McCann Tech Boys Fall in State Tournament Opener

By Stephen Sports
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. – After the McCann Tech boys basketball team posted a 15-5 record and earned a home game in the Division 5 State Tournament, coach Chris Bullett is happy to recognize all it accomplished.
But he did not recognize the team that showed up for Monday’s 49-29 loss to Smith Academy.
“They kicked our butt in everything, honestly,” Bullett said of the Falcons. “Honestly, they outworked us. My team hasn’t played like that in so long, I don’t know where we were at, mentally.
“They outworked us on the rebounds, passing, we couldn’t turn them over. It was a frustrating night. [Smith Academy] played really, really well.”
The Falcons got a double-double from Cam Graves, who scored 15 and grabbed 14 rebounds. Greg Stone scored a game-high 21 points, and Ryan McCoy had 12 boards.
McCann Tech did not have a player in double figures as it was held to a season low with 29 points.
Walter Mazza had nine points, six rebounds and three steals. Zach Howland scored eight.
The night got off to an inauspicious start when McCann Tech’s leading scorer, Jacob Howland, picked up his second personal foul just 2 minutes, 15 seconds into the game.
He returned in the second quarter but took a technical foul with 2:42 left in the half and eventually boiled out early in the fourth quarter with Smith Academy up by 13.
“Mental errors and not being focused on what we need to be focused on,” Bullett said. “We can’t do that in the States. You can’t do that in post-season.”
The Hornets led for the last time midway through the first quarter when Jack Dolan made a 3-pointer to make it 6-2.
The Falcons ended the low-scoring opening period on a 6-0 spurt and stretched their lead to four points when Graves put back a rebound to start the second.
The Hornets got within one point a couple of times in the second quarter, but Smith Academy used a 12-2 run to open a 24-13 lead and led by eight, 24-16, at half-time.
The visitors pushed that margin to 15 points by the end of the third and erased all hope with a 12-3 run to close the game.
In that final stretch, Smith Academy got to the foul line six times and scored seven of its points at the charity stripe.
While the Hornets will not be moving on to the tournament’s Round of 32, where Smith Academy (11-10) will face fifth-seeded Mahar, the Hornets can take solace in just how far they’ve come from the season’s 4-3 start.
“We had a good season,” Bullett said. “It doesn’t feel like that now, obviously. We’re coming to win. As far as where we ended up, I’m pretty happy.
“I wanted to win a couple of games in states. I know the guys all wanted to have practice tomorrow. That’s the thing. Now we don’t. It’s disappointing, but I’m happy with where we ended up compared to where we started.”
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