Balcom, Davis Lead Taconic Boys to Comeback Win Over Westfield

By Stephen Sports
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- The Taconic boys basketball team survived a third-quarter bombing run and came from behind twice in the fourth quarter to hand Westfield a 63-58 win on Saturday afternoon.
Reilly Balcom scored 19 points, including eight in the decisive fourth quarter, as Taconic won its third straight and improved to 4-2 this winter.
Westfield (4-2) hit 3-pointers on three straight trips midway through the third quarter to help turn a four-point deficit into a 45-35 lead.
"We got out of that zone we were in and played man," Taconic coach Bill Heaphy said. "We just talked about how we needed to finish with at least heart and effort and those things.
"And they did. They answered. I'm very pleased with that."
Charles Davis scored 17 and grabbed seven rebounds, and Deonte Sandifer had 13 points, eight boards and four assists for Taconic, which earned the respect of Westfield coach Bill Daley.
"Taconic played tougher, Taconic played harder," he said. "We did not play well. They had a lot to do with it, but that was not a good performance by our guys.
"Give Coach Heaphy credit. They're a young team. They had every chance to lay down. ... I loved the way they played -- their attitude, their effort. And they made some shots. I thought [Treyvon] Ringgold gave us all kinds of fits.
"The Sandifer kid, we knew about. The Mestre kid gave them a nice little lift; he just came back, I guess, after missing some games. Hey, if they play like that, they're going to win some games."
Ringgold scored seven with a team-high nine rebounds despite foul trouble that sent him to the bench for good with 2 minutes, 25 seconds left in the fourth quarter. Mestre knocked down two 3s and grabbed six rebounds.
Davis and Balcom were the keys in the first half, accounting for 12 and 11 points, respectively to lead Taconic into the locker room with a 32-28 lead.
The lead was as large as 11 when Balcom hit both ends of a one-and-one midway through the second quarter to make it 30-19, but the Bombers went on a little run -- sparked by a 3 from John O'Brien (15 points).
Another O'Brien triple made 34-32 early in the third quarter, but the big swing came about four minutes in. That is when Nick Hall scored in the post to spark an 11-0 Westfield run.
The next three baskets -- on Westfield's next three offensive posssessions -- came from beyond the arc by O'Brien and Isaiah Headly (13 points). O'Brien set up Headley for the last 3 to make it 45-35 with 2:33 on the clock.
Heaphy settled his troops, and Taconic closed the gap to four points, 49-45, at the end of the quarter.
Taconic then regained the lead with a 10-4 spurt to open the fourth. Davis put back offensive rebounds on back-to-back trips, the second time giving Taconic a 55-53 lead.
Westfield then used four free throws to take a 57-56 lead with 2:07 on the clock.
A minute later, Balcom took a feed from Sandifer on the left wing and drove to the middle for a bucket.
Then Balcom made a steal at the other end and set up Sandifer in transition to put Taconic on top, 60-57.
"He made some really key plays in key moments," Heaphy said. "And I thought when Treyvon [Ringgold], who had been a factor the whole game, went out ... Charles [Davis] was big getting a few boards and putbacks. And overall, Deonte [Sandifer] and Iziya [Mestre] learned a lot today and made some big plays on their own.
"They made some mistakes, too, that I know they're going to learn from and grow from."
Balcom grabbed a defensive rebound and drew a foul on Westfield's next possession, and he hit both ends of a one-and-one to push the lead to five points, 62-57, with 33 seconds on the clock.
The teams traded free throws in the final 12 seconds to provide the final margin.
Taconic travels to Monument Mountain on Monday night, the first of three games this week, culminating in Friday night's showdown with Pittsfield at PHS.
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