Pittsfield Boys Clinch Western Mass Tournament Berth with Win over Drury
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Pittsfield boys basketball team clinched a Western Mass tournament berth with a 53-44 win over Drury on Monday night.
With the season winding down, Pittsfield was still looking for that 10th win to qualify for Western Mass and this was finally that night. Joe Cracolici had a big game with 16 points and some very timely rebounds. Carter Matthews played his part as well scoring 14, and Craig Jackson added 10.
It was a sluggish opening for both teams, taking more 2 minutes for either team to score. The first team to get things going was the home team, Pittsfield. With a low scoring first quarter Pittsfield was able to keep Drury (13-4) uncomfortable on offense forcing them into long possessions with bad shots coming at the end. The Generals did a good job on the boards getting second chance points and working things inside for easy attempts. They held Drury to just eight points in the first quarter.
Unlike the first time these two teams met, Pittsfield was ready on the defensive end and were able to keep the mental issues in check.
“The last time we played them we had a lot of miscues on the defensive end.” Pittsfield coach Brandon Mauer said. “We watched a lot of film and I think our kids did a great job of writing their wrongs and it showed. We made it tough on Scott [McGuire Jr.] and Reece [Racette] all night and I couldn’t be happier.”
The Generals were able to hold McGuire to just five points in the first half (18 in the game) and of those five all were very contested. With a chance to cut it to 10 points, Drury was forced into another tough shot that led to a leak out basket giving Pittsfield a 32-21 lead going into the break. With a score this low the game favored Pittsfield and the Generals continued to work off of that defense.
Coming out of the locker room, it looked as though Drury was going to claw its way back in the game starting the quarter on a 7-3 run, but Pittsfield answered back to keep them at bay. Late in the third quarter Drury looked to go on another run cutting the deficit to three points, but once again they missed an opportunity to clean the boards, allowing Cracolici an offensive put back followed by a 3-pointer pointed to bring the lead back to eight with less than two minutes to go in the quarter.
“We needed this type of win, we haven’t had one like this,” Mauer said. “It’s either been way up or way down. So it’s what i needed to see from them and I think going towards the tournament it’s really one of those games we needed to see in ourselves.”
Pittsfield went on to finish the game off out-scoring Drury by five in the quarter and clinching not only the win but a postseason spot in Mauer’s second season with the team.
Pittsfield will host Tantasqua next at home on Thursday. Drury will gear up for a rivalry game on Friday against Hoosac Valley, at home.