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Smith Academy downs Lenox in Hoophall Classic, qualifies for postseason

  • Derek McMahon of Smith Academy, right, passes away from Lenox defenders Anthony Martino, left, and Ben Herrick Thursday during the Spalding Hoophall Classic at Springfield College.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Derek McMahon of Smith Academy, right, passes away from Lenox defenders Anthony Martino, left, and Ben Herrick Thursday during the Spalding Hoophall Classic at Springfield College.
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  • Keith Natale of Smith Academy, right, shoost against Anthony Martino of Lenox Thursday during the Spalding Hoophall Classic at Springfield College.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Keith Natale of Smith Academy, right, shoost against Anthony Martino of Lenox Thursday during the Spalding Hoophall Classic at Springfield College.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Avon White of South Hadley, right, eyes the basket after getting past Sabis defenders Alon Chappell, left, and Colby Ranson Thursday during the Spalding Hoophall Classic at Springfield College.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Avon White of South Hadley, right, eyes the basket after getting past Sabis defenders Alon Chappell, left, and Colby Ranson Thursday during the Spalding Hoophall Classic at Springfield College.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Anthony Bullough of South HAdley, center goes to a loose ball between Sabis defenders Xavier Stamp, left, and Jonathan Beadle Thursday during the Spalding Hoophall Classic at Springfield College.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Anthony Bullough of South HAdley, center goes to a loose ball between Sabis defenders Xavier Stamp, left, and Jonathan Beadle Thursday during the Spalding Hoophall Classic at Springfield College.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Anthony Bullough of South Hadley, left, blocks a shot from Nelson Zayas Thursday during the Spalding Hoophall Classic at Springfield College.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Anthony Bullough of South Hadley, left, blocks a shot from Nelson Zayas Thursday during the Spalding Hoophall Classic at Springfield College.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • A rebound escapes a group of South Hadley and Sabis players Thursday during the Spalding Hoophall Classic at Springfield College. Clockwise, from front, are Alon Chappell of Sabis and South Hadley players Cam Earle, Anthony Bullough and Pat Sears. Xavier Garcia, background, looks on.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    A rebound escapes a group of South Hadley and Sabis players Thursday during the Spalding Hoophall Classic at Springfield College. Clockwise, from front, are Alon Chappell of Sabis and South Hadley players Cam Earle, Anthony Bullough and Pat Sears. Xavier Garcia, background, looks on.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Avon White of South Hadley, left, drives to the basket against Jonathan Beadle of Sabis Thursday during the Spalding Hoophall Classic at Springfield College.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Avon White of South Hadley, left, drives to the basket against Jonathan Beadle of Sabis Thursday during the Spalding Hoophall Classic at Springfield College.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Mat Sulda of Smith Academy, left, shoots against Jared Tuttle of Lenox Thursday during the Spalding Hoophall Classic at Springfield College.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Mat Sulda of Smith Academy, left, shoots against Jared Tuttle of Lenox Thursday during the Spalding Hoophall Classic at Springfield College.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • David Longstreeth of Smith Academy, left, passes while defended by Andrew Vickery of Lenox Thursday during the Spalding Hoophall Classic at Springfield College.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    David Longstreeth of Smith Academy, left, passes while defended by Andrew Vickery of Lenox Thursday during the Spalding Hoophall Classic at Springfield College.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Derek McMahon of Smith Academy, right, passes away from Lenox defenders Anthony Martino, left, and Ben Herrick Thursday during the Spalding Hoophall Classic at Springfield College.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Keith Natale of Smith Academy, right, shoost against Anthony Martino of Lenox Thursday during the Spalding Hoophall Classic at Springfield College.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Avon White of South Hadley, right, eyes the basket after getting past Sabis defenders Alon Chappell, left, and Colby Ranson Thursday during the Spalding Hoophall Classic at Springfield College.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Anthony Bullough of South HAdley, center goes to a loose ball between Sabis defenders Xavier Stamp, left, and Jonathan Beadle Thursday during the Spalding Hoophall Classic at Springfield College.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Anthony Bullough of South Hadley, left, blocks a shot from Nelson Zayas Thursday during the Spalding Hoophall Classic at Springfield College.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • A rebound escapes a group of South Hadley and Sabis players Thursday during the Spalding Hoophall Classic at Springfield College. Clockwise, from front, are Alon Chappell of Sabis and South Hadley players Cam Earle, Anthony Bullough and Pat Sears. Xavier Garcia, background, looks on.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Avon White of South Hadley, left, drives to the basket against Jonathan Beadle of Sabis Thursday during the Spalding Hoophall Classic at Springfield College.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Mat Sulda of Smith Academy, left, shoots against Jared Tuttle of Lenox Thursday during the Spalding Hoophall Classic at Springfield College.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • David Longstreeth of Smith Academy, left, passes while defended by Andrew Vickery of Lenox Thursday during the Spalding Hoophall Classic at Springfield College.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

SPRINGFIELD — With a minute and a half left in the first half of the Spalding Hoophall Classic’s second game, Lenox was within a point of Smith Academy and had something going.

The bad news for coach Scott Sibley’s Millionaires was that the Falcons scored the final five points of the first half, and then outscored the Millionaires 18-4 to open the third quarter. That proved to be too much for Lenox to overcome as Smith Academy scored a 68-50 win on Thursday night at Springfield College’s Blake Arena.

“We talked about playing our style of basketball (at halftime). We want to dictate the tempo and the pace — and not let them dictate the tempo,” Smith coach Matt Zerneri said, “and play the way we like to play. Rebound, get out and go and get some easy baskets. Start it on the defensive end where you get stops and limit them to one shot.”

Keith Natale had a double-double with a game-high 26 points and 11 rebounds. Seaver Rickert didn’t score and took only one shot for the Falcons, but he had 10 rebounds. Derek McMahon had 18 points for Smith and David Longstreeth added 12.

Robert Tharion was named the player of the game for Lenox, scoring 11 points. He had five rebounds and three steals.

These were two of the four teams that played in last year’s Western Massachusetts Division 3 Tournament semifinals at the Curry Hicks Cage in Amherst. The win improved Smith to 10-1 and qualified them for the tournament.

The Millionaires (3-6) trailed for all but the first minute, stayed within contact throughout the first 16 minutes and trailed 25-19 at halftime.

“I thought (Lenox) did a good job of dictating how they wanted to play against us,” said Zerneri. “I thought our guys were a little content to play that style.”

Lenox and Smith traded hoops to start the third quarter, but the Millionaires went ice cold. It was 27-21 with 7:38 left in the quarter after Tharion’s fast-break hoop. From there, Smith went on a 13-2 run. Natale scored four points of the run. Sibley was forced to call timeout when Jared Tuttle missed a jumper, Smith’s Longstreeth pulled down the rebound and McMahon converted the fast break with a drive to the basket. That hoop made it 40-23 with 4:01 left.

A Lenox miss and a turnover led to a 3-pointer by Longstreeth, and the Millionaires couldn’t catch up. Lenox was outscored 25-13.

“The third quarter killed us,” said Sibley. “We seem to have one bad quarter in every game that we’ve been playing in, where we’ve been getting outscored by double digits in either the second or the third quarter. For whatever reason it is, we’re still trying to figure that out.”

Lenox led only once in the game, when Andrew Vickery got inside and scored on the Millionaires’ first shot of the game. Natale answered with a fast-break hoop and then scored when he rebounded a missed 3-point shot by Mat Sulda. Eight unanswered points by the Falcons put them up 8-2, and they never trailed.

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