Updated: Feb 11, 2021
By Kevin McCaskill Jr.
On the anniversary of Kobe Bryant’s tragic transition, “Mamba Mentality” was the theme of the day.
The day started with the unfortunate news that Longmeadow @ East Longmeadow was postponed to a later date. I was originally scheduled to go there tonight.
Then, there was snow in the forecast that could potentially postpone or cancel Chicopee Comp. @ Minnechaug. Also, I had not been to Minnechaug since the early 2000s.
Despite the cancellation and the light snow, FP SPORTS made it to Wilbraham and saw a very competitive game that featured Minnechaug’s Matt DeVine and Chicopee Comp.’s Dennis Popovichenko.
This game followed the early trend of getting of to a rough start. Once again, I imagine both teams and coaches haven’t seen live action in almost a year. Also, wearing a mask to play basketball must be very cumbersome.
In the first quarter, Popovichenko scored on back-to-back drives to the basket. He got fouled on the the second drive but missed the “and-1” FT.
Matt DeVine made a great step-back move and hit the jump-shot but he was called for a travel. DeVine definitely didn’t travel.
The second, third and fourth quarter were battles. The lead went back and forth, with both teams making runs. Matt DeVine led Minnechaug with 20 points, hitting four 3s. DeVine did all he could but it wasn’t enough to win this game.
In the final seconds, Popovichenko got the ball and attacked the basket. He was fouled and went to the line for 2 with game tied at 45.
With the new “COVID-19” protocols, if a player is shooting 2 FT, no players can be on the lane while the 1st FT is being shot. Popovichenko hit both FTs and sealed the win for Chicopee Comp. He finished the game with 20 points.
Other scorers for Chicopee Comp:
Mason Carriveu - 10 points
John Vandal - 7 points
Colin Scammon - 4 points
Ben Warren; Hunter Davis; Peyton Batchelor - 2 points each
Other scorers for Minnechaug:
Chris Moreno - 7 points
Colin Leyden - 6 points
Mike Pelletier - 5 points
Emanuel Ramirez - 3 points
Caleb White & Jake Thomas - 2 points each
After the game, I spoke briefly with Chicopee Comp., HC Gavin Miller. I know HC Miller personally. I am very happy that he is the HC of Chicopee Comp. I know he is teaching young men how to play the right way.
He told me the key to tonight’s victory was “solid defense”. He knew that playing Minnechaug would be a “dogfight” so the Colts had to be tough; they were.
I also asked HC Miller how it felt to be on the sideline again: “I love it, I love it.” He was happy to be out there with his team competing despite the current state of the World.
No matter what’s happening - keep shooting,