NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Second-seeded Paulo Freire took home the Western Massachusetts Class C title Saturday with a 72-64 win over top-seeded Drury.
It was the perfect start to the game for Paulo Freire as it went on a quick 8-0 run to start.
The Panthers came out shooting lights out and were able to give the Drury zone fits all night long. Bryan Jimenez led the way with 27 points including 5 3-pointers. Sandro Díaz chipped in with 12 and D.J. Daniels had 11.
Paulo Freire hit 12 3-pointers in the game forcing Drury into some early decisions on whether they would continue in zone or hope the Panthers would cool down. They took a 14-7 lead after the first quarter with Drury fighting back for most of the fi,rst and second quarter. Bryan Jimenez stole the show in the second quarter with 15 points of his own stretching the lead to 15, 41-26.
The second half Drury started to get things going on the back of Louis Guilotte and Ben Moulton. The two of them had 16 combined and really brought the blue devils back in the game. They were able to cut the lead to single digits just before the turn of the fourth quarter.
Even with all those 3s from Paulo Freire the fourth quarter still had some life for Drury.
Tim Brazeau converted on a big and-one with five minutes to go in the game, cutting the deficit to eight. After that, Guilotte, who had 27 on the night, scored back-to-back buckets to cut it to five with just under four minutes.
Unfortunately for the Blue Devils, that is the closest they would get. With the clock under 2 minutes and a five-point game, Paulo Freire knocked down a dagger corner 3 to seal the deal and give Paulo Freire the title.
It was a hard fought game from Drury who did well to stay in the game all the way to the end, but there just wasn’t enough time to make the full comeback.