DALTON, Mass. -- Kevin Huban scored 32 points, and the Wahconah boys basketball team ramped up its defense in the middle part of the game to earn a 73-51 win over Murdock and a trip to the Western Massachusetts Division 3 semi-finals on Friday night.
Murdock got three 3-pointers from Kevin Pesce in the first quarter to jump out to a 20-16 lead.
Wahconah proceeded to hold the Blue Devils (15-7) to two points in the second quarter and eight points in the third to take a 53-30 lead into the final eight minutes.
“Not how I drew that up,” Wahconah coach Kevin Belcher joked after his team improved to 17-5.
“They have a couple of really good shooters over there. They’re a nice club. We just did a really good job, I thought, after that first quarter, of settling down. I thought they were able to get through our pressure a little too easily in the first quarter. I didn’t think we were taking very good angles defensively, so we made a few adjustments on that in the huddle.
“But, overall, I think it came down to: We did a better job closing out, cutting down their window to shoot. And we did a good job rebounding.”
Huban went 9-for-12 at the free throw line and had all three of Wahconah’s 3-pointers.
Luke Hescock scored 20, and Tom O’Connor added 10 in the win.
In the third quarter, Wahconah put the game away, building on a 10-point half-time advantage with a 21-8 run that featured a lot of points in the running game.
“That was one of the things we talked about coming in, one of our keys was trying to get out and run a little bit,” Belcher said. “I thought we could do that. We did a good job of that -- much better in the second half -- just spacing the floor and getting out, beating the ball down the floor in transition.”
Fourth-seeded Wahconah Tuesday faces No. 1 Naragansett at Curry Hicks Cage in the sectional semi-finals. Naragansett advanced Friday with an overtime win over Mount Greylock.