An all-county battle in the Southern Hills Athletic Conference came to Manchester High School on Tuesday, Feb. 2 as the Greyhounds played host to the North Adams Green Devils. The two teams were seemingly off in different directions as the Hounds were just looking to pick up another win to find some kind of tournament momentum, while the Devils needed the “W” to keep their SHAC championship hopes alive, trailing Fayetteville by one game in the small school division standings.
Though it was not the prettiest of efforts at time, the Green Devils got what they came to town needing, as three players in double figures, led by Trey Meade’s 17 points, helped the visitors knock off the Hounds by a final count of 52-39.
“It’s always good to get a win, especially after losing two close ones where we didn’t finish things out too well,” said North Adams head coach Nathan Copas. “We had a little bit of a slow start tonight, but getting back in the ‘W’ column always helps heading into the tournament.”
“We had to play some man to man on defense tonight, but eventually switched back to our zone and contained their shooters, which worked out for us.”
Some personnel changes have forced the Greyhounds to revise their offensive strategy and it worked to perfection on Tuesday night, at least for their first two possessions, when they got three-point goals from Sean Frost and Jamie Combs to race to a 6-0 lead. The Hounds increased that lead to 9-2, forcing Coach Copas to burn a timeout at the 3:25 mark of the first period. After the timeout, the Devils got two Trey Meade free throws and a Patrick England trey, but a bucket by Manchester’s Rickey DeAtley left the home team with a 13-7 advantage after eight minutes of play.
The Hounds increased their lead with a Colton Thornburg basket on their first possession of the second quarter, but the Devils responded with five straight to draw within 15-12. After a jumper in the lane from Justin Aldridge gave the Hounds a five-point lead, the visiting Devils decided to take control. Beginning with a basket inside from Meade, the Devils finished the first half on a 12-0 run, fueled by back-to back three point plays from Brandon Gingerich and Ryan Shupert. When halftime arrived, the total complexion of the game had changed as North Adams had turned the deficit into a 24-17 lead.
Early in the third quarter, the Hounds showed some more life when a Thornburg three-pointer brought them back to within 26-22, but that just proceeded another North Adams spurt as the Devils reeled off seven straight, including three-pointers from Meade and Shupert. Now down 33-22, Manchester head coach Kyle Pertuset called a timeout to stop the bleeding, but by the third quarter’s end, the Devils still held a double digit lead at 33-22.
To maintain their advantage, the Devils used the free tosses at the charity stripe in the fourth quarter, hitting 11 of 14 attempts, including 5 of 6 from Anderson and 5 of 7 from Gingerich. Throw in an old-fashioned three-point play from Trey Meade and the Green Devils had claimed the conference win, downing the Hounds 52-39.
Three Green Devils hit double figures in the win, led by Trey Meade’s 17 points. Isaiah Anderson added 13 and Brandon Gingerich 11 for the winners. North Adams (11-7, 8-3 SHAC) was 19 for 24 in the game from the foul line.
“Trey is starting to see a lot more double teams so it’s big for him to make those reads and find other guys who need to be in motion,” said Coach Copas. “We have to make them pay for the double team. Somebody is going to be open and one or two passes can give us a layup or a wide open look.”
In the loss, Manchester (5-13, 3-7 SHAC) was paced by 12 points from Colton Thornburg, 9 from Sean Frost, and 5 from Kaulen Cox.
Both teams will be back on the hardwood and on the road Friday night, Feb. 5, as the regular season draws closer to its conclusion, the Devils traveling to Whiteoak and the Greyhounds going to Eastern Brown. Both of those events are triple headers for fans, with freshman, JV, and varsity contests scheduled.
NAHS 7 17 11 17 —52
MHS 13 4 7 15 —39
NAHS (52): Anderson 4 5-6 13, England 1 0-0 3, Shupert 2 1-1 6, Knechtly 1 0-0 2, Gingerich 2 7-10 11, T. Meade 5 6-7 17, Team 15 19-24 52.
MHS (39): Combs 1 0-0 3, Aldridge 1 2-4 4, Frost 3 2-3 9, DeAtley 1 0-0 2, Thornburg 5 1-2 12, Young 2 0-0 4, Cox 2 0-1 5, Team 15 5-10 39.
NAHS- England 1, Shupert 1, T, Meade 1
MHS- Frost 1, Combs 1, Thornburg 1, Cox 1