Thomas Leads Mounties Past Pittsfield
WILLIAMSTOWN -- For three quarters on Wednesday night, the Mount Greylock Regional High School boys basketball team had balanced scoring, defense and an edge on the boards.
In the fourth quarter, the Mounties had Tyrell Thomas.
Thomas scored 18 of his game-high 30 points in the fourth to lead Mount Greylock to a 69-61 win over Pittsfield in a battle of the the North and South Division leaders.
Thanks to Thomas, the Mounties had enough to withstand a 30-point barrage by the Generals and protect most of the 14-point lead Greylock had through three periods.
And thanks to their hard work this season, the Mounties are the first team in Berkshire County to reach 10 wins and earn a spot in the Western Massachusetts tournament.
After 20 minutes in the Mountie Dome on Wednesday, it looked like that win would come with ease. But Pittsfield (8-4) scored 10 straight to cut into a 22-point lead and make it 45-31 at the end of the third. Then it used a 7-2 run to start the fourth and trim the lead to single digits.
Amancho Adopo had four points in the first run and a 3-pointer in the second on the way to a 27-point night for the Generals.
"In the fourth quarter, Adopo was heating up, so we had to make a few adjustments," Thomas said. "But it was nothing we couldn't handle. We're glad we pulled off the 'W.'
"I started feeling it. I wasn't hitting all my shots in the beginning of the game, but I saw them going on a run, and I knew somebody had to step up."
After Pittsfield's Evan Lanoue hit a jumper from the baseline to make it 47-38 and get his team within single digits for the first time since early in the second quarter, Thomas drove to the basket and drew a foul; he knocked down his second shot to get the lead back to 10.
Moments later, Adopo flew through the lane to steal a pass at one end of the court and knocked down a basket at the other to make it 50-42 with five minutes left. Thomas then set up Brett McCormack (13 points) at the top of the key to give Greylock a double-digit edge.
And so it went for a frenetic final quarter with the teams trading baskets and combining for 54 points.
Thomas scored his team's last 10, including 6-for-7 foul shooting in the last two minutes.
Those "1s" balanced out the three 3s that Adopo hit in the final minute.
In the first half, the Mounties (10-2) held Adopo in check by holding him to five rebounds. That allowed the hosts to build up a 21-10 advantage on the glass going into half-time.
"That's hard to do," Mount Greylock coach Bob Thistle said. "You can talk about it, but I really give credit to our kids. We were committed to getting on the glass, and it was a team effort. We had three guys: Tyrell, Brett McCormack did a great job, and Tyler Picard certainly was a beast on the boards for us in the first half."
Picard had seven carroms in the first half and 14 in the game to go along with 14 points. Nathan Majumder had 10 for the Mounties.
Adopo had a more characteristic second half on the boards with eight rebounds to make it 13 on the night, along with three assists and a couple of steals. Lanoue scored 13 for the Generals, who have a showdown at Taconic on Friday.
Mount Greylock travels to St. Joseph on Friday and finishes up a stretch of three games against Pittsfield schools when it goes to Taconic next Tuesday.
Wednesday's win gave the Mounties a chance to appreciate what they have accomplished this season, but it was a brief stop on what they hope will be a long road this winter.
"This is a solid win for us and for our program," Thistle said. "It's against a Division 1 school, and it qualifies us for the Western Mass tournament at 10-2."
Last yaer, the Mounties went 15-5 in the regular season and made it all the way to the Western Mass Division 3 semi-finals.
"It's our second year here -- our coaching staff and our players," Thistle said. "I think we're coming along nicely. The kids have bought in, and they're working hard every day in practice. This is the first step, but we hope to have a lot of other steps along the way -- namely each new game.
"We want to try to be prepared and be successful each night out from here on out so we can better our seed. We know we have huge challenge Friday night against St. Joe."