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Minus four players, Amherst boys basketball holds off Chicopee

The Amherst Regional boys basketball team held off a late Chicopee rally for a 49-44 win Thursday in Amherst.

The victory came on the day assistant varsity coach Eric Wheeler was relieved of his duties following an Amherst investigation into an incident that occurred during Monday’s game against South Hadley. It was determined that Wheeler told junior Tyrell Jackson to make contact with South Hadley coach Jeff Guiel.

On Thursday, the Hurricanes were without four players – Isaac Siegel (injured), Tom Cook, Sam Hird and Jackson. After jumping out to a 37-19 lead in the third quarter, the ’Canes withstood five second-half Chicopee 3-pointers for the win.

“We knew it was going to be tough because we have like (three) players suspended,” Amherst senior Justin Carey said. “We were winded but we knew it was going to happen so we fought through it.”

Malik Ford had 17 points and 15 rebounds to power Amherst. Carey added six points and 11 rebounds, while Noris Cuevas-Nova had nine points and 13 rebounds.

Fahmi Farah had 11 points in the win.

“I had a little bit of a slump (recently) and lost focus,” Ford said. “The team really needed me and really needed all of our players today so I just knew I had to come out and play well.”

Chicopee cut an 18-point deficit to six with 3 minutes, 25 seconds left. The lead was three with 11 seconds left but Carey hit two free throws to seal the win.

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