Drury-Hoosac Rematch Headlines Cage Week for Berkshires
Every time Drury High School and Hoosac Valley collide, it feels like a cage match.
This time around, it's a Cage match.
The Drury and Hoosac Valley boys basketball teams will meet on Wednesday evening at UMass Amherst's Curry Hicks Cage in the semi-finals of the Western Massachusetts Division 3 tournament.
The all-Berkshire clash is just one of five games involving county teams over a three-night stretch and ensures the county will have at least one team in Saturday's sectional finals.
It's also the third renewal this season of the Route 8 rivalry.
"The place is going to be going nuts down there in the Cage," Hoosac junior Jameson Coughlan said shortly after the 'Canes semi-final win last week. "Both teams are going to be brining a bunch of people.
"It's going to be fun."
Hoosac Valley fans will be making the trip to Amherst at least twice this week. On Tuesday night, the top-seeded Hoosac girls basketball team takes on South Hadley in the D3 semis at 6 p.m., right after second-seeded Pittsfield meets Quabbin in the D2 girls semis (at 4:30).
The Generals' fans also will be doing double duty (at least) this week as the purple and white contingent heads back to Amherst for Thursday's D2 boys semi-final, which also features Pittsfield and South Hadley (7:30 p.m.)
Right after the Hoosac-Drury boys finish up on Wednesday, Wahconah's boys will take on top-seeded Hampshire in the other D3 boys semi-final, scheduled for a 7:30 tip. If Wahconah (13-8) can knock off Hampshire (18-4), county baskeball fans will be treated to an all-Berkshire Western Mass final on Saturday.
But that would be looking too far ahead.
Looking back on the regular season, we know that both Division 3 semi-finals are rematches fom earlier this winter. And all signs point to a highly competitive double-header on Wednesday.
Just a little more than two weeks ago, Wahconah went to Hampshire on President's Day and lost by a margin of 55-50.
Hoosac and Drury, meanwhile, split the season series with each team winning on he other's home court. The Blue Devils won by six points in Cheshire on Jan. 23; three weeks later the 'Canes scored a 13-point win in North Adams.
Hoosac Valley coach Bill Robinson is glad to see Drury get back to the Cage ... he just would rather the Blue Devils' were in Wahconah's half of the draw.
"I helped 'em out a little bit," Robinson said, referring to Drury's quarter-final round match up with Renaissance, a team Hoosac edged, 56-55, in January.
"I gave them as much information as I could about Renaissance. We had some game film. I talked to coach [Jack Racette] about it. I guess they did a good job."
Although Hoosac's and Drury's quarter-finals were running simultaneously, Robinson had a guess about why the Blue Devils were able to earn last week's 63-61 win over the Phoenix.
"That's a tough place to win up there, Drury, especially for a team that doesn't know them," Robinson said. "I was happy that Drury got 'em, because the way we beat [Renaissance] here in overtime, I think they would have come here with a different attitude.
"They didn't really know who Drury is. They haven't played Drury in the past. Drury plays hard. They're a lot like us. I think Renaissance may have been surprised by just how hard Drury plays."
There will be far fewer surprises - and a lot of hard play - when Drury and Hoosac collide on Wednesday evening.
Tickets for all sessions this week at UMass are $10 for adults, $7 for students and seniors. Children 5 and under are admitted free of charge.