Bird's 17 Lead Drury to Opening Night Win

By Shannon Sports
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. -- The Drury boys basketball team recorded its first "W" in its home opener Friday evening against Chicopee Comp with a 59-50 win.
Sophomore Hayden Bird led the team with 17 points, and senior Justin Girard tallied 15.
Drury took an early lead in the first quarter and defensively put a stop to Chicopee Comp's offensive game, ending the quarter 14-6.
In the second quarter, Chicopee Comp got more offensive opportunities as Drury's defense lost some wind. The visitores were able to cut Drury's lead to four points, putting the score at 28-24 going into half-time.
"We got a little fatigued, we played with a lot of emotion because we knew it was a big game," Drury coach Jack Racette said. "We have six seniors and I think that emotion came early and we got drained."
The second half was a back and fourth battle between the two teams, with the lead switching within only a few points every time. Chicopee Comp took its first lead on the game after Kenny Mendez was fouled in 3-point range. Mendez went three-for-three from the line, putting his team ahead, 31-30.
Drury responded with a 3-pointer from Girard followed by a break-away layup from Bird to take the lead back 39-38, but Chicopee Comp was able to net two baskets before the end of the quarter putting it at 39-38.
"They had us going a lot, we were playing fast," Racette said. "You know, our first game and just trying to get them to understand to slow it down and take quality shots.
"As we started getting better shots and getting the ball inside we did a nice job."
The fourth quarter was much like the third, very back and fourth until the last five minutes after Girard drove to the hoop and put the ball in the net and was fouled on the shot. The Devils didn't look back from there and were able to sink a few more to leave the final score at 59-50.
"We've got to get better defensively," Racette said. "We played a lot of zone tonight and that's not out M.O.,but I thought we did a good job with it and again we didn't rebound as well as we should, but they were big."
The Devils (1-0) will face St. Joe at home on Tuesday.
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