The JV boys version of the 2015 McDonald’s Holiday Classic took place at West Union High School on Dec. 29-30 and emerging as the champions were Coach Rob Meade and his North Adams Green Devils. The Green Devils picked up two wins, topping the Manchester Greyhounds 46-32 on the tourney’s first day and then winning the championship the next day with a 44-36 over the Peebles Indians.
“We knew we would have to play well in order to win the Classic and we did just that,” said Coach Meade. “I’m very pleased with the progress we are making as a team. Each time we step on the floor, we are getting better.”
In the semi-final win over Manchester, the Devils used a balanced scoring attack in the first quarter to jump to an early lead. Getting baskets from Jacob Call, Tanner Utterback, Ryan Shupert, Seth Daulton, and Colt Shumaker, North Adams offset a three-pointer by the Hound’s Ethan Pennywitt to take a 15-7 advantage after one.
With Call nailing a three and Shumaker picking up a pair of buckets, the Green Devils stretched their advantage in period number two. Despite getting treys from Dustin Unger and Mason Bilyeu, the Hounds still found themselves down 26-15 at the intermission.
Manchester made a little headway into their deficit in the third quarter with a Trent Dryden three-pointer and a trio of Gage Lucas free throws. The North Adams offense stalled a bit and only managed 7 points, but the Devils still led 33-23 at the end of three quarters.
Shumaker got hot in the final quarter, scoring 7 points, as the Devils held on to their lead despite a 9-point quarter from Manchester’s Kaulen Cox, who scored every Greyhound point of the stanza. The Devils did hold on to advance to the Classic JV title game, downing the Hounds 46-32.
“We played very well today,” said Coach Meade of his team’s semi-final win. “With the exception of a few minutes in the third quarter, we executed our game plan. We are beginning to get good, consistent play from several of our guys. Today, I thought Colt Shumaker was a big key to our success.”
Shumaker led the winners with 15 points, joined in double figures by Ryan Shupert with 12 points. The Greyhounds were led by Cox’s 9 points, with Lucas adding 6.
MHS 7 8 8 9 —32
NAHS 15 11 7 13 —46
MHS (32): Cox 4 0-0 9, Pennywitt 1 0-0 3, Calvert 1 0-0 2, Unger 1 1-2 4, Dryden 1 0-0 3, Lucas 1 4-6 6, Bilyeu 1 0-1 3, Darnell 1 0-0 2, Hanson 0 0-2 0, Team 11 5-11 32.
NAHS (46): Call 3 0-0 7, Utterback 1 0-0 2, Shupert 4 3-3 12, Daulton 1 0-0 2, Figgins 1 0-0 2, Young 3 0-0 6, Shumaker 6 2-2 15, Team 19 5-5 46.
MHS- Cox 1, Pennywitt 1, Unger 1, Dryden 1, Bilyeu 1
NAHS- Call 1, Shupert 1, Shumaker 1
On Wednesday, Dec. 30, the Green Devils faced off in the Classic championship game with the Peebles Indians, who had defeated West Union 56-39 in the semi-finals. North Adams had defeated Peebles in overtime back in early December and the Indians were looking for revenge plus a championship trophy.
The first quarter of Wednesday’s semi-final was a long distance assault from both sides as the two teams combined to drill six three-pointers. Peebles got a pair of treys from Bostin Robinson and another from Conner Browning, while the Devils got two bombs from Ryan Shupert and one from Elijah Young. When the artillery assault ended and the smoke cleared, the first period ended with the Indians holding a 17-13 advantage.
The offenses slowed down considerably in the second quarter, with the Indians totaling just six points and the Devils garnering nine. When the halftime break rolled around, the Peebles lead had been sliced to a single point at 23-22.
The scoreboard had flipped by the end of the third period as the Devil used a pair of Seth Daulton baskets and four points from Shumaker to grab a 32-31 advantage heading into what promised to be an exciting final seven minutes.
The Devils had other ideas, however, as they clamped down on defense and allowed just a single field goal to the Indians in the final quarter. Meanwhile, North Adams managed just two Shupert field goals but did their damage at the free throw line, where they converted 8 of 10 attempts to pull away and claim the 2015 JV Classic title with a 44-36 triumph.
“This was a great win for our guys,” said Coach Meade. “I’m very proud of the way we played today, the guys gave a tremendous effort. They showed tenacity on the defensive end and poise and patience on the offensive end.”
Shupert topped all scorers, leading the Green Devils (5-4) with 17 points, and joined in double figures by Young with 10. Shumaker added 8 and Daulton 6 for the champions.
Robinson led the Indians with 16, with Browning adding 8.
PHS 17 6 8 5 —36
NAHS 13 9 10 12 —44
PHS (36): Browning 3 1-2 8, Shively 1 0-0 2, Robinson 5 3-3 16, Stone 2 0-2 4, Smalley 0 2-2 2, Gordley 2 0-0 4, Team 13 6-9 36.
NAHS (44): Call 1 1-2 3, Shupert 5 5-5 17, Daulton 3 0-0 6, Young 3 2-2 10, Shumaker 2 4-5 8, Team 14 12-14 44.
PHS- Browning 1, Robinson 3
NAHS- Shupert 2, Young 2