Anderson’s 30 leads North Adams to 60-58 win over host G-Men –
Story and photos by Mark Carpenter –
Fans of the North Adams varsity boys basketball team will see a new-look squad on the floor this coming season and that new-look group was on display for the first time on Nov. 11 at Georgetown High School as the Green Devils faced off with the G-Men in the annual Foundation Game between the two squads. It was a successful exhibition for the green and gold as they grabbed a lead early in the second quarter and never gave it up, and paced by 30 points from senior point guard Isaiah Anderson, slipped past the host G-Men by a score of 60-58.
“I told our kids before the game that we are just a week into practice and we are still searching,” said North Adams head coach Nathan Copas. “We are hoping to play 8-9 kids and there might be some nights one kid may play 20 minutes a game and the next game he may play just 10. It will depend on who is giving me what night in and night out. We want to use our numbers to wear people down and at time tonight we didn’t do a very good job of that.”
“We are still just kind of soul-searching to see just what kind of team we will be. It is all about getting these guys to understand what they can do within our system that will make us the best that we can be. We can’t be satisfied with tonight or we go into practice next week not getting any better.”
The first North Adams basket of the game was a sign of things to come as Anderson drilled a three-pointer for an early lead. The G-Men got points from four different players to take an 11-8 advantage, but a three from the corner by the Devils’ Jacob Call left the two sides deadlocked after one quarter of play.
On their first possession of the second period, Anderson fired in another trey and the G-Men never saw a lead on the scoreboard after that point. A pair of Anderson free throws and two more North Adams threes, from Patrick England and Ryan Shupert, keyed an 11-0 Devils run and gave the visitors a double-digit advantage at 27-13. The stunned G-Men rebounded with a pair of Cameron Brookbank free throws and free throws by Logan Doss and big man Noah Pack, but a jumper by Anderson and a stick back bucket by Seth Daulton again put the North Adams lead in double figures.
A basket by Brookbank with five seconds left in the first half left the Devils on top at the intermission 32-25.
After the break, the Devils came out refreshed and went on another run, taking advantage of numerous Georgetown turnovers, and getting a basket from freshman Austin McCormick. Two more by Anderson, and another England three to lead 42-28.
That lead dwindled rapidly as it was the turn of the G-Men to go on a run of their own, as they scored the game’s next 13 points over a four-minute span and suddenly a big North Adams lead had been trimmed to just a single point. A pair of Anderson free throws in the final 30 seconds saw the third stanza come to a close with the Devils now clinging to a 44-41 lead.
Again, the North Adams gang started a quarter strong, opening the final period with a 9-2 burst to again extend their lead to double figures. In that run, it was junior Justin Knechtly doing the damage, hitting a nice runner in the lane and they following that up with a three-point goal, and with a pair of charity tosses by England, the Devils led 53-43 with 2:43 to play.
Back came the home team, getting a three plus two free throws from Brookbank to close the gap to four at 53-49. With 1:27 left on the clock, Knechtly calmly sank two from the foul line to move the lead back to six, but a bucket by Tanner Ellis and another Brookbank score pulled the G-Men within 56-53 with 32 seconds left in the game.
A clutch running bank shot from about 12 feet out by Knechtly put North Adams back up five and two free throws by Anderson with 3.7 seconds left kept the lead there. Georgetown got a three-pointer at the horn from Solomon Underwood, but it was too little, too late, as the Devils escaped with a 60-58 win in an exhibition game that turned out to be a very good tune-up for regular season play.
As mentioned, Anderson was the big gun on offense for the winners, tossing in 30 points, 20 of those coming in the first half. Knechtly also reached double figures with 10, with England right behind at 9.
“I didn’t think Isaiah played well early in getting the ball to the post but I want him to get the ball foul-line extended and go with it,” said Copas. “He has to be our leader and do the things that he’d want his teammates to do for him, like taking charges.”
Georgetown was led by 18 points from Noah Pack and 16 from Cameron Brookbank, with Underwood adding 7 and Logan Doss 6.
The Devils headed back to the practice floor for the week and fans can catch them in preseason action again on Friday, Nov. 25 in the annual Southern Hills Athletic Conference Preview. The Green Devils will play their two quarters at the preview against West Union, beginning at 5 p.m. at Lynchburg High School.