The season opener last Saturday afternoon was quite a successful one for Coach Ryan Unger and his seventh grade North Adams boys, not so much for first-year head coach Paul Worley and his Peebles Indians seventh graders. The two county rivals met in North Adams and it was Green Devils from start to finish as Unger and his troops rolled to a big 59-13 victory.
“We played very well today,” said Coach Unger. “The kids did what I asked, we were able to use our size inside, and we have the ability to play any of 10 kids at any time. It is especially nice when your two leading scorers in the game come off the bench. We did struggle from the free throw line but I still couldn’t be happier with how we opened up our season.”
The outcome of this seventh grade contest was decided early when North Adams opened up by scoring the first 15 points, seven of those coming from Andrew Brand, including a three-point goal. Seth Meade also added a three of his own as the home team led 17-3 after the first six minutes of action.
The North Adams onslaught continued in the second period as Cade Meade tallied seven points and Fulton Kennedy poured in six. While their offense was scoring seemingly at will, the Devil’s defense stymied the Peebles offense, holding them to just a Kyle Brennan basket and two Oakley Burba free throws in the second quarter and when the two sides headed to the halftime break, the home team held a commanding 32-7 advantage.
In the third quarter, the Devils got scoring contributions from five different players, two buckets each from Brand and Jayden Hesler, outscoring Peebles 14-6. The Indians got baskets from Brennan, Chase Meade, and two free throws from Hunter White but still found themselves staring at a huge 46-13 deficit heading into the final period.
In that final six minutes, the North Adams defense pitched a shutout while the Devils got a trifecta from Seth Vogel as part of a 13-point quarter, coasting home with the 59-13 season-opening triumph.
“This group of boys has a lot of talent at all five positions,” added Coach Unger. “The best thing is that they have played together since third grade. These kids pass well at all five positions and they know where they are going to be on the floor. Today it looked as if they hadn’t missed a beat in their transition from pee-wee to junior high.”
“A lot of times you get seventh graders who aren’t ready for the faster paced game but all of our kids looked ready to go.”
Eight different Devils dented the scoring column in the game, paced by three in double figures, Fulton Kennedy with 12, and Cade Meade and Andrew Brand with 11 each. Jayden Hesler and Seth Meade scored 7 apiece with Hunter Hoop adding 6.
The Indians were led by Oakley Burba and Kyle Brennan with 4 points each.
PHS 3 4 6 0 —13
NAJH 17 15 14 13 —59
PHS (13): Burba 1 2-2 4, White 0 3-4 3, Meade 1 0-0 2, Brennan 2 0-0 4, Johnson 0 0-2 0, Schmitz 0 0-1 0, Barr 0 0-2 0, Team 4 5-11 13.
NAJH (59): Brand 5 0-0 11, Vogel 1 0-0 3, Shipley 1 0-0 2, Hesler 3 1-4 7, S. Meade 2 2-3 7, C. Meade 5 1-2 11, Kennedy 5 2-3 12, Hoop 3 0-0 6, Team 25 6-12 59.
Three-Point Goals: NAJH: Brand 1, Vogel 1, S. Meade 1