Taconic Takes Control in Second Half of Win Over Pittsfield

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires.com Sports
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. – It was not a pretty start for the Taconic boys basketball team in Tuesday’s city rivalry game at the Boys and Girls Club.
But the Thunder was sitting pretty when it was over.
Christian Maturevich scored 20 points, and Tayvon Sandifer added 15 as Taconic defeated Pittsfield, 79-58, to improve to 2-0 this season.
The Generals (0-1) stormed out to an early 18-5 lead with Da’Sean Brown and Carter Mungin putting on a show.
The pair combined for 13 points in the opening moments as Pittsfield forced Taconic to take a timeout down 13 with 2 minutes, 19 seconds left in the first quarter.
“Stay the course,” Taconic coach Bill Heaphy said of his message to the club at that point. “You’re not going to get it all in one swing of the bat. We’ve got to chip away, chip away, chip away, just settle down. That’s it.”
Heaphy said Taconic was missing too many bunnies and free throws in the early going, but he still liked what he saw from his team.
“I liked, defensively, that we didn’t let our lack of offense and sort-of sloppiness deter our effort at the defensive end, because that’s really what we’ve got to do,” Heaphy said.
Taconic’s offense caught up in a hurry after that timeout.
The Thunder went on a 10-2 run to end the quarter with Sandifer starting getting his game going to the basket and either finishing or getting to the line.
Steve Patch hit a 3-pointer, and Cesar Santos finished on a spin move in the post to start the second quarter as Taconic quickly tied the game, 20-20.
The teams then traded baskets the rest of the half, which ended with a pair of Maturevich free throws in the closing seconds to put Taconic up, 32-31.
The second half was all Thunder.
Maturevich scored seven points in a 14-3 run to open the third quarter and give Taconic a 46-34 lead.
It was a 50-36 margin after a third quarter that Sandifer sat out with three fouls.
When he came back in the fourth, the senior converted a conventional three-point play and assisted on one of Maturevich’s three field goals in a 21-4 run that pushed the lead over 30 points.
“It feels good,” Sandifer said of the rivalry win. “We had a lot of pressure going into it. The atmosphere was great. It feels good to come out with the win.
Patch scored 13, and Maimoudou Bamba scored 12 for Taconic, which got scoring from nine different players.
Brown finished with 15 to lead Pittsfield, which got 11 from Mungin and eight from Francis Mensah.
There was a scary moment midway through the third quarter when Pittsfield junior Nick Brindle (four points) slipped on the floor and appeared to hurt his leg. He left the court with assistance and did not return to action.
The Generals and Thunder return to the Club on Friday to face separate opponents. Pittsfield takes on East Longmeadow at 5:30. Taconic will host Westfield at 7.
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