Athlete of the Week: Tyler Picard

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Tyler Picard scored 29 points and grabbed 19 rebounds to help the Mounties beat the Crusaders.

Mount Greylock Regional High School senior Tyler Picard has a magnetic personality.

We know this because he has a talent for attracting referee's whistles, which tend to be metallic.

Take last Friday night against St. Joseph, when Picard drew his third personal foul with about two minutes left in the second quarter.

But then Picard showed an even more important skill: the ability to stay on the floor despite foul trouble.

He went on to score 12 of his game-high 29 points and grab 11 of his 19 rebounds in the second half of a 63-58 win for the Mounties to earn Athlete of the Week honors.

"I'm kind of used to playing with fouls," said Picard with a smile after the Mounties improved to 16-3 this winter. "Basically, the main thing is keeping my composure and playing my own game. I can't go into what (the other team) wants me to play. I'll just play my game instead."

His classmate and point guard, Hank Barrett, said Picard's game is the key as the Mounties ready for what they hope will be a long run in next week's Western Massachusetts Division 3 tournament.

"Pic's been carrying us for a long time now, " Barrett said. "He's a heck of a player, and tonight he just showed that. We knew in our game plan that we were going to try to get it to him a lot, and we did.

"He's got in a little foul trouble early, but he showed a lot of mental toughness tonight and a lot of maturity. That's what we love to see."

Picard showed toughness at the foul line down the stretch, making four straight free throws in the final minute--each time going to the line with Mount Greylock clinging to a one-point lead.

Picard established himself as the best true pivot in the county but also showed his range in Friday's win, knocking down two 3-pointers to go along with three blocks.

It was perhaps most fitting that Picard had one of his best games of the winter on a night Mount Greylock recognized him, Barrett and three other seniors: Nathan Majumder, Brett McCormack, and Ethan Ryan.

"It''s been a privilege and honor really to coach Tyler and this whole group of boys the last two years," Mount Greylock coach Bob Thistle said. "And I can't emphasize those words enough: privilege and honor.

"But what's so wonderful to see is Tyler Picard maturing in front of our eyes--as a senior, wanting to put the whole team on his back...It's just his mental toughness. That's what we're looking for. And it doesn't happen in teenage boys in one game or one week. But that's the thing I'm most proud of: seeing Tyler and the whole team, really, maturing before our eyes.

"He set the tone. He was ready to play tonight, and did a terrific job."

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