PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- Going into the season, Pittsfield boys basketball coach Steve Ray was concerned about his team’s lack of height.
And after out-rebounding a taller Lee Wildcats team in a 69-38 win at the Boys & Girls Club on Thursday night?
“I still am,” Ray said. “What we’re trying to do is use our athleticism and our speed to overcome our lack of height, really.”
Tyrell Boire tied for game-high honors with 18 points and grabbed a team-high nine rebounds to lead Pittsfield to its second win in a row in the Pittsfield Hoop Club Holiday Classic.
The Generals (3-2) broke open a 10-point game with a 22-12 third quarter and then held the Wildcats (1-2) to just two points in the final eight minutes.
It was hard to give Pittsfield anything but a passing grade on the night, but Ray was quick to stamp a “needs improvement” on one aspect of the Generals’ game.
“We’re still struggling with our offense and getting consistency out of some of our players,” he said. “We’re struggling finishing. But at the end of the day, we’re doing a pretty good job getting to the rack and getting points off transition and turnovers.
“As we struggle with our offense, the transition offense is really what keeps us going.”
In their three wins, the Generals have held opponents to fewer than 50 points with last night’s 38 by the Wildcats the lowest by a Pittsfield foe to date.
Ray had to be impressed with the start of the second quarter.
After Boire was fouled shooting a 3-pointer on the right wing and converted all three at the foul line to start the period, Pittsfield scored the next six on consecutive possessions started by steals out of its press.
First Edwin Rodriguez made a strip and ended up finishing with a lay-in. Then Boire stole the ball and went to the hole. Finally, Griffin Manns recorded the steal,and Quinn Matthews put back an offensive rebound to cap a 9-0 run and give the Generals a 28-10 lead with fewer than two minutes off the clock in the second.
Lee stayed in it in the first half thanks to sophomore Ben Harding, who scored 15 of his 18 points before the break. Wildcat senior Will Wellspeak also had a strong night with 12 rebounds to go along with seven boards.
The high rebounder for Pittsfield was Boire with nine. Sam Higuera grabbed eight boards to go along with seven points. And the Generals earned a 40-37 edge on the glass overall.
Another bright spot for Pittsfield was the play of Rodriguez, who finished with 17 points.
“We’re really happy with him,” Ray said. “He’s finally coming around here. The first few games, we haven’t gotten what we expected out of him, but we certainly did tonight. We think if he brings that kind of intensity every night, we’re going to be a better team.”
Pittsfield is home against Hoosac Valley on Tuesday.
Lee is at Lenox on Tuesday in the first round of the South County Tournament.