Wahconah Boys Sweep Hoosac Valley
DALTON, Mass. – The Wahconah boys basketball team Monday dialed up its defensive pressure in the second quarter and held down Hoosac Valley in a 66-35 win for a season sweep of the Hurricanes.
Brody Calvert scored 20 points for Waconah, which trailed, 17-15, at the end of the first quarter but held the Hurricanes to just 18 points the rest of the way to improve to 12-3 this winter.
“They’ve got some really good players over there, guys who can knock shots down,” Wahconah coach Dustin Belcher said of Hoosac Valley. “I thought we gave them too much space a few times in that first quarter. But our guys just responded well. I thought we really locked in defensively.
“And that’s our whole key. We want to get out and run, but that starts with a stop. We have to make a stop first and get a clean rebound. I thought we did a good job of that.”
Pat McLaughlin scored 13 points, and Brady Payson and Lucas PIckard added 12 and 10, respectively for Wahconah, which started the night as the 11th-ranked team in the state in Division 4.
Joey McGovern was the lone Hurricane in double figures with 13. Qwanell Bradley scored eight.
McGovern had two of Hoosac Valley’s four 3-pointers in the first quarter. His second gave the Hurricanes their biggest lead of the game at 17-12.
But Calvert trimmed that back with a triple at the end of the quarter, and Wahconah carried the momentum into the second.
It was 20-19, Wahconah with about 5 minutes, 20 seconds left in the first half, when Calvert hit a 3 to start a 7-0 Wahconah spurt.
After Bradley scored in the post for Hoosac Valley to cut the margin to 27-21, Calvert hit another 3 to spark a 6-0 run to half-time that left Wahconah up by 12.
“[Calvert] hit some big shots, Brady Payson hit some big 3s tonight for us as well,” Belcher said. “When we’re sharing the basketball, that’s when we’re at our best. We come down, get downhill, look to share the ball with the guys on the perimeter. I think we did a really good job of sharing the basketball tonight.”
The lead stayed in double figures the rest of the way. A 15-1 run in the third quarter opened the margin to 22 points when Pickard hit a 3 to put Wahconah up, 51-29, with 1:46 left in the third.
The fourth quarter largely belonged to the reserves for both teams.
Hoosac Valley, (8-6), ranked 12th in the state in Division 5, goes to South Hadley on Friday.
Wahconah is back at it at Belchertown on Wednesday.
Coach Belcher said that his squad is still a work in progress as it points toward the state tournament, where last year Wahconah went to the D4 semi-finals.
“We still have things we have to get better at,” he said. “We know where we want to be, and we know what we have to do to get there. My whole thing is, ‘You have to get better every day,’ whether it’s a practice or a game. That’s what I challenged these guys at half-time, ‘We have to keep getting better. And they responded to that.
“We’re headed in the right direction, but we still have a long way to go.”