NORTH ADAMS, Mass. -- Joe Wiggins scored 28 points, and Dave Wellington scored 23 Monday to lead their respective teams into the championship game of the John Giorgi Summer Basketball league.
Wiggins’ teammate, Taverick “Tank” Roberson, added 27 as their Yard Work by Dan squad jumped out to a 21-point half-time lead and held off a furious second-half comeback bid by defending champion Moonlight Diner before prevailing, 77-65, in Monday’s opener at the Armory.
In the nightcap, Wellington was backed up by 21 points from Lawrence Carrier and 20 from Sedale Jones in a 75-62 win for Troiano & Sons/Kingsbread/Flynn & Dagnoli against Central Radio.
Yard Work by Dan (9-0) will face Troiano & Sons (8-1) on Thursday at 7 p.m. at Noel Field in the league championship game. Yard Work by Dan won their regular season meeting, 86-73, back on July 17.
Yard Work by Dan 77, Moonlight Diner 65
Roberson drove the lane for two points midway through the first half to put his team up, 21-5, and he had 21 points at half-time to help build a 21-point lead.
But Moonlight rallied, thanks in part to a couple of Geoff Kondel 3-pointers, to get within seven, 61-54, with just more than six minutes left. Kondel finished with a team-high 22 points and 10 rebounds for Moonlight.
That is when Roberson fed Wiggins for a bucket in transition. Wiggins was fouled in the act of shooting and converted at the line to push the lead back to 64-54.
The teams traded baskets until Wiggins scored on assists from Deonte Sandifer in transition on back-to-back possessions to push Yard Work by Dan’s lead to 71-60.
Wiggins, who scored 18 in the second half, scored four straight points, and Shaq Ardray (13 points) hit a pair of foul shots down the stretch to push the lead to 77-62 with 34 seconds on the clock before their team settled for the 12-point final margin.
Troiano & Sons 75, Central Radio 62
Just like the first semi-final, the higher-seeded team jumped out to an early lead, this time scoring the game’s first 10 points -- four by Wellington in transition.
Troiano went up by 19 when Jones set up Wellington in transition to make it 28-9 midway through the half, but Central Radio held its own from there, going into the break down, 40-23.
Just like in the first semi-final, the second half started with a comeback bid.
This time, Mitch Scace (team-high 23 points) hit a 3-pointer, set up Jeff Braim (14 points) for a 3 and followed his own shot in transition in a 12-0 run that got Central Radio within five, 40-35.
Troiano & Sons immediately answered with a 12-0 run of its own. Jones converted a conventional 3-point play and set up Wellington with an outlet pass off a defensive rebound to get it started, and Wellington finished things with a pair of 3-pointers to make it 52-35.
Central Radio got back within single digits one more time, when Scace knocked down a pair of free throws with 1:46 on the clock to make it 68-60.
But Troiano & Sons put the game away at the foul line, converting 7-of-10 at the line down the stretch, including three front ends of one-and-ones.
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