Pittsfield-Taconic Boys Rematch Highlights Western Mass Schedule

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires.com Sports
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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — The real Super Tuesday? In North Berkshire’s high school gymnasiums, if you’re a boys high school basketball fan.

Drury, Hoosac Valley and Mount Greylock each will be home on Tuesday night in the first round of the Western Massachusetts Division 3 tournament, according to the seedings announced on Saturday afternoon at the National Basketball Hall of Fame.


Seven Berkshire County boys teams qualified for the postseason, with three advancing directly to Friday’s sectional quarter-finals.


In D4, Lenox (11-9) awaits the winner of Tuesday’s first-round matchup between No. 12 Westfield and No. 5 Franklin.


In D2, it will be Round 3 for fourth-seeded Taconic (17-3) and fifth-seeded Pittsfield (13-7). The teams split the season series with each side winning on its home court. The rubber match is Friday at 7 p.m. at Taconic with a berth in the Western Mass semifinals on the line.


On Tuesday in the first round, four teams will battling to extend their season by one more night.


One, McCann Tech, opens on the road against Hampden Charter. The Hornets (10-10) qualified for the tournament the day after they played their final regular season game, when Hampden (17-3) revealed it had used an ineligible player in what would have been a victory for the Wolves.


The rest of Tuesday night’s games are at home for the locals.


Fifth-seeded Hoosac Valley (11-9) is home against Hampshire (11-11). No. 6 Mount Greylock (14-6) hosts No. 11 Frontier (10-10). No. 7 Drury squares off against No. 10 Renaissance (11-9).


The Mounties know they face a team on a roll when Red Hawks come to town.


“We figured it would be one of maybe three teams,” Mounties coach Bob Thistle said. “We want to focus on ourselves this time of year. That’s the bottom line. You can scout all over the place, but if you don’t play well, you’re not going to have a good tournament.


“But we feel we’ll be prepared for Frontier. … They play hard. They’re the Cinderella team. They won on a buzzer-beater to qualify. They beat Granby, literally at the buzzer to get in. So they’re going to play with a lot of emotion and pride.”


Of course, Mount Greylock knows something about tight games itself. Mount Greylock beat Monument Mountain by one point and Wahconah by two — on a Patrick Storie 3 with five seconds left — in back-to-back games earlier this season.


The Mounties’ current six-game winning streak included a four-point win over Lenox and a four-point win over D2 Taconic.


“We’ve won some games down the stretch, which is always good in terms of experience,” Thistle said. “When you have a younger team — we don’t look at ourselves as a younger team anymore. We feel like the kids have grown up over the season. When you have those close games, that will help you come tournament time.”


The semifinals and finals will be played starting March 7 at Curry Hicks Cage at the University of Massachusetts. All of the seedings released on Saturday afternoon are, technically, preliminary. The MIAA allows a 24-hour appeals period to ensure accuracy.

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