By Mark Carpenter
After numerous cancellations, there was finally a night for the regular season finale for two of the county’s eighth grade boys basketball squads last Thursday evening. Coach Eric Toole and his North Adams Green Devils played host to Coach Kyle Brewer and the Manchester Greyhounds in a battle of two squads whose regular season had not been exactly what either team or coach had hoped for, with the Devils having just one regular season win and the Hounds none.
The Greyhounds have been looking for that magic combination all season, one that could make the talent they have gel at the same time, but they got off to a rocky start last Thursday in North Adams, scoring just two points in the first quarter, thaton a bucket by Gage Lucas. In the meantime, the host Devils got a three from Bryant Lung and three points each from Tray Brand and Colt Shumaker to grab a 9-2 advantage.
The Manchester offense woke up in the second period as the Hounds got scores from James Arias, Nick Griffin, Trent Dryden, and two baskets from Mason Bilyeu. Unfortunately for the visitors, North Adams also found the range to the tune of a 13-point second frame, led by five from Brand and two baskets by Ryan Shupert. When halftime rolled around, the Green Devils held a double digit advantage at 22-12.
All season, the Greyhounds have had second half struggles and that continued in the third quarter as they were outscored by North Adams 11-5. Manchester did get two baskets from big man Trent Dryden, but at the same time, the Devils got four points from Tanner Utterback and three more from Brand, plus a bucket by Jacob Kendall on the inside to stretch their lead out to 33-17.
Give credit to the Greyhounds, they did put together a much better fourth quarter, outscoring the Devils 12-4 but it was definitely to little, too late. The Hounds got buckets from Ethan Pennywitt, Logan Francis, Jamie Combs, and a three from Kaige Cox, but when all was said and done, it was the Green Devils taking home the win by a final count of 37-29.
Tray Brand led the Devils and both teams in scoring with 13 points, the only player to reach double figures. Tanner Utterback scored 6 for the winners and Bryant Lung and Colt Shumaker 5 apiece. Manchester was paced by Trent Dryden’s 6 points, with James Arias adding 5 and Mason Bilyeu 4.
Mark Carpenter can be reached at 937-544-2391 or on Twitter @adamscosports.
2 10 5 12 —29
9 13 11 4 —37
Manchester (29): Arias 2 1-3 5, Cox 1 0-0 3, Pennywitt 1 0-0 2, Combs 1 1-2 3, Griffin 1 0-0 2, Bilyeu 2 0-2 4,
Lucas 1 0-0 2, Francis 1 0-0 2, Dryden 3 0-0 6, Team 13 2-7 29.
N. Adams (37): Lung 2 0-0 5, Utterback 2 2-2 6,Brand 4 4-6 13, Shupert 2 0-0 4, Kendall 2 0-0 4, Shumaker 2 1-2 5,
Team 14 7-10 37.
Three-Point Goals: Manchester- Cox 1
N. Adams- Lung 1, Brand 1