Picard Leads Greylock to Upset over NL

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SPRINGFIELD, Mass — The New Leadership boys' basketball team found out how many good shooters Mount Greylock has on its roster on Friday night. The Wildcats then realized what happens when you focus your attention on those shooters and forget about Tyler Picard inside. 

The Mounties' junior center scored a season-high 24 points with 13 rebounds and three assists to power No. 7 Greylock to a 75-62 upset win over No. 2 New Leadership in the quarterfinal round of the Division 3 Western Mass. tournament. Although Picard played perhaps one of his best games of the year, it was a total team win for the Mounties, who scored their third highest point total of the year to improve to 17-5 overall and advance to Tuesday night's semifinal matchup with South Division rival Lee. The game will be played at the Curry Hicks Cage on the campus of UMass-Amherst and will start at 6:30 p.m. 

"We are excited to be playing at the Cage and are happy for our fans, who get the chance to experience it as well," Greylock head coach Bob Thistle said. "We will take it quarter by quarter, possession by possession, hoping to leave it all out on the court. I know the kids will give it their best."

The Mounties certainly gave it their best against one of the top teams in Western Mass. on Friday night. The Wildcats (13-8) tried to use a full-court trap on the visitors early in the game, but all that did was allow the Greylock shooters to find open looks from the perimeter. Junior guard Hank Barrett was on fire from the outside, knocking down three 3-pointers and scoring 11 of his 16 points in the opening quarter. 

The two teams were tied at 18 points apiece after the first quarter, and the game stayed neck and neck until late in the first half. That's when Picard, who only scored one point in the opening frame, started to get things going inside. With New Leadership focused on stopping Barrett and senior Avery Cunningham, who nailed four threes to finish with 12 points, Picard scored five points during a 9-4 run that gave the Mounties a 36-31 lead at halftime. 

Just like it did in its first-round game against Granby, Greylock came out swinging in the third quarter. The Mounties scored 25 points in the third quarter for the second straight game, using a 17-6 run to open a 61-45 lead heading into the fourth. The Wildcats' home crowd didn't have much to cheer for in the final frame, as Greylock maintained a double-digit lead the entire fourth quarter. 

Sophomore guard Tyrell Thomas added nine points, seven rebounds and five assists for the Mounties, who also received nine points and three assists from junior guard Nathan Majumder. Stephen Jackson led New Leadership with a 19-point night, while Joe Crapps and Levi Huddleston came up with 16 points apiece. 

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