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Spartans Hold Off Colts Late Comeback to Win 60-56

By Kevin McCaskill Jr.

I was back in East Longmeadow on Friday night to watch the Colts from Chicopee Comp take on the Spartans from East Longmeadow HS. The teams are evenly matched. The Spartans are led by Ray J. Carter and Cam Shaw. Comp is led by Senior Dennis Popovichenko.

East Longmeadow got “out the blocks” slow. The game started with a 7-0 run by Chicopee Comp. Anthony Guimares scored the first basket for East Longmeadow. The teams traded baskets and mid-way through the 1st Chicopee Comp was up 9-4.

Carter scored 5 points in the first quarter to cut the deficit to 4; Chicopee Comp was up 13-9 at the end of the 1st quarter.

(Jack Sweeney goes up for a layup)

The second quarter opened with a flurry of points for East Longmeadow. They went on a 7-2 run to take the lead 16-15. Guimares hit a jumper in the lane from about 8 feet giving East Longmeadow a 3 point lead, 18-15. The lead widened for the Spartans in the 2nd due in large part to four made 3-pointers. Guimares and Carter hit 1 each and their teammate Pat Crenshaw hit two 3s. One of the 3s by Crenshaw came off a nice assist, after a fancy dribbling display along the baseline by Cam Shaw.

(Ray J. Carter and Brady Mackechnie on defense)

Shaw is a good player. He isn’t selfish but will shoot when he has the opportunity. He has good dribbling skills also.

(Cam Shaw dribbles up the court)

The Spartans scored 14 straight points in the second quarter 😳 💪🏽. The Chicopee Comp drought was stopped by a layup by their leader, Popovichenko. The Spartans were up at halftime 32-21.

The Colts chipped away at the lead throughout the 3rd and 4th quarters. They started to get more turnovers and steals. Those led to more possessions and fast-break opportunities for the Colts.

The Colts were able to cut the lead to 3, 56-53, with 39 seconds left. Carter was bringing the ball up the court against the Comp press. He turned the ball over, if the play had counted. His HC, Brendan Abad, called a timeout before the steal, saving the possession for the Spartans. Jack Sweeney got fouled on the possession after the timeout and made clutch FTs for the Spartans to seal the victory.

Chicopee Comp’s resolve and desire to fight-back is a trait they have gotten from their coaching staff, led by HC Gavin Miller. The assistants for Comp were vocal all night, loudly instructing poignant points. The loss for Comp tonight can be blamed on three things: not getting defensive rebounds effectively; being slow in transition defense; and not closing out on shooters.

(Ben Warren grabs rebound)

Scorers for East Longmeadow:

Ray Carter - 19 points

Cam Shaw - 15 points

Anthony Guimares- 11 points

Jack Sweeney - 5 points

Pat Crenshaw & Brady Mackechnie - 2 points each

Scorers for Chicopee Comp:

Dennis Popovichenko - 20 points

Mason Carriveu - 13 points

John Vandal - 8 points

Luke Theroux - 6 points

Ben Warren - 5 points

Hunter Davis & Kenneth Waring - 2 points each

Have a good weekend.


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