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Pittsfield Boys' Run Ends in Final Four

By Stephen Dravis
iBerkshires Sports - Print
11:50PM / Monday, March 11, 2024


WORCESTER, Mass. – The second-seeded Old Rochester boys basketball team Monday stormed out to a 25-15 lead in the first quarter and went on to an 82-69 win over Pittsfield in the Division 3 State Semi-Finals.
 
Zack Mourao scored 27 points, and John Butler added 26 as the Bulldogs put up the most points allowed by the Generals this winter.
 
“I just think we didn’t have the defensive intensity we usually have,” Pittsfield coach Jerome Edgerton said. “We just weren’t on it defensively like we usually are.
 
“We didn’t make it difficult for them at all. I think they had 36 points in the first half. … We weren’t able to come out and re-establish ourselves at half-time. We gave up plays defensively. We just had breakdowns and didn’t recover. I just think, honestly, we looked for the first time like we were tired.”
 
The Bulldogs (21-4) advance to this weekend’s state championship game against the winner of Wednesday’s semi-final between No. 4 Taconic and No. 1 Charlestown.
 
On Monday, Old Rochester got its first separation midway through the first quarter when back-to-back turnovers from its press led to back-to-back lay-ups from Mourao and Butler to make it a 13-6 game.
 
A 6-2 spurt to end the quarter pushed the margin to 10 points going to the second.
 
Pittsfield got a pair of 3-pointers from Patrick Brennan in the second quarter to cut the margin to eight at half-time.
 
But Mourao and Butler scored 10 points apiece in the third quarter, when Old Rochester stretched its lead back to 18. Gavin Martin scored in transition for the Bulldogs to end the quarter with a 60-42 lead.
 
Malachi Perry scored 21 points, and Nunu Brown and Makai Shepardson added 16 and 14 apiece for the Generals.
 
Chase Besancon had a double-double for Old Rochester with 15 points and 13 rebounds to help the Bulldogs earn a 42-27 edge on the glass.
 
Old Rochester matched its biggest lead of the game with 4 minutes, 52 seconds left in the fourth quarter when a Butler free throw made it 72-51.
 
The Generals rallied from there.
 
A bucket from Perry sparked a 15-6 Pittsfield run to get the margin down to 12.
 
Brown scored five straight – once in transition and once on a 3-pointer to make it 74-58.
 
Shepardson scored in transition and converted a conventional three-point play. And Perry got an and-one to make it 78-66 with 1:29 on the clock.
 
But while the Generals had momentum, they did not have enough time to get back into the game.
 
The Generals graduate seven seniors, including all five of its starters from a team that finishes 19-6 with a Western Massachusetts Class B Championship and a 13-game winning streak going into Monday’s loss.
 
“There’s a lot that we have to get better at in the off-season, but in terms of this season, the success of this season, the way this team was playing basketball just throughout the whole back half – I mean, we haven’t lost in two months,” Edgerton said. “It was a long road, a tiring road.
 
“I’m proud of the boys. I’m proud of the coaches. But there’s no doubt we’re tired. And we just need to get ready for next season.”
 

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