Taconic Boys Top Pittsfield

By Shannon BoyerPrint Story | Email Story
PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- The energy in the Taconic High School gymnasium was very high Friday evening as the boys basketball team went head to head with city rival Pittsfield and came out on top, 67-58. 
With 1 minute, 30 seconds remaining in the third quarter, a Taconic layup brought it within one point of Pittsfield's lead (38-37). On Taconic's next possession after a General's basket, Abdiel Cotto put back an offensive rebound to tie it at 40.
Taconic's Brett Murphy hit a 3-pointer with seconds remaining in the quarter to leave the score at 45-40 going into the final eight minutes.
Taconic then opened the fourth quarter with two quick baskets; a shot from down low from Deonte Sandifer and then a steal on the press that converted to another quick layup.
"That was big, we talked about at half time attacking the basket," Taconic coach Bill Heaphy said. "Getting the ball inside doesn't necessarily mean we have to throw it into a big person. Drive it, and he's really good at that."
"I think he just became really assertive; he's a quick kid and a tough guard, those were big hoops and they really got us feeling confident."
With 1:38 remaining in the game, Pittsfield senior Chad Shade drove to the basket, laying one in and bringing the Generals within seven points of Taconic's lead (58-51).
"We really stressed defense," Heaphy said about that final minute. "We didn't want to leave guys like Louis Higuera and Connor McDonough wide open to shoot threes, they're good shooters."
Taconic was able to keep their composure in that final minute; on Pittsfield's end, they were struggling to finish from the foul line, which helped the hosts seal the 67-58 victory.
Sandifier finished with 16 points, Reilly Balcom had 14, and Niquan Victorin had 10. For Pittsfield, Anthony Jones and Louis Higuera each had 15.
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