Sanogo Leads Taconic to Win over Pittsfield
PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- With 25 points in Friday's city rivalry matchup against Pittsfield, Taconic senior Mohammed Sanogo had more points than anyone else in the game.
He also had some of the biggest baskets in a 66-58 Taconic win.
Twice in the fourth quarter, PHS, which trailed by as many as 14 points, pulled to within four. Both times, Sanogo answered.
First, he scored a bucket in the post to stem a 6-0 Pittsfield run and give Taconic a 48-42 lead.
A few minutes later, he answered a 3-0 spurt by the Generals by driving the lane for a basket that made it 56-50 and ignited a 7-0 run that put Taconic up by 11 with less than a minute to go.
"He was huge, you know, his size and his length is a real problem for teams," Taconic coach Bill Heaphy said. "We're glad he's with us. I thought Bo [Bramer] did a good job and Eric [Montgomery] of finding Junior [Sanogo] and letting him do what he does. We needed every one of them."
Sanogo, who averaged just less than 10 points per game last year in helping Taconic get to the state finals, on Friday upped his scoring average to a hair under 13 points per game this season.
"I think his game is improving, and he still has a ways to go," Heaphy said. "He's willing to work at it.
"But I'm happy with all the guys. I'm happy with the floor game Bo played. And Isaac [Percy] never really got going, but they have to pay attention to him."
Percy did finish with 16 points, including 13 in the second half.
Bramer helped direct Taconic's offense and scored five of his own, including a big conventional 3-point play with 4:43 left in the fourth to give Taconic a five-point cushion.
In the first quarter, Taconic jumped out to a big lead thanks largely to the offense of Montgomery, who scored all 11 of his points in the quarter.
"Eric got us going early," Heaphy said. "He kept his focus throughout the game. And when he does that, we're that much tougher, when we're mentally focused."
Ezekiel Percy scored in the post with an assist from Bramer on the last play of the quarter to make it 19-7, Taconic.
Sanogo, who went 7-for-9 at the foul line, hit a pair of free throws early in the second to give Taconic its biggest lead of the night at 23-9.
But Pittsfield roared back with a 15-3 run that ended when La'Quan Brown drained a 3-pointer from well beyond the arc to make it 26-24 and thrill the PHS student section.
Brown hit four first-half 3s -- including three in the second quarter -- on his way to a team-high 22 points. Sincere Moorer scored 11, and Craig Jackson, playing through foul trouble, had eight for the Generals.
"I give credit to coach [Brandon] Mauer and Pittsfield," Heaphy said. "They came out, and they're tryin desperately to get into the tournament. It's the city rivalry game, Friday night, the place is packed. They came out and gave everything.
"We had to really play. So it was good for them, and I think it was equally good for us moving forward."
Pittsfield (6-10, 2-4 Berkshire County North Division) probably has to win out, starting with Monday's game at Sabis, in order to make the tournament.
Taconic (14-4, 5-1) takes a six-game winning streak into Monday's home game against Hoosac Valley, the first half of another double-header with the girls teams playing in the nightcap at 8 p.m.