic finished the quarter up, 15-9.
In the second quarter, Pittsfield continued to struggle on the offensive end, unable to get anything going. The Generals’ one bright spot was offensive rebounds that helped get them a couple baskets to stay in the game. It went back and forth and Pittsfield was able to chip that six-point deficit at the end of the quarter into a four-point deficit going into the break.
The start of the second half saw Bramer step up once again scoring the first six points of the quarter for Taconic. Mixed in with a few steals for baskets, it finally seemed like Taconic was going to take full control of this game. Pittsfield was held scoreless for almost three minutes, but the Generals continued to fight and was able to keep quiet after that good start to the quarter. After three quarters Pittsfield only trailed by two points and had plenty of chances to tie or take the lead. With some careless turnovers and some great defense from Taconic it looked like this one was going to be a nail-biter down to the finish.
With just more than four minutes to go, Garvey scored an and-one to bring Pittsfield within three points, but the Generals were not able to get any closer the rest of the way. A huge 3 from Bramer with a more than a minute left in the game gave her team a seven-point lead and was a deflating blow to Pittsfield.
“She’s [Bramer] a gamer, she’s like another coach on the floor and that 3 she hit in the corner pretty much sealed the deal,” Taconic coach Matt Mickle said. “We drew that play up for her and that was really the difference. With her on the floor she communicate with me constantly on both sides of the ball.”
With a 3-pointer by Curry on Taconic’s next trip, it was all but over as they pushed the lead to double digits. The final whistle blew and Taconic sealed their spot in the next round. They will take on No. 2 seed Longmeadow Tuesday at Western New England University.
“We’re going to watch some tape of Longmeadow and get prepped for that,” Mickle said. "We’ll game plan but we’ll do what we did all year, We’ve been practicing for three months so we can’t really change much now.”