By Mark Carpenter –
It has been nothing less than an outstanding 2017-18 campaign for Coach Rob Meade and the North Adams JV Green Devils basketball squad. With two wins in the past week, the JV Devils now sport an extremely impressive 18-1 record, just one point in an overtime loss away from being undefeated.
That one loss came back in December to Ripley on the North Adams home floor, and on Feb. 10, the Devils had the opportunity to avenge that defeat when they traveled to the Blue Jays’ home hardwood. There was no overtime in this affair, but it was a tight game nonetheless, but this time the Green Devils were victorious, winning 43-40 on the road.
In the first period, the Devils had to overcome four baskets by Ripley’s Nigel Royal and did that by getting points from five different players to lead 11-10 after one. The second quarter was an offensive struggle for both sides as they each scored six, North Adams getting baskets from Jayden Hesler and Kent Mefford to take a slim 17-16 advantage into the halftime break.
North Adams broke loose in the third stanza, getting eight points from Hesler and two buckets from Cade Meade to outscore the Jays 14-5 and take a 31-21 lead after three quarters.
Staring at that double digit deficit, Ripley head coach Jamey Ellis went with the foul strategy to preserve possessions and force the Devils to perform at the charity stripe. While the Jays clawed their way back in the game, again with Royal providing the offensive spark, the Devils collected 23 free throw attempts in the final six minutes (40 for the game), converting on 12 of those, their only points as they were held without a field goal over that span. Even without a single basket in the final period, the Devils somehow managed to hang on and exact their revenge on the Ripley squad, eking out the three-point victory.
“This was a quality win for our team, “said Coach Meade. “Ripley has a quality team and I though we played well for the most part and handled ourselves well in pressure situations towards the end of the game. We still struggled to capitalize on free throws to put the game away at the end, but we had different guys step up at various points of the game and I was pleased with that effort.”
The winning Devils were led by15 points from Hesler and 11 from Cade Meade, with Seth Meade adding 6 and Cameron Young 5. Ripley was paced by Royal’s 20 points and 9 from T.K. Whaley.
11 6 14 12 –43
10 6 5 19 –40
N. Adams (43): Hesler 3 9-13 15, C. Young 1 3-4 5, Gardner 0 0-2 0, I. Young 1 1-3 3, Mefford 1 1-3 3, C. Meade 2 7-13 11, S. Meade 2 1-2 6, Team 10 22-40 43.
Ripley (40): Royal 7 6-8 20, Cody Germann 1 0-0 2, Corey Germann 2 0-0 4, Fisher 1 2-2 5, Whaley 3 3-4 9, Team 14 11-14 40.
N. Adams (1): S. Meade 1
Ripley (1): Fisher 1
Three Days later, the JV Devils were in action again and again they were on the road, traveling to face the Northwest Mohawks. With seven different players denting the scoring column, the Devils made it 18 wins in 19 outings, downing the host Mohawks 41-29.
A JV team with some size, the Mohawks took a 17-14 lead after the first quarter, but their offense would only be able to muster 12 points in the remainder of the entire game. The North Adams squad took the lead for good when they outscored the Hawks 11-2 in the second quarter, getting a Cameron Young three-point goal plus two baskets from Cade Meade to go up 25-19 at the half.
Meade tallied all eight of the North Adams points in the third quarter as the visitors held on to a 33-26 advantage, and outscoring the Mohawks 8-3 in the final period, the Devils improved to 18-1 with the 12-point victory.
“We struggled to get going early in the game,” said Coach Meade. “I think their size hurt us some, but we had a strong third quarter that helped us pull away.”
Cade Meade topped the victorious Devils with 12 points, with Cameron Young adding 8, and 6 apiece coming from Kent Mefford and Jayden Hesler.
The final regular season contest for the JV Devils was slated for Friday, Feb. 16 on the road at Eastern Brown, a team they defeated back in early December.
14 11 8 8 –41
17 2 7 3 –29
N. Adams (41): Hesler 2 2-6 6, C. Young 2 3-4 8, Campbell 1 0-0 2, I. Young 2 0-0 5, Mefford 3 0-0 6, C. Meade 6 0-0 12, S. Meade 1 0-0 2, Team 17 5-10 41.
Northwest (29): Bond 1 0-0 2, Emmons 3 0-0 6, McClay 1 0-0 2, Brycen Carver 0 1-2 1, Borens 2 0-0 5, Rivers 2 1-2 6, Blake Carver 0 0-2 0, Crabtree 3 1-2 7, Team 12 3-8 29.
N. Adams (2): C. Young 1, I. Young 1
Northwest (2): Borens 1, Rivers 1