Giron Paces McCann to Win over St. Mary's

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WESTFIELD, Mass — The McCann Tech boys' basketball team rebounded from a shaky start by outscoring Saint Mary's 40-13 in the second half on its way to a comfortable 58-38 win on the road on Friday night. 

Led by a pair 3-pointers from Matt Plasse (11 points) on their first two possessions of the game, the Saints jumped out to an 8-0 lead right out of the gate. The hosts used that lead to earn a 13-6 edge after the first quarter and maintained that same seven-point cushion heading into halftime. Senior forward Mike Chappell, who flirted with a triple-double on the offensive end with nine points, seven rebounds and eight assists, shut down Plasse in the second half, however, and the rest of the Hornets' defense responded by giving up just 13 points after the break. 

Down 25-18 at intermission, Justin Kratz's team took control of the game with a 21-7 scoring edge in the third quarter. Led by senior center Zach Giron, who finished with a game-high 13 points and 10 rebounds, McCann (6-7) clinched the win with a 19-6 run in the fourth. Senior point guard Nate Gutmann scored 10 points and dished out six assists for the Hornets, who also got a solid game out of junior center Mitch Zajac (seven points, six rebounds). 

"It was a good win on the road tonight," Kratz said. "After they came out guns blazing, we got a little rattled and tightened up offensively. Out shots weren't falling, but we switched to a man-to-man [defense] and Mike shut Plasse down the rest of the game. He only scored twice more. One was a 3-pointer at the buzzer from half court at the end of the first quarter and the other points came on two free throws in the second quarter. Mike did a great job on him defensively.

"In the second half, we picked up the defensive intensity even more, which led to better offense. Once we built some momentum, our offense took off a bit. We tried to get offense off of our break as well as pounding it inside, and we did that. It was good job sticking to our game plan and not giving up after being down at the half."

Anthony Gasse led St. Mary's with a 13-point effort. McCann next plays at Smith Voc. at 7 p.m. on Monday. 

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