North Adams improves to 9-7 with the victory –
Story and photos by Mark Carpenter –
It is the yearly tradition that the final game of the Coach Young Classic, which honors the memory of long-time Green Devils head man Dave Young, be a game featuring the host team. This past Saturday, Jan. 21, the Green Devils closed out a full day of basketball action, facing off with the New Boston Glenwood Tigers. The Devils had been successful in the previous Young Classics, winning two of their three outings, and on Saturday they made it three of four by downing the Tigers by a final score of 63-53.
“We had a pretty decent week of practice and now it’s time for everybody to step up just a little more in every area, get an extra basket here and there, grab an extra rebound or loose ball,” said North Adams head coach Nathan Copas in a post game radio interview.. “Kids are going to be playing in a little different role than they have so far and they better accept that challenge and go with it.”
“This is a county that loves basketball and people have come from all around to see some good basketball all day today and it is an opportunity for people to remember who Coach Young was and what he meant to this school and past players. We just try to do the things that he would want us to keep doing. When he walked into a place, he demanded respect, but if you played hard for him, there was nothing he wouldn’t do for you. He loved to coach and he loved the game of basketball.”
In the first three minutes of Saturday’s nightcap, play resembled a Civil War artillery barrage as the long distance bombs rained down from all directions with five of the game’s first six baskets coming from beyond the three-point arc, three of those belonging to North Adams senior guard Patrick England and the other two claimed by New Boston’s Kyle McQuithy.
The second and third England treys were part of a 10-0 Devils’ run, that also included baskets from Colt Shumaker and Justin Knechtly. That gave North Adams a 15-6 lead and they never trailed again.
A stick back by Shumaker made it 17-8, but two quick baskets by the Tigers cut the lead to five, where it stood at the end of the first quarter with the host squad on top 19-14.
That lead grew right away as the Devils opened the second frame with an 11-0 run, scoring on their first five possessions, getting a three-pointer from Ryan Shupert, plus baskets from Dylan Ison and Seth Daulton to boost their advantage to 30-14. The Tigers countered with a 9-2 run , but North Adams finished the first half with two buckets off the bench from Ben Figgins and an Ison three at the buzzer to lead 39-25 at the intermission.
For the Devils, the third quarter started much like the first, with England firing in a pair of three-point goals to stretch his team’s advantage to 46-27, their biggest lead of the game. Later scores from Daulton and Knechtly kept the lead steady for the home team and when Elijah Young hit a nice baseline runner at the third quarter horn, the Green Devils headed to the final stanza in front 54-38.
Though that lead had seemed comfortable through three periods, things got a little close for comfort in the fourth quarter as the Tigers put together an early 8-0 run to cut the lead to 56-46, and then had several opportunities from the field and the foul line to inch closer but failed to cash them in, but the Devils also didn’t take the chance to put the lid on the coffin.
A three-pointer by McQuithy pulled New Boston to within 57-50 with 1:22 to play, but from that point on the Devils sealed the deal from the charity stripe, getting two free throws from Logan Rogers, and four from Shupert down the stretch to hang on and post their ninth victory of the season against seven losses, downing the Tigers 63-53.
In the Young Classic win, the Devils placed a pair of players in double figures, led by England’s 18, with Shupert tossing in 11, including a perfect 8 for 8 from the foul line. As a team, North Adams was 16 for 18 from the line. Ten different North Adams players scored in the game, a trend which may continue for the remainder of the campaign as Coach Copas mixes different lineup combinations. Justin Knechtly and Austin McCormick each added 6 points to the winning effort.
New Boston was paced by 19 points from Kade Conley, 18 from Tyler Caldwell, and 10 from Kyle McQuithy.
The Green Devils will not be in action again until Friday, Jan. 27 when they will host the Lynchburg Clay Mustangs on Parent Night and Hall of Fame Night at NAHS.
“We have four days of practice to get ready for Lynchburg,” said Coach Copas. “They’re very athletic and have two kids who can put 30 up on you any night so we will have to just execute a good game plan.”
14 11 13 15 –53
19 20 15 9 -63
New Boston (53): Hayes 2 0-0 4, Conley 6 6-7 19, Crum 1 0-1 2, Caldwell 8 1-1 18, McQuithy 3 1-2 10, Team 20 8-11 53.
N. Adams (63): England 6 1-2 18, Shupert 1 8-8 11, Ison 2 0-0 5, Knechtly 3 0-0 6, Daulton 2 0-0 4, Figgins 2 0-0 4, Young 1 0-0 2, Shumaker 2 1-2 5, Rogers 0 2-2 2, McCormick 1 4-4 6, Team 20 16-18 63.
New Boston (5): McQuithy 3, Conley 1, Caldwell 1
N. Adams (7): England 5, Shupert 1, Ison 1