Wahconah Pulls Away from Hoosac Valley in Third Quarter

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires.com Sports
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DALTON, Mass. -- Two Toms and a Tim were too much for the Hoosac Valley boys basketball team on Monday night.
Tommy Burris scored 20 points and Tom O’Connor and Tim Clayton added 14 and 12, respectively, as Wahconah rolled to a 69-38 win in Ed Ladley Gymnasium.
Wahconah (7-2) took control of the game with an 8-2 lead to end the second quarter and take a 27-16 lead into half-time and never looked back as it won its fourth straight.
Clayton started the go-ahead run with a drive on the right wing, and Burris hit a couple of jumpers from the baseline Augy Roughley scored in the post to give Wahconah its first double-digit lead.
After the Hurricanes (5-6) drew back to within nine early in the third quarter, Burris scored on back-to-back possessions and O’Connor scored on the next two to push the margin to 39-23, and Hoosac Valley never got any closer.
“Honestly, [Kevin Huban] was in foul trouble all night, and normally he’s been our top scorer,” Wahconah coach Dustin Belcher said. “Tonight was a good example of when we say, ‘Next man up.’ Clayton had a nice ballgame; he had 12 points tonight. O’Connor had a nice game on the boards as well as coring. And Burris had a monster game.”
O’Connor had a game-high 13 rebounds,and Burris pulled down eight boards to go with a couple of blocked shots.
Wahconah had the game well in hand with a 44-29 lead by the end of the third quarter, but Burris closed with authority, scoring eight fourth-quarter points before the Wahconah starters left the game.
After scoring 77 points in each of its last two outings, Wahconah had another solid night offensively, but the big story was its defense, which held Hoosac Valley all-league guard Izaha Stubbs to seven points, well below his 16 ppg season average. Sam Larabee stepped up with 14 points, and Josh Paree added eight for the ‘Canes.
“I think we did a good job changing defenses,” Belcher said. “We talked a lot about not letting them get into a rhythm on offense. I thought we did a good job disrupting that.”
Hoosac Valley gets another tough Berkshire County North Division test on Friday when it hosts rival Drury.
Wahconah goes to Mount Greylock on Wednesday before coming home to face North-leading Taconic on Friday night.
Belcher said he expects his team to take things one day at a time as it heads into the second half of the regular season with a four-game winning streak.
“Getting better every single day has to be our mentality,” he said. “Where’s the ceiling? I don’t know. I guess only time will tell. But we’ve got to keep getting better.
“There’s things we didn’t do well tonight. I thought we could have done a little better job at the foul line. We had a couple of trips offensively, where I think we rushed stuff. There’s stuff we have to continue to work on, and we will. But I think what I really like in the locker room right now is we have a great team atmosphere. Guys are sharing the basketball, and the balanced scoring helps.
“The more guys that can contribute, obviously, the more dangerous we’ll be.”
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