Just when things seemed to be heading in the right direction for the North Adams Green Devils varsity boys basketball squad, along came the Fayetteville Rockets. Riding a four-game winning streak, the Devils hosted the Rockets on Jan. 19, looking to avenge a loss on the Rocket’s home court back on Dec. 18. It looked for three quarters of the Jan. 19 contest as if the North Adams boys were going to exact their revenge, but unfortunately for them a high school game consists of four quarters.
Leading 43-27 heading into the final eight minutes, the Devils suffered the ultimate collapse and were outscored 19-2 by the Rockets as Fayetteville snuck out of town with a huge win in the Southern Hills Athletic Conference, dropping North Adams to 9-5 overall and 6-2 in the SHAC, leaving them in a first place tie in the conference’s small-school division with the Rockets.
The rematch began well for the home team as first quarter three-pointers by Isaiah Anderson, Patrick England, and Justin Knechtly helped the Green Devils grab a 13-7 lead after eight minutes of action. In the second stanza, the Devils went long distance three more times, England and Knechtly again, plus a trey from Ryan Shupert, and the home team took a 25-15 advantage into the halftime break.
In the third quarter, the Devils got three baskets from junior point guard Anderson, another Shupert three, and single buckets from Knechtly, Brandon Gingerich, and the Meade brothers, Trey and Cole. Those 17 points set up North Adams with a seemingly comfortable 43-27 lead as the two sides moved to the final period.
Basketball is a crazy game sometimes, especially at the high school level, and momentum can turn on a dime, and that is most certainly what happened in this contest. After scoring those 17 third quarter points, the Devils were only able to muster a single Trey Meade basket over the final eight minutes. That opened the door for a Fayetteville miracle and on this night, the basketball gods were looking over the Rockets.
Fueled by a pair of Max Lanham three-pointers plus another from Cole Schaeffer, the Rockets blasted off in the fourth quarter, rattling off 19 points to somehow overcome the double digit deficit and pull off the improbable comeback win that pulled them into the first place tie with the Devils in the SHAC.
In the loss, the Green Devils were led by Isaiah Anderson’s 11 points, followed closely by Justin Knechtly. North Adams’ leading scorer, Trey Meade, was held to 6 points, with Patrick England and Ryan Shupert each adding 6.
The victorious Rockets were paced by 18 points from Max Lanham and 12 from Cole Schaeffer.
The two teams combined to fire in 12 three-pointers in the game.
After winter weather forced the cancellation of their Jan. 22 conference game with Fairfield, the Devils face another very tough SHAC challenge this Friday night when they will be on the road at Peebles.
FHS 7 8 12 19 —46
NAHS 13 13 17 2 —45
FHS (46): Dowers 2 1-1 5, Schaeffer 5 1-2 12, Lanham 7 1-2 18, Iles 3 1=2 8, Smyth 1 1-2 3, Team 18 5-9 46.
NAHS (45): Anderson 5 0-1 11, England 2 0-0 6, Shupert 2 0-0 6, Knechtly 4 0-0 10, Gingerich 1 0-1 2, T. Meade 3 0-0 6, C. Meade 2 0-0 4, Team 19 0-2 45.
FHS- Schaeffer 1, Lanham 3, Iles 1
NAHS- Anderson 1, England 2, Shupert 2, Knechtly 2