LEE, Mass. — First, the Lenox boys basketball team was read the riot act.
Then, the Millionaires got their act together.
Patrick Colvin and Michael Downer scored 11 and eight points, respectively, in the second half to lead Lenox to a 43-38, come-from-behind victory over the rival Lee Wildcats on Friday night.
Colvin was held scoreless in the first half but hit three 3-pointers after the break on the way to his 11-point night. Downer tied for the team-high with 11 despite scoring just three in the first half.
Lee led at half-time, 25-14, but Lenox stormed out of the gate with a 18-4 run to start the third quarter and later pushed its lead to 12 midway through the fourth before holding on despite missing three front ends of one-and-ones in the final minute of a two-possession game.
Colvin and his coach agreed it was not a matter of big X’s and O’s adjustments in the locker room at half.
“Coach made it very clear we were horrible in the first half,” Colvin said. “That’s all he told us. It was on us to pick it up, and I think we did that.”
Lenox coach Scott Sibley concurred.
“It didn’t take long to say what we had to say,” Sibley said. “I think the point came across loud and clear. They came out in the second half and made it seem as if they wanted to be here a little more than they did in the first 16 minutes.
“I was a little disappointed with the way we came out, but the message was received, and the second half was a little more like the team we are: aggressive, flying around, taking better shots, attacking the glass and rebounding much better. I was glad they came around for the last 16 minutes.”
Lenox finished with a 46-37 edge in rebounding behind Kevin Coakley’s game-high 10 boards. Thomas Hedges had seven of his nine rebounds in the second half; he also had four assists in the second half
That started on Lenox’s second possession of the second half, when Hedges kicked the ball out to Downer for a 3-pointer. Hedges went on to set up Michael Hurley, Downer again and Colvin for 3-pointers as the half progressed.
Downer’s first three of the second half cut Lee’s lead to 25-19. It was 29-27, Wildcats, when Downer was fouled in transition and hit both free throws to tie the game for the first time since it was 4-4 late in the first quarter.
One trip later, Hedges set up Downer for a triple to give Lenox its first lead of the game, 32-29.
Josh Sampson (game-high 18) connected from the elbow to get Lee within a point going to the fourth quarter.
But Lenox pulled away with an 11-0 run to start the fourth. Colvin hit three straight 3s during that run — the last made it 43-31 with about four minutes left to play.
Lee rallied with a 7-0 spurt to get within five with a little over a minute left, but the ‘Cats came up empty on their last three possessions.
Lenox (9-6) hosts Drury on Tuesday before going back into South Division play next Friday at Mount Greylock.
“This was a big game for us in the Southern Division,” Sibley said. “We were tied with Lee [for second place]. Now, I think we’re a half game behind Greylock and fighting to get to the top.
“For us from here on out, I think every game is a big game.”
Lee (8-6) is home for Pittsfield on Tuesday.