It was an early morning wake-up call for Coach Kyle Pertuset and his Manchester Greyhounds as they opened up the 2016 Coach Young Classic at North Adams High School with a 10 a.m. tip off with the New Boston Tigers. In a game that wasn’t decided until the final minute, the Hounds rallied with two late baskets and a pair of Jamie Combs free throws to seal the deal in a 46-43 Manchester win.
“It was an unusual start time for both teams,” Coach Pertuset told C103 Radio after the win. “Coach Jenkins does a tremendous job over there and we have a lot of respect for him. Today was probably the best I had seen them play and that’s just a credit to their kids and coaching staff.”
“We kept our poise and just kept grinding today and gutted out the victory, though it was quite a stressful game for me. We’ve had six single-digit losses this season and we could have easily folded up the tents and said, here we go again.”
The first quarter of Saturday morning’s contest was a back-and-forth affair, with the Tigers taking an early 5-2 lead on a three-pointer from Kyle McQuithy. The Hounds were plagued early by some carelessness with the ball and their turnovers hurt them on the offensive end. A three by New Boston’s Tyler Caldwell gave the Tigers an 8-4 advantage before the Hounds got a coast to coast layup from Sean Frost, a three-pointer from Bryan Young, and a jumper from Rickey DeAtley to tie the game at 11. A basket with 55 seconds left by Drake Truitt put the Tigers up 13-11 after the first eight minutes.
The Tigers opened the second quarter with their third trey of the game to take a five-point lead but Manchester answered with five straight, tying the game again on another Young three. A pair of free throws by Frost and then a slam dunk in transition by the Greyhound senior capped a 9-0 run and gave the Hounds a 20-16 lead.
Back came the Tigers, however, with a 6-0 run of their own to flip the scoreboard to their side. A 9-1 New Boston run was fueled by three-pointers from R.J. Hayes and Truitt to send the Tigers to the halftime break nursing a slim 25-23 lead.
The second half started on a down note for the Greyhounds as the Tigers scored the five points on their first two possessions to stretch the Manchester deficit to seven points. Another momentum swing came next for the Hounds as they went on an 8-0 run to retake the lead at 31-30. Back and forth the two teams continued to go and the Tigers got five quick points from McQuithy to move back in front. A pair of Frost free throws closed out the third period and no ground had been gained on the battlefield in eight minutes as the Hounds still found themselves down two at 35-33.
On their first possession of the final quarter, the Hounds tied the game again on a Kaulen Cox basket, only to see New Boston get back to back scores from Ethan Porter to reclaim the lead. A bucket in transition by Mason Bilyeu and a steal and layup by Colton Thornburg tied the game at 39 and a Frost free throw put the Hounds up one with 3:48 to play, setting up an exciting finish.
New Boston grabbed back the lead on a basket by Conley but back came the Hounds with buckets from Frost and Cole Pribble to take a three-point lead with 1:30 to go. New Boston got a basket with 1:19 left and then fouled Bilyeu at the 59.7 mark. Bilyeu missed the front end of the bonus and the Tigers elected to hold the ball for a final shot and Coach Scott Jenkins called a timeout with 27 seconds remaining.
After the timeout, the Tigers missed their next shot attempt and Manchester’s Jamie Combs was fouled with 9.7 seconds left. New Boston called another timeout to freeze the shooter, but it did no good, as Combs calmly sank both shots from the stripe to put the Hounds up three. New Boston had one last chance, but a three-point try by Conley was off the mark and Hounds had survived to claim their fourth win of the season, 46-43.
In the win, the Hounds were paced in scoring by senior Sean Frost, who tallied 17 points. Bryan Young added 8, with Colton Thornburg getting 6 and Kaulen Cox and Cole Pribble 4 each.
“Any time there is no JV game, it gives your team a bit of a tournament look as far as depth goes,” said Coach Pertuset. “I felt like we had a couple of guys step up and play some very good defense for us today, in fact the entire bench did. Our zone offense left a lot to be desired in the first half and we talked about that a lot at halftime.
“Sean Frost took very smart shots today, didn’t force anything. He was penetrating the gaps in the zone and dishing off the ball and probably passed up some shots he should have taken.”
New Boston was led by 17 points from Kyle McQuithy.
The Hounds were scheduled to be back in action on Tuesday, Jan. 19, playing host to the Peebles Indians in Southern Hills Athletic Conference action and then traveling down the river to face the Ripley Blue Jays on Friday, Jan. 22, also an SHAC contest.
NBHS 13 12 10 8 —43
MHS 11 12 10 13 —46
NBHS (43): Hayes 1 0-0 3, Truitt 3 0-1 7, Conley 2 0-0 4, Caldwell 1 0-0 3, McQuithy 6 1-2 17, Porter 4 1-2 9, Team 17 2-5 43.
MHS (46): Combs 0 2-2 2, Aldridge 0 1-2 1, Frost 5 7-8 17, DeAtley 1 0-0 2, Thornburg 2 2-4 6, Bilyeu 1 0-1 2, Young 3 0-0 8, Cox 2 0-0 4, Pribble 2 0-0 4, Team 16 12-17 46.
NBHS- Hayes 1, Truitt 1, Caldwell 1, McQuithy 4
MHS- Young 2