Wahconah Boys Shut Down Mount Greylock

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires.com Sports
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Cole Morrison scored a team-high 10 for Wahconah.

DALTON, Mass. — Mount Greylock boys basketball team missed its first four shots on Friday night at Wahconah, but that was not the Mounties' problem.

Their problem was that they did not take their fifth shot until 7 minutes, 25 seconds into the game.
Wahconah played stifling team defense and got 10 points and four steals from Cole Morrison in a 45-30 win over Mount Greylock.

The hosts forced eight first-quarter turnovers in building a 9-0 lead before Jack Thistle finally got the Mounties on the board with a 3-pointer. Wahconah ran its lead to 24-10 at half-time and led by 19 after three quarters on the way to a dominating win.

"One of the things we came out and said we had to do was bring the defensive pressure from the start and try to not allow them to get any kind of rhythm or flow," Wahconah coach Dustin Belcher said. "I thought we did a great job with that, especially in the first quarter."

Mount Greylock coach Bob Thistle said Wahconah made it very difficult for his team to get anything going on offense.
"I give Wahconah a lot of credit," Thistle said. "Coach Belcher and his boys ran a great 2-3 zone. We knew what they were going to run. That's what they've been running here for 40 years with coach [Ed] Ladley.

"It's one thing when you know it's coming. It's another thing when you just don't execute against it. We didn't execute. We didn't make shots. But a big part of that was Wahconah's trapping, aggressive 2-3 zone."

One key to that zone was the play of Morrison, who helped Wahconah shut down Mount Greylock's Jake Benzinger, holding the big man to just three points on the night.

"[Morrison] is only a sophomore," Belcher said. "He battled hard tonight. He did a great job at the defensive end and made some key buckets for us too. He had a great game today.

"I think a lot of their offense goes through [Benzinger], so just trying to break up their flow, like I said, and hopefully force him to make some decisions under pressure was the game plan."

Morrison came up big in Wahconah's big first quarter, registering three steals and four points. He scored on a pass from Kevin Boino in transition to make it 9-0 and put back an offensive rebound moments later to give Wahconah an 11-3 lead after eight minutes.

Early in the second quarter, Pat Colliston set up a Ryan McMahon triple and scored a bucket of his own to get the lead to 19-4 before the Mounties settled down to keep it a 14-point margin at the half.
It was down to 12 midway through the third after an Eric Hirsch 3 to make it 29-17, but Wahconah scored the next seven — the first four by Morrison.

Boino scored nine points and added three assists, and Marcus Duncan scored eight points and grabbed 11 rebounds for Wahconah. Cole Jackson scored 10, and Benzinger had 12 rebounds for Mount Greylock.

The Mounties (2-2) host Hoosac Valley on Tuesday. Wahconah travels to Lee that night.

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