Bird's Late Heroics Lift Drury Boys at Taconic

By Kevin Sports
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Senior Hayden Bird’s 14 second half points helped lift Drury to a 59-57 victory of Taconic Friday night in a thriller.  
Bird scored nine points in the fourth quarter alone, including shooting 7-for-8 from the line. 
Freshman Scott McGuire poured in 16 of his own, while Reece Racette chipped in with 14. 
For Taconic (12-2) Deonte Sandifer had sixteen and Brett Murphy added 13. 
What a game we had on our hands tonight between two of Berkshire County’s top teams. It was a sloppy start between both teams as the both tried to get a feel for each other early.
Taconic took the early edge, but Drury (12-2) stormed back to close the quarter down 13-9. Drury picked up where they left off taking the lead back on the back end of a 9-0 run. A big turning point in the game came when Deonte Sandifer’s early foul trouble put him on the bench during most of Drury’s run. Both teams continued to go back and forth, and with .6 seconds left on the clock Racette hit a huge 3-pointer off of an in-bounds play to give Drury the 31-26 lead into the break.
Freshman McGuire made his first start of the season and was a big boost on the offensive end for Drury. He had 13 points in the first half alone. 
“Scott had a great game, a freshman and he just stepped up big tonight. That is our third or fourth guy we talked about if we are going to advance we need to get another guy scoring,” Drury coach Jack Racette said. 
Second half action was a bit of back and forth play with both teams stepping up on the defensive end. Drury was able to combine for four charges throughout the game including a couple big ones late in the second half.
Jack Racette went on to talk about how important it is for them to take charges due to lack of size and that is exactly what the Blue Devils did tonight. It wasn’t until midway through the second half when Taconic took the lead back after a big and-one play followed by a steal and score. Taconic still held the lead with less than two minutes to go, 54-53.
After a big forced turnover by Taconic it went on to make the layup and go up by four points. The ensuing possession Drury’s Hayden Bird was fouled shooting a 3-pointer. Bird sank all three free throws and Drury was able to get the big steal with 12.4 second left. Bird then drove the lane and drew the foul while knocking down the basket to give them a one point lead, 58-57.
Bird went on to make the free throw, and the rest was history.
“Bird’s a senior and he’s been in the game before, he knows exactly what he needs to do. He wants it at the end and made some big foul shots and a great defensive effort. We got the turnover when we needed it.” Jack Racette said. 
These two teams will meet again later in the season at Drury, but up next for Taconic is Hoosac Valley on Thursday, while Drury will turn around and try to take down Wahconah Monday. Wahconah won the first meeting between these two teams. Taconic will be looking for its second win in two weeks over the Hurricanes.
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