North Adams boys basketball holds first scrimmage

The boys preseason favorite in their division in this year’s coaches poll in the Southern Hills Athletic Conference, the North Adams Green Devils, took the court last week in their first scrimmage.

The Green Devils took on Clermont Northeastern for about two hours, playing multiple quarters, winning the majority against the Rockets. Threes came in bunches for the Green Devils, who at times looked like they couldn’t miss from beyond the arc.

In the first scrimmage, North Adams jumped out to a 12-2 lead and continued to play well from there, which ended on a three from junior Patrick England as time expired to end the score at 17-6.

Threes by junior Justin Knechtly, senior Mikey Sheeley and England again propelled North Adams to an 11-6 lead in the second “quarter” but the Rockets hit numerous threes of their own, eventually taking a 17-16 lead and were too much down the stretch, taking the scrimmage 24-18.

North Adams took three of the next four games to end the evening as threes rained down all night for the home squad.

North Adams head coach Nathan Copas said he was especially pleased with the quality looks his team got from three due to this team’s ball movement from the post.

“I know we can shoot it,” Copas said. “The thing is we shot the ball well and the thing I kept preaching is that we got some inside-out threes. We weren’t just pulling up on a quick dribble. We’ve got some guys who can score in the post so we need to feed it inside and make them react to our post guys, move without the ball and make the extra pass to get quality threes.”

Those extra passes were especially pleasing to Copas, who was concerned heading into the scrimmage if his team would be as unselfish as they were.

“We’ve got some guys who can shoot it and we were really unselfish at times with our passes, which I love to see,” Copas said. “I thought that could be a problem with us, not looking to make that extra pass, but we did tonight. We fed off each other.”

Clermont Northeastern did find some success driving to the basket against North Adams and Copas said his team needs more work on the defensive end to learn how to guard without fouling.

“We’ve got to learn how to guard better without fouling,” Copas said. “If we rack up those personal fouls in the regular season then we’ll have to sub a little differently so we’ve got to continue to get better on the defensive end.”

North Adams also showcased a strong half-court trap at times againt the Rockets, which Copas says he’ll mix in depending upon the opponent in the regular season.

“We’ll mix it up depending on who we’re playing,” Copas said. “Some of our guys don’t move down the floor great, but they move well in the half court. So we’ll do that more the better we get at rotating on it. Sometimes we’re great on our rotations and other times we’re terrible.”

Reach Charles Grove at 937-544-2391 or cgrove@civitasmedia.com.

North Adams junior Isaiah Anderson goes up for a layup against Clermont Northeastern in their scrimmage last week.
https://www.peoplesdefender.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/web1_na-1.jpgNorth Adams junior Isaiah Anderson goes up for a layup against Clermont Northeastern in their scrimmage last week. Charles Grove | People’s Defender

North Adams seniors Robert Lacy and Brandon Gingerich pressure a Clermont Northeastern player under the basket during last week’s scrimmage.
https://www.peoplesdefender.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/web1_na-2.jpgNorth Adams seniors Robert Lacy and Brandon Gingerich pressure a Clermont Northeastern player under the basket during last week’s scrimmage. Charles Grove | People’s Defender

By Charles Grove

cgrove@civitasmedia.com