NORTH ADAMS, Mass. -- Lukas Zelazo scored 20 points, and the McCann Tech boys basketball team used pressure defense to earn a 73-45 win over Hampden Charter in the first round of the Western Massachusetts Division 4 tournament on Tuesday.
The third time was not a charm for Hampden Charter, who lost twice to the Hornets in league play this winter.
“It was nice to have a familiar opponent,” McCann Tech coach Chris Bullett said. “It was nice for the coaches to know what we were going to go up against and be able to make a game plan.”
On the other hand, having beaten Hampden Charter twice, Bullett was a little concerned that his team might be complacent.
“We drilled into them that they can’t take it for granted that they’re going to be the same team this time,” he said.
The Hornets took that to heart, storming out of the gates to an 18-point lead and never looking back.
A big difference was the McCann’s pressure defense, a wrinkle Hampden Charter didn’t see earlier in the season and which the Hornets have been working on in practice.
“We knew we had to do something different,” Bullett said. “We knew we couldn’t come out with the same stuff. The first time we played them it was the first game of the year, so you can kind of throw that out. When we played them [the second time] down there, it was a tight, back-and-forth game, and Bruce Davis stepped up and won it for us.
“We knew it would be a tough game tonight if we didn’t show them some pressure.”
Davis stepped up on offense again Tuesday with 11 points. Logan Tower had 17, and Cole Kratz scored nine.
Eighth-seeded McCann Tech (13-8) goes on the road on Friday to face No. 1-seeded and defending sectional champion Hopkins Academy (18-2), which had a bye in the first round of the tournament, for a trip to Curry Hicks Cage.
“We’re excited to play them,” Bullett said. “We know we’re big-time underdogs. They’re pedigree in Division 4 is undisputed. … Hopefully, we can keep the game close and keep the pressure on them.”