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Pair of seniors lead Palmer over Belchertown boys basketball

BELCHERTOWN — The Belchertown boys basketball team lost track of Tim Siddle in the first half and Kamil Stasiowski in the third quarter Thursday.

The Palmer seniors made the Orioles pay.

Siddle struck for 25 first-half points and Stasiowski nailed six 3-pointers in the third en route to the Panthers’ 77-55 victory over the Orioles.

“Our rotations weren’t there on defense, especially on the weak side of the ball,” Belchertown senior Tyler Verville said. “They got the one-pass skip every time. We definitely have to pick up our defense because that’s where our offense will come.”

Defense and turnovers were an issue for Belchertown (3-4, 0-2 Bi-County North). Palmer (8-2, 3-0) pressed in the first half and ran the floor with Stasiowski in front. The forward scored seven transition points, then added six points around the basket, one 3 in a half-court set and nine free throws.

Only a late 8-0 run before the half pulled the Orioles within 36-31 at the break. Verville hit a 3 and Eric Adzima added five points to close the half.

Belchertown cut the deficit to 44-42 with a quick start to the third. Verville hit a 3, Zach Parsons sank a jump hook and Tony Pellerin had a putback to pull Belchertown within 44-38.

Following a stop, Verville found Adzima deep on a break. With the ball about to bounce out of bounds, Adzima saved it with a behind-the-back pass to Pellerin for a layup. Parsons then scored inside and the Orioles were within 44-42 with 4 minutes, 45 seconds left.

“I think we are improving in some areas,” first-year Belchertown coach Bill Beauregard said. “In some areas we really need to work and defensively is one of them.”

Palmer pulled away late in the third behind seven 3s, including the six from Stasiowski. One Stasiowski 3 and one by Brett Doucette came immediately out of timeouts as Palmer led 60-46 entering the fourth.

“They executed,” Verville said. “We have to do a better job recognizing what they are trying to do on offense rather than just try to get the ball and do our own thing.”

Verville finished with 17 points, while Adzima added 16. Parsons, who entered the game averaging 21 points per game, was held to eight.

Stasiowski finished with 23, while Siddle had 25.

“They made (Zach) work for everything he got,” Beauregard said. “They certainly were physical with him and they made him catch the ball in spots he wasn’t comfortable in. I think part of it was he was in early foul trouble. He could never really get in a rhythm in the game. He didn’t go to the line either.

“We let two guys beat us,” Beauregard said.

Mike Moran can be reached at mmoran@gazettenet.com.

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