Late Block Seals Mounties' win over Devils

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NORTH ADAMS, Mass — Games as good as Monday night's Drury-Mount Greylock matchup usually don't happen this early in the season. 

Regardless of the time of year or the spot in the schedule, fans at Bucky Bullett Gymnasium were treated to a hard-fought, back-and-forth contest, won only by the Mounties in the final seconds when junior Brett McCormack blocked a shot on the baseline to preserve a 53-52 road win for Greylock in its first game of the season. 

The Blue Devils had a chance to win the game after the Mounties missed a pair of free throws with 10 seconds remaining, but senior Robert Jutras' shot on the baseline was turned away by McCormack. 

"It was a great game," Drury head coach Jack Racette said. "They were ahead down the stretch in the fourth quarter. Jutras got the ball on the wing and didn't shoot it from 15 feet. He drove to the basket and got stuck on the baseline a little bit. I think he was looking for contact, but he ended up getting blocked by McCormack." 

It's only one win, but it was a big victory for Greylock, which hasn't beaten Drury (1-1) in basketball in quite some time. Junior Hank Barrett hit a pair of clutch free throws late in the game on his way to a team-high 17 points. He got some help from sophomore Tyrell Thomas, who chipped in with 14 points and seven rebounds, while junior Tyler Picard came up with 11 points and five boards. 

"It was a great game and both sides played hard," Mounties head coach Robert Thistle said. "I am proud of my kids. Whereas there are always things to work on, we never quit, and beating Drury on the road is a big deal." 

Neither team led more than three points after the first three quarters. Nolan Bird led the Blue Devils in scoring for the second game in a row. The junior forward came through with 18 points, eight rebounds and three assists, while senior guard Joel Giorgi contributed 12 points and five boards.

Racette gave credit to a Greylock club that he called "very athletic," but also said his team has to do better than a 10 for 21 effort at the foul line. Drury got off to bad start from the charity stripe, making just five of 13 free-throw attempts in the first half. 

The Drury coach knows his team has its work cut out for it with a busy early-season schedule that has his guys playing four games in week. 

"We're not prepared for teams yet, and that starts with me," Racette said. "We're playing four teams in seven days, and I haven't seen anybody play yet. Barrett kind of hurt us tonight, and we had a lot of trouble with Picard in the post He's a big load down there, and the whole offense went through him. We were trying to make adjustments on the fly and we're just not good enough to do that yet." 

The Blue Devils next host Wahconah in the first round of the Gene Wein Holiday Tournament at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday. The Mounties travel to play McCann Tech next in a game scheduled for 7 p.m. on Friday night. 

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