Braman's 23 Lead Hoosac Boys Past Drury

By Stephen Sports
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CHESHIRE, Mass. -- Different month. Different gym. Different uniforms.
Same result.
Hoosac Valley High School's boys basketball team outscored Drury 42-26 in the second half to break open a close game and complete the season sweep with a 73-58 win on Monday night.
Matt Braman scored 23 points, and Jameson Coughlan scored 20 and grabbed 24 rebounds to help Hoosac snap a two-game losing skid and improve to 13-6 this season.
Just like the first meeting at Drury on Jan. 24, the Blue Devils led at half-time. Just like last time, Drury kept itself alive with 3-point shooting. And just like last time, Hoosac's dominance on the boards was a major factor.
"Very similar to the first game," Hoosac coach Bill Robinson said. "Almost exactly.
"They hit 10 3s [Monday]. They hit I don't know how many the first game."
For the record, it was 10 both times.
And to keep the parallel structure intact, in both games a key sequence came on a second-half block call. On Friday night, it came with 3 minutes, 11 seconds left in the fourth quarter and Hoosac ahead, 58-49.
Matt Braman drove the baseline on the right side in transition and hit his lay-in. He got fouled and went to the line to complete a three-point play and effectively put the game out of reach as the Drury bench protested.
Flash back three and a half weeks, and it was Braman going to the line to complete a three-point play and hit two free throws from a technical foul blown on the play to give Hoosac a 10-point lead midway through the fourth.
"That was. That was Braman," Robinson said. "How eerie is this? This is eerie."
Eerie and repetitive for Drury coach Jack Racette, who once again watched his team get beaten on the glass -- a recurring theme for the Devils and Racette who found himself having the same conversation he did after Sunday night's loss to Lee.
"Twenty-four hours later and the last three months," Racette said. "We got beat on the boards."
On this night, Hoosac's sophomore big man had a lot to do with it. Coughlan grabbed 18 rebounds in the second half alone to give his team a 46-20 advantage for the game. Sean Ryan-Kut had six rebounds. Trevor Alibozek and Peter Barrow added five and four, respectively.
In one sense, winning was as easy as ABC for Hoosac, who got dominating performances from Alibozek (seven points), Barrow (eight points) and Coughlan on the front line to complement the slashing and mid-range jumpers from Braman and the ball-handling of Ryan-Kut (three assists).
"We just tried to focus on our game plan of dumping it inside," Ryan-Kut said. "As you saw, our team is much bigger and stronger inside. We tried to focus on that because they didn't have anyone who could shut down Trevor or shut down Jameson.
"Jameson is a wide body, and he uses that to his advantage on rebounding and putting up baskets."
Robinson was thrilled with the production he got right across the board.
"Braman had a helluva game for a senior -- 23, big night, we're happy for him," Robinson said. "Kut had some nice passes and ran the offense where we needed to go. Trevor came in late and had a nice runout for a three-point play [with 2:31 left] to basically ice that game.
"And, of course, Coughlan had just a tremendous game. He's developed into a really nice player. He's a load inside, and you look at him, and you think, 'This kid can't off the ground. He's pretty big.' But you know what? He gets off the ground pretty good. He's a battler. He's a wide body, and he's tough to deal with."
Although Hoosac has a makeup game against Pittsfield on Wednesday night, Monday was Senior Night for the 'Canes, who honored the contributions of Ryan-Kut, Braman, Alibozek and Ian Hill, who got a rare start and assisted Coughlan on the game's first basket.
The teams traded blow-for-blow throughout the first half. Justin Girard hit three 3-pointers, and Alex Heck scored nine of his team-high 15 before half-time to help the Blue Devils to a 32-31 lead going into the locker room.
But Robinson had a feeling that the strain of playing Sunday and Monday would get to Drury, and he geared his second-half defense to push the Devils' sharp-shooters further out behind the 3-point arc.
"In defense of them, I kind of feel bad for them because they had to play a game last night," Robinson said. "I know what that's all about. We've had a few of those this year, back-to-back, and I tell you what, your legs just aren't there.
"I told our guys, we're going to press, and we're going to press. And I don't care if they score. By the time we get to the fourth quarter, I'm banking on them not having anything left. I saw their game against Lee last night. It was a war."
Nevertheless, the Devils (5-17) came prepared to do battle in the always war-like rivalry game.
"A Hoosac-Drury game is always going to be an intense game," Alibozek said. "And they came out shooting the lights out. But our defense stepped up in the second half."
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