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Fortitude Strength and Conditioning takes on iBerkshires.com in the first outdoor game of the season in the John Giorgi Summer Basketball League.

Giorgi League Christens New Noel Field Court

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires.com Sports
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. -- Berkshire County's newest sports venue opened with a couple of close games on Monday night as the John Giorgi Summer Basketball League christened the new courts at Noel Field.
 
IBerkshires.com edged Fortitude Strength and Conditioning, 49-41, in the first game, and Rivers Lawn Care/Timeless Training got past Swish, 56-50, in the nightcap.
 
The first games on the newly resurfaced outdoor courts were to be played on Sunday, but rain forced that night's action inside the North Adams Armory.
 
League organizer Al Giorgi this spring posted a schedule that tentatively called for the league to open on June 16, though he said at the time he was not sure whether the courts would be ready.
 
"Once I saw guys starting own here playing pickup, I said, 'Well, they can't be too far off,' " Giorgi said Monday as he prepared for the games to begin.
 
The two full-sized courts were buzzing well before the 6:30 tipoff of the league games with pickup action on all four baskets from about 5 p.m. on.
 
Giorgi plans to continue the league's practice of using one court for the league's games each night for a reason that was demonstrated on Sunday: There is only one court available, the Armory's, for indoor games in the event of rain.
 
Back out in the fresh air on Monday, Brandon Hurst scored 17 points, and Justin Girard had 15 points and eight rebounds to lead iBerkshires to victory.
 
Fortitude's Lucas Shatford had a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
 
Brandon Roughley and Vernon Cross led the way for Rivers Lawn Care with 14 and 13 points, respectively.
 
Matt Chamberlain scored a game-high 15 for Swish in the loss.
 
This year, the Giorgi League offers play in three divisions: an "A" and "B" division in the men's league and a five-team high school division.
 
"I've got five in the 'A' division, which is good," Giorgi said. "They play each other twice. It shoyuld be very competitive."
 
The high school league once again includes Drury, Hoosac Valley, McCann Tech and Mount Greylock and this year, for the first time, adds a squad from Monument Mountain, which will make the trip up from Great Barrington for eight games starting Thursday plus, potentially, two playoff games in August.
 
The basketball courts are part of a nearly $800,000 upgrade to Noel Field, which includes pickle ball courts, a reconfigured walking track and a splash pad area for youngsters.
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Lever, North Adams Awarded Grant To Support Mohawk Trail Woodlands Partnership

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Lever and North Adams were awarded $85,000 in state grant funding to support Mohawk Trail Woodlands Partnership
 
Lever and the City of North Adams have been awarded $65,000 and $20,000, respectively, through a state grant program to support forest stewardship and conservation, trail improvements, and nature-based tourism in the Mohawk Trail Woodlands Partnership (MTWP) region.
 
"Outdoor recreation is an attraction for North Adams residents and visitors alike," North Adams Mayor Tom Bernard said. "You don't have to step too far away from the center of the city to connect to nature or enjoy our spectacular views. I'm thrilled to work with the MWTP, and I'm grateful to the Baker-Polito administration for supporting our efforts to promote outdoor recreation in North Adams. I'm also so pleased to have a great partner in Lever. I know that the Mohawk Trail Entrepreneur Challenge will build on Lever's incredible record of promoting entrepreneurship and strengthening our region's economy."
 
The City of North Adams will use its funding to inventory the City's network of trails—city-owned, state, NGO, and private—and, with input from residents and owners of tourist-focused businesses, create and market a comprehensive trail map to draw more tourists to the City for hiking and walking. 
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