Hopkins Academy Halts McCann Boys' Tournament Run
HADLEY, Mass. — Hopkins Academy grabbed an early lead and didn't let go, halting McCann Technical School's boys basketball season in an 81-55 rout on Tuesday evening.
The Hornets (13-9) struggled to finish offensively against the sixth-seeded team. Junior guard Shane Fuller was limited to beyond the arc, scoring 15 of his 17 points on 3-pointers. Junior guard Rahmer Vincent scored 14 points.
However, Hopkins Academy outmatched those numbers, placing four players in double digits. Brett Morrison posted a game-high 19 points, while Spencer Butterfield scored 13, Zach Kelley and Alex Curran added 11 each.
Sixth-seeded Hopkins (13-8) moves on to face No. 3 Granby (17-4) in the Western Massachusetts Division 4 quarter-finals.
"They obviously outplayed us in every facet of the game," said coach Mike Nykorchuck. "They rebounded better, they executed offensively better, they played better defense, and they probably have a little more talent than we have."
Hopkins jumped to an early 10-0 lead and held the Hornets scoreless until Fuller drained his first 3-pointer. After regaining possession, Fuller attempted another 3-pointer but didn't sink it, leading to a basket for Hopkins.
McCann only managed another competed field goal from Dante Cellana in the first quarter, which ended 24-7.
The Hornets showed some life in the second. Fuller drained two free throws to cut the lead to 25-7. Shortly after, senior center Connor Little squeezed a basket through the crowded paint. On the ensuing play, Little followed up with a rebound on the other end, which led to a field goal for Vincent. After the two teams exchanged possessions, Vincent drained another basket to cut the deficit to 25-15.
And then Hopkins surged back with a 16-3 run of its own, pushing its lead to 41-18 at the half.
The Golden Hawks opened the second half with another basket, but McCann answered quickly with Fuller's third and fourth 3-pointers of the night.
A traveling call gave McCann another chance to trim the lead, but it missed a 3 on its next possession. The Hornets stormed back to the basket, and Vincent put back a rebound.
Trailing 50-26, Vincent battled around the arc, weaved through the looming Hopkins defense and drilled another field goal. However, Hopkins responded with six more points and led 56-28 with about two minutes left in the period.
Off the bench, Ethan Sheldon raced to the defensive zone, broke up the play, completed one field goal and then drained a 3-pointer.
Sheldon continued being a menace to Hopkins, starting the team's next score with a rebound that led to another Fuller 3-pointer. Fuller tried for one more at the buzzer, but failed to convert.
Hopkins opened the fourth period with a 17-3 run, pulling ahead 74-39. McCann ramped up the scoring, with Vincent adding four points on a field goal and two free throws and another three from Fuller. Senior forward Dylan Darling and junior guard Kevin Dowling also added three and two points, respectively, to close out the game.
"We're hoping to get better, we've got a lot of kids coming back next year," Nykorchuck said, noting that Fuller and Vincent are both juniors and Christian Montoyo and the fast Sheldon are freshmen.
"There's reasons to look up and we just got to keep working hard and play games like this because you know the level you got to get to and that tells you how much harder you have to work in the offseason to reach that level of play."