Braman Shoots Hoosac Boys Past Wahconah

By Stephen Sports
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DALTON, Mass. — The Hoosac Valley High School boys basketball team did not go into Monday's game against Wahconah wanting to light it up from 3-point range.
The fact that the Hurricanes could do so anyway was the difference in a 53-47 win for the visitors.
Matt Braman had five of Hoosac's nine 3-pointers , and the 'Canes (11-3) righted the ship after squandering a seven-point third quarter lead to win their third straight.
Hoosac coach Bill Robinson said he wanted to get the ball into the post like Hoosac did in winning the first meeting against Wahconah back on Jan. 17, but the Hurricanes had to take what they could get early on.
"We got the ball inside a little bit tonight, but then they started to collapse on us," Robinson said. "And that was the shot on the outside, so we had to hit 'em. Once we got those, they came out, and then you get your inside game going.
"Braman hit some big shots, and [Nate] Tomkiewicz heated up for us. It was good to see Nate get off the schneide a little bit. He shoots well in this gym. He had a pretty good game down here last year, too."
Tomkiewicz scored nine of his 11 points from behind the arc.
Braman finished with a game-high 18 points. Jameson Coughlin scored 14 points and grabbed seven rebounds. Trevor Alibozek had 12 rebounds and four assists for the 'Canes.
For Wahconah, Collin Parrott tied Braman with 18 points, including 13 in the first half as the two battled 3-pointer for 3-pointer at one point. Mat Carlow grabbed 13 rebounds for Wahconah (11-6).
After the home team jumped out to an 8-0 lead early, Hoosac went ahead by as many as nine late in the first half when Braman hit 3s on back-to-back trips.
It was 25-18, Hoosac, at half-time and still a seven-point margin for the 'Canes midway through the third quarter when Coughlin took a feed in the post from Koperniak and converted to make it 31-24.
But Wahconah went on an 8-0 run to take the lead. Forward Marcus Duncan scored four of his nine points in that spurt, which ended in a Parrot drive on the right wing to make it 32-31.
"We were sloppy," Robinson said. "I'm not quite sure what we were doing with our defense there. The scouting report on [Duncan] was to guard his left hand, don't let him drive with his left hand. Make him shoot the jump shot. We allowed him to just do what he wanted to do: drive with his left hand and make layups.
"Credit to him that he could do it. But that's not us. I had to call a timeout there to chew somebody out."
Hoosac regained the lead with about a minute left in the half when Tomkiewicz hit a triple from the left side to make it 36-33.
It stayed a two-possession game most of the rest of the way. Wahconah got it down two points with 2 minutes, 30 seconds left in the fourth quarter when Duncan made the first of two foul shots.
But he missed the second, and Hoosac sophomore Javon Reynolds grabbed the rebound. At the other end, Alibozek set up Braman for a 3 to make it a five-point margin.
After Cole Morrison sank two free throws to get Wahconah back within three, Matt Koperniak set up Reynolds in the post for a big basket with 1:25 left to play.
"He's a big kid," Robinson said. "He's a big sophomore. Now that we've got him ready to go ... He's been practicing with us all year, so he knows what we're doing. That helped him. Now that's he's eligible, if I can take him in small allotments, he can help out like he did tonight.
"Jameson fouled out, and we had that extra body. [Reynolds] is also big enough to battle on the boards. So I've got two monsters with him and Trevor [Alibozek] in there. That helps us a little bit. Not that Pete [Barrow] hasn't done a good job for us. Pete's done a great job. But it's something a little different when you've got a 6-5 kid going after it."
Sean Ryan-Kut and Braman combined to go 4-for-6 at the line down the stretch to secure the victory for Hoosac, which continues play in the murderous Berkshire County North Division on Thursday at Pittsfield.
"Every game we're playing right now other than Drury (Feb. 17), and Drury is still alive too, is against a tournament team,"
Robinson said. "So we've got a helluva run here. A win like this tonight is very important to our seeding, obviously. There are some great teams in Division 3. Renaissance is undefeated, Sabis has three or four losses, and Mahar is having a great year at 12-3. Those top four spots are going to be valued very highly.
"I really don't want to see [Wahconah] again, to be honest with you. I hate to play a team three times in a year, especially a good team — a big, strong physical team like they are. I just would not want to play them again."


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