Hard Coaching Pays Off for Coughlan, Canes

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires.com Sports
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CHESHIRE, Mass. -- When Jameson Coughlan hit the buzzer-beating fadeaway that ended Wednesday's Division 3 basketball state semi-final, a lot of high school basketball fans learned his name.
Anyone who has seen the Hurricanes play over the last three years already were well acquainted with that name ... especially his first one.
As long as Coughlan has been a contributor for the 'Canes, spectators have been able to count on hearing Hoosac coach Bill Robinson calling out his name from the sideline, usually with a little bit of an edge in his voice.
"Sometimes I'm just yelling because he's in the wrong spot defensively or he didn't set a pick, so he knows know when I'm yelling, 'Jameson!,' he knows he missed something," Robinson said. "We've gotten so close it's just a one-word language now. It's just, 'Jameson,' and he knows he missed a pick, he knows he should have rebounded.
"I don't have to say much more. The way it's said and the inflection on the word 'Jameson,' he knows what he did. He knows, 'Shoot, I should have done this, or I should have done that.' "
Coughlan has done a lot right for Hoosac Valley this season. And with 27 points and 20 rebounds in the state semis, the junior big man is a big reason why the 'Canes will be playing on the season's last day Saturday morning at Worcester's DCU Center.
"You know what, after an effort like last night, he builds up a little credibility with me," Robinson said. "The next time he misses a pick, maybe I'll let it go.
"The second one, I'll yell."
Jameson Coughlan would not have it any other way.
"My game has developed because him -- because of just that: yelling at me constantly and making me better," he said at the start of Thursday's practice. "He's always making sure I'm working. If I always go out there and do the same thing, I'm never going to get better.
"It's what a good coach does: He rides his players."
After taking Hoosac Valley back to the state finals for the third time in 12 years, there is no doubt Robinson is a good coach. And there is no doubt in Coughlan's mind that the barking has paid dividends.
"I feel like if my coaches weren't yelling at me, that would mean they basically have given up on me," he said. "They're yelling at me every day to get better. That shows they care about me, and they care about me getting better every day."
Thursday was a long day for Coughlan and some of his Hoosac teammates, who had the happy task of representing the school at the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association's pre-championship breakfast.
The early morning trip to Worcester -- the first of two in 48 hours -- followed an unforgettable night of basketball that left all the Hurricanes physically and emotionally drained.
"I did't get any sleep last night," Coughlan said. "It's crazy. I was so pumped up, even at 1 in the morning ... I didn't get any sleep.
"Everyone was calling and texting all last night. Everyone's excited. The whole town was."
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