Percy Scores 30 as Taconic Boys Defend Western Mass Title
AMHERST, Mass. -- Isaac Percy scored 30 points Saturday to lead the Taconic boys basketball team to a 66-51 win over Chicopee in the Western Massachusetts Division 2 Championship Game.
Percy also grabbed 10 rebounds and passed out a couple of assists as top-seeded Taconic (19-3) earned a Western Mass repeat and a berth in Wednesday's state semi-final against Central Mass champion Westboro at American International College.
Taconic opened up its first double-digit lead with an 11-0 run midway through the second quarter that ended with a dunk in transition by Mohammed Sanogo (10 points, seven rebounds, five blocks).
But Chicopee (14-8) battled back into it, drawing within three late in the third quarter before Taconic went on a 13-0 run that spanned the third and fourth quarters to make it 56-40 when Quentin Gittens (18 points) drove the lane.
The most consistent force all night in Curry Hicks Cage was the play of Percy.
"He played really well," Taconic coach Bill Heaphy said. "His offensive game -- when his eyes are that big -- he shot it well. Everything else, he picks up, too, when he has his stroke. He rebounds better, he makes better decisions.
"So he played well."
Heaphy said there was nothing in particular about the Pacers' defensive approach that opened doors for Percy -- with the possible exception of the attention drawn by Sanogo, the Taconic pivot who threw down three dunks to go along with his five blocks, dominating the interior at both ends.
"They looked like they were kind of mixing up who was guarding who," Heaphy said. "I think Junior [Sanogo] drew a crowd. Once we ever got it in to him, it seemed like the whole gym collapsed on him.
"What I was telling Junior was: If you don't have it, don't force it. Kick it back out, and we can a drive or that kind of thing.
"We didn't do anything special. I think Isaac just played a great game."
Chicopee played a pretty good game itself in the first quarter, matching the defending sectional champions shot for shot and ending the quarter tied, 15-15.
Percy snapped that tie with a triple to start the second, and after the Pacers hit a shot on their next possession, the two teams traded empty trips until the 5:31 mark. That is when Percy hit both ends of a one-and-one to start an 11-0 run that gave Taconic its first working margin.
"We weren't as good defensively as I thought we needed to be," Heaphy said of the first quarter. "They were getting too many drives to the basket, turning the corner on us. So that got to me. We talked about that."
Chicopee went on a 12-3 run in the third quarter to make it a one possession game with 1:25 left in the period.
But Gittens scored at the end of Taconic's press break to stop the run and start the decisive 13-0 run that sent Taconic back to the state's Final Four.
"I'm happy for all the seniors," Heaphy said. "They've all kind of battled: Quentin, Quincy [Davis], Robert [McGowan], Dedric [Moody] Jayden Cross, who didn't get in tonight, Christian [Womble].
"I'm happy for everyone. And good experience for the young kids, too."