Taylor Comes Up Big in Taconic Boys Win

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires.com Sports
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Taconic High School boys basketball team's biggest player got its biggest buckets in Thursday's 51-32 win over Mount Greylock.
But Mike Taylor did not get those baskets banging in the post — as he is very capable of doing. Instead, he scored four times in the third quarter by getting down the floor in transition to spur a 12-5 Taconic run that put the game out of reach.
Taylor finished with nine points, all in the second half, as Taconic won its second straight and improved to 13-5 this winter.
Shaquille Ardrey scored 17 to lead all scorers on a night when neither team could find a rhythm offensively.
With his team up 27-17, Taylor started the third quarter with a lay-in on an assist from Kyle Reardon on the break. He followed that up with two more fast-break buckets before Mount Greylock (5-11) was forced to call a timeout.
Ardrey grabbed a rebound and went the other way for a lay-in to make it 35-17 midway through the quarter before the Mounties were able to get on the board. and cut the lead to 13.
It was back to 16 in the closing seconds when Taylor was hacked in transition and hit one of two foul shots to close the quarter.
"That's what we talked about doing: running the floor," Taconic coach Bill Heaphy said. "We thought we could get that if we ran — but rebound at the other end first to get that going.
"We had a few minutes there where we played with a little more focus and purpose, I guess you could say. And Mike got some good looks for us in transition."
At the other end of the floor, Taylor helped limit the damage from Mount Greylock center Jake Benzinger, who finished with two points to go along with a game-high 12 rebounds.
The Mounties stayed with Taconic for most of the first half.
Cole Jackson hit a 3-pointer with a minute left in the first quarter to give Mount Greylock an 11-10 lead.
Ardrey got to the line and sank two to start a 9-0 run that spanned the first and second quarters and gave Taconic its first working margin of the night. It was a 13-point margin when Deonte Sandifer (11 points) scored to with three minutes left in the half.
But Ian Brink (team-high 12 points) put back an offensive rebound, and Emmett Shepard hit a jumper from the left wing just before half-time to get the Mounties back within 10 at the break.
The biggest problem for both teams all night was turnovers. Mount Greylock had 24 and Taconic 21.
Heaphy said his squad is still suffering a little bit of a letdown from last Friday's emotional three-point loss at Pittsfield.
"I thought overall we were flat," he said. "We're battling against ourselves more than anything else — mentally. We had a similar game up at Drury (on Tuesday). The focus was more on keeping the game simple and doing what we do and not trying to do things we don't normally do and creating any bad habits."
Taconic hosts Wahconah on Monday before finishing at Hoosac Valley and home against Pittsfield.
Mount Greylock hosts New Lebanon on Monday.
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