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Fortitude Strength and Conditioning takes on iBerkshires.com in the first outdoor game of the season in the John Giorgi Summer Basketball League.

Giorgi League Christens New Noel Field Court

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires.com Sports
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. -- Berkshire County's newest sports venue opened with a couple of close games on Monday night as the John Giorgi Summer Basketball League christened the new courts at Noel Field.
 
IBerkshires.com edged Fortitude Strength and Conditioning, 49-41, in the first game, and Rivers Lawn Care/Timeless Training got past Swish, 56-50, in the nightcap.
 
The first games on the newly resurfaced outdoor courts were to be played on Sunday, but rain forced that night's action inside the North Adams Armory.
 
League organizer Al Giorgi this spring posted a schedule that tentatively called for the league to open on June 16, though he said at the time he was not sure whether the courts would be ready.
 
"Once I saw guys starting own here playing pickup, I said, 'Well, they can't be too far off,' " Giorgi said Monday as he prepared for the games to begin.
 
The two full-sized courts were buzzing well before the 6:30 tipoff of the league games with pickup action on all four baskets from about 5 p.m. on.
 
Giorgi plans to continue the league's practice of using one court for the league's games each night for a reason that was demonstrated on Sunday: There is only one court available, the Armory's, for indoor games in the event of rain.
 
Back out in the fresh air on Monday, Brandon Hurst scored 17 points, and Justin Girard had 15 points and eight rebounds to lead iBerkshires to victory.
 
Fortitude's Lucas Shatford had a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
 
Brandon Roughley and Vernon Cross led the way for Rivers Lawn Care with 14 and 13 points, respectively.
 
Matt Chamberlain scored a game-high 15 for Swish in the loss.
 
This year, the Giorgi League offers play in three divisions: an "A" and "B" division in the men's league and a five-team high school division.
 
"I've got five in the 'A' division, which is good," Giorgi said. "They play each other twice. It shoyuld be very competitive."
 
The high school league once again includes Drury, Hoosac Valley, McCann Tech and Mount Greylock and this year, for the first time, adds a squad from Monument Mountain, which will make the trip up from Great Barrington for eight games starting Thursday plus, potentially, two playoff games in August.
 
The basketball courts are part of a nearly $800,000 upgrade to Noel Field, which includes pickle ball courts, a reconfigured walking track and a splash pad area for youngsters.
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Excessive Heat, Humidity Forecast Through Sunday

The National Weather Service is forecasting excessive heat and humidity to begin this afternoon, peaking Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Daytime highs are forecast to be in the 90s to low 100s today through Sunday, with dew points in the low to mid 70s. Little cooling is expected to take place in the overnight hours, with lows in most areas only dropping to the mid 70s to near 80.

Heat index values are expected to reach 95 to 100 degrees this afternoon. Heat index values could reach 107 to 112 degrees on both Saturday and Sunday afternoon for most of Massachusetts, with values between 96 and 102 locally in the Berkshires.

This level of heat and humidity is dangerous and relatively rare for this part of the country. Prolonged exposure to heat and humidity will increase the risk of heat-related illnesses.

"MEMA urges residents to take precautions during the upcoming extreme heat. Never leave children or pets alone in a closed vehicle, find an air-conditioned public space, cooling center, or other cool spot for relief, and watch for heat-related illnesses," said Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency Director Samantha Phillips. "Please check on your family, friends, or neighbors to make sure they are safe during the extreme heat."

Local help

In preparation and response to the weather forecast and high heat advisory, the city of North Adams has announced that the following locations are available to residents seeking relief from the heat and humidity:

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