Wahconah Picks Up Big Win in Springfield 74-64
By Kevin McCaskill Jr.
12/14/21 * 4:25 PM
(SPRINGFIELD) - Yesterday, the Wahconah Regional HS Boys 🏀 team travelled southeast to take on the Baystate Academy Bulls. The game was played in Scibelli Gym, at the South End Community Center.
Both teams won their opening games at the PV TipOff in Amherst last weekend.
This game got away from Baystate in the first half of the first quarter. Wahconah opened the game with a 10-0 run. Baystate “came out the blocks” jittery. They weren’t passing or handling the ball effectively. They had a few turnovers that led directly to Wahconah fast-break layups.
The Bulls finally got on the scoreboard after a deep 3 by Senior Dion Byrd Jr. He was hot in the first half from 3; he made a total of six 3s on Monday. He scored 22 points.
RJ Mayfield scored a layup to cut Wahconah’s led to five, 10-5.
The Bulls settled down towards the end of the first quarter. They started to run their offense and get quality shots. Wahconah still led at the end of the first 23-17.
In the 2nd quarter, and throughout the game, Wahconah played harder than Baystate. Wahconah wanted the win from the first inbounds. Baystate never had control of the game; they played “catch up” for most of the contest.
Baystate forced Wahconah into some turnovers which led to some easy transition baskets. Baystate was only down one point at halftime, 34-33.
The third quarter was close for most the 8 minutes. Baystate was hitting more shots and getting stops on defense. They took the lead after a layup Tareeq Evans. He got fouled on the shot and made the FT; the Bulls led for the first time 42-41. Wahconah went on a 10-5 run to end the third however. Wahconah led 51-47 at the end of the third.
The Bulls didn’t have enough in the 4th quarter to make a comeback, especially after Travis Jordan fouled out. He finished with the 20 points.
Wahconah earned a good road victory 74-64. Pat McLaughlin scored 24 points; Brody Calvert scored 20 points.
After the game I spoke with Wahconah HC Dustin Belcher and Baystate HC Dion Byrd.
🔵WRHS HC Belcher⚪️
Congrats to Wahconah for getting to the State Championship game in 🏈. Do you have any football players on your team?
“Yes, we have a few. We have only been together about a week…the football guys know how to win, which has been critical for us”.
How did you feel coming into this game?
“It’s a great challenge. We knew when the schedule came out this would be one of the big games…On the road, good team, in our new league alignment…This is the one we were looking at as a test early in the season.”
🔴BA HC Byrd⚪️
How did you feel coming into the game?
“I thought Wahconah would be a good test early. We weren’t surprised by anything they did. I give them credit [though].”
It seemed to me your team came out ‘jittery’ in the first half of the first quarter. Did you see that and what do you attribute that to?
“I don’t know…sometimes we are a little sluggish to start games anyway. I thought that because [Wahconah] wanted to play a fast paced game, it was in our favor. We didn’t take care of the ball…As the game [went on], we definitely got better”.
Baystate plays in Easthampton on Thursday.
*Wahconah JV won 62-57