NORTH ADAMS, Mass. – Nothing gets the crowd going like a big 3-point shot … except, perhaps, for a blocked shot.
Tim Brazeau did his part to get the home fans out of their seats in a 58-43 Division 5 State Tournament win over Lenox on Tuesday night.
Louis Guillotte scored a game-high 26 points, and Brazeau had a triple-double with 10 points, 12 rebounds and 10 blocks as third-seeded Drury advanced to the state quarter-finals, where it will meet Maynard, a 69-37 winner over Mount Greylock on Tuesday night.
Drury broke open a tie game with a 14-3 run that spanned the third and fourth quarters en route to its fourth win of the season against the Millionaires, who the Blue Devils also beat in the semi-finals of last month’s Western Massachusetts Class C tournament.
A big part of that decisive run was the Blue Devils’ defense, including a pair of Brazeau blocks in the final minute of the quarter on back-to-back Lenox possessions.
“It just lifts the energy on defense,” Brazeau said of the impact of a blocked shot on the team. “I think we start playing a lot harder after the hype got up, the crowd gets into it. It just makes us play harder.
“We knew what we had to do [in the third quarter]. We didn’t execute properly in the first half. But we went down [to the locker room] and talked about it, and we really came together on defense in the second half.”
The first half saw nine lead changes and ended with Drury ahead by just one point, 23-22, after winning the previous three meetings with Lenox by margins of 30, 40 and 16 points.
Guillotte scored 11 points in the first half to help the Blue Devils stay just ahead of Lenox, which got six from Emmett Shove, who finished with a team-high 13.
Shove and Shaler Larmon scored in the post in the opening moments to give Lenox the biggest lead of the half, 4-0.
“I didn’t think [Lenox] would go there,” Drury coach Jack Racette said. “We kind of want to defend the 3-point line against most teams, and with [Lenox’s Michael] Butler, we wanted to defend it. So we left guys alone on an island in the post.
“But then once we figured it out and we weren’t going to let them in there, it kind of went away.”
Butler finished with 10 points, and Michael Ward had nine for Lenox.
Drury got 13 points and a few blocks from Ben Moulton, and Guillotte had a handful of blocks to go with his game highs in scoring and rebounding (15). Amont David pulled down 10 boards.
Guillotte scored twice on jumpers from the baseline in the opening minutes of the second half as the teams traded buckets for nearly six minutes, ending up tied at 31-31 with just more than two minutes left in the third.
Guillotte then scored five straight – a jumper from the left wing and a lay-in assisted by Logan Davis against Lenox’s press to give Drury its biggest lead of the night at 36-31.
It was 37-31 after three quarters, and Lenox cut the deficit back to five before Drury scored six straight, the last on an alley-oop from Moulton to Guillotte, to lead by 11, 45-34, with 5 minutes, 30 seconds on the clock.
A conventional three-point play by Butler briefly got the margin back to eight points, but Brazeau scored in the post to re-establish the 10-point lead. And Lenox never got back within single digits the rest of the way.
“We didn’t play well [early],” Racette said. “We knew they were coming up here, and they were going to fight. We’ve played them three times. They knew us, and we knew them.
“We missed a lot of easy shots early. We didn’t get settled in. Defensively, I thought we were OK, but in the second half, I thought we settled in a little bit.”