Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
M/clear
48°
M/clear
Hi 64° | Lo 43°

Amherst Regional boys hoop rallies over South Hadley

  • Noris Cuevas-Nova of Amherst Regional, left, drives to the basket against Anthony Bullough of South Hadley Monday in South Hadley.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Noris Cuevas-Nova of Amherst Regional, left, drives to the basket against Anthony Bullough of South Hadley Monday in South Hadley.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Reed Bixby of Amherst, top, shoots against Anthony Bullough of South Hadley Monday in South Hadley.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Reed Bixby of Amherst, top, shoots against Anthony Bullough of South Hadley Monday in South Hadley.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Justin Carey of Amherst, right, goes after a loose ball against Avon White of South Hadley Monday in South Hadley.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Justin Carey of Amherst, right, goes after a loose ball against Avon White of South Hadley Monday in South Hadley.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Evan Marcus of South Hadley, center, moves the ball between Amherst defenders Tyler Peake, left, and Fahmi Farah Monday in South Hadley.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Evan Marcus of South Hadley, center, moves the ball between Amherst defenders Tyler Peake, left, and Fahmi Farah Monday in South Hadley.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • T.J. Fitzell of South Hadley, right, goes to the basket against Reed Bixby of Amherst Monday in South Hadley. JERREY ROBERTS

    T.J. Fitzell of South Hadley, right, goes to the basket against Reed Bixby of Amherst Monday in South Hadley. JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Ben Reed of South Hadley, left, and Justin Carey of Amherst collide as Reed moves the ball Monday in South Hadley.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Ben Reed of South Hadley, left, and Justin Carey of Amherst collide as Reed moves the ball Monday in South Hadley.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Avon White of South Hadley, right, drives past Noris Cuevas-Nova of Amherst Regional to score Monday in South Hadley.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Avon White of South Hadley, right, drives past Noris Cuevas-Nova of Amherst Regional to score Monday in South Hadley.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Ben Reed of South Hadley, left, and Justin Carey of Amherst collide as Reed moves the ball Monday in South Hadley.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Ben Reed of South Hadley, left, and Justin Carey of Amherst collide as Reed moves the ball Monday in South Hadley.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Avon White of South Hadley, right, drives past Noris Cuevas-Nova of Amherst Regional to score Monday in South Hadley.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Avon White of South Hadley, right, drives past Noris Cuevas-Nova of Amherst Regional to score Monday in South Hadley.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Anthony Bullough of South Hadley, left, and Reed Bixby of Amherst reach for a rebound beside Ben Reed Monday in South Hadley.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Anthony Bullough of South Hadley, left, and Reed Bixby of Amherst reach for a rebound beside Ben Reed Monday in South Hadley.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Noris Cuevas-Nova of Amherst Regional, left, drives to the basket against Anthony Bullough of South Hadley Monday in South Hadley.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Reed Bixby of Amherst, top, shoots against Anthony Bullough of South Hadley Monday in South Hadley.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Justin Carey of Amherst, right, goes after a loose ball against Avon White of South Hadley Monday in South Hadley.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Evan Marcus of South Hadley, center, moves the ball between Amherst defenders Tyler Peake, left, and Fahmi Farah Monday in South Hadley.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • T.J. Fitzell of South Hadley, right, goes to the basket against Reed Bixby of Amherst Monday in South Hadley. JERREY ROBERTS
  • Ben Reed of South Hadley, left, and Justin Carey of Amherst collide as Reed moves the ball Monday in South Hadley.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Avon White of South Hadley, right, drives past Noris Cuevas-Nova of Amherst Regional to score Monday in South Hadley.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Ben Reed of South Hadley, left, and Justin Carey of Amherst collide as Reed moves the ball Monday in South Hadley.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Avon White of South Hadley, right, drives past Noris Cuevas-Nova of Amherst Regional to score Monday in South Hadley.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Anthony Bullough of South Hadley, left, and Reed Bixby of Amherst reach for a rebound beside Ben Reed Monday in South Hadley.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

The second and third quarters told the Hurricanes the same thing.

Trailing by five in the fourth, Amherst made a late push and held off the feisty Tigers 48-45.

“Right after that first quarter we knew we had a game on our hands,” Hurricanes senior Justin Carey said. “We had to wake up and play because they weren’t going to lay down and our coach kept telling us that.”

Amherst made clutch shots from the field and at the line late in the fourth to win. South Hadley had a chance to tie the game, but a play designed for a 3-pointer broke down and the Tigers never got a shot off.

“We figured it was going to be a battle down there,” Hurricanes coach Jim Matuszko said. “We were resilient and came out on top. That’s a tough team. It’s tough to play here, period.”

Trailing 40-35 with five minutes left, Tyler Peake sank a 3-pointer with the shot clock going down, his only basket of the game, to pull Amherst (6-3) within two. A putback by Carey with three minutes left tied the game at 40. On the next possession, South Hadley regained the lead when T.J. Fitzell sank two free throws.

With two minutes left, James Sowers made 1-of-2 free throws and on the next Hurricanes’ possession, Carey drilled his fourth 3 to give Amherst a 44-42 lead.

“It’s all momentum,” Tigers coach Jeff Guiel said. “It was 40-35 then it was 40-40. They stole it back on the road. I thought that was a pivotal moment.”

Avon White made one free throw to pull South Hadley within 44-43. The Tigers (6-4) then fouled Noris Cuevas-Nova and the senior made both for a three-point lead. White countered with a drive, and then Sowers made two from the line and the Hurricanes led 48-45 with nine seconds left.

South Hadley called timeout, but the ensuing play broke down. White brought the ball up court and looked for Fitzell or Evan Marcus on the wings. Both were covered and White drove for a layup. The buzzer sounded just before White released his shot.

“The play at the end of the game was to (set) screens for our best two shooters to get a 3 to tie it up,” Guiel said. “We obviously didn’t execute.”

White finished with 15 points, 10 of which came in transition. Marcus added 10, including two 3-pointers, while Fitzell had nine.

“We have no chance to win that game without Avon White tonight,” Guiel said. “He played unbelievably well. He needs to know we had no business staying in the game without him.”

Carey led Amherst with 14 points. With the Hurricanes’ offense struggling in the second quarter, Carey hit back-to-back 3s to give them a 26-25 lead.

Cuevas-Nova added 13 points.

There were four ties and 15 lead changes.

“They’re a very scrappy team,” Matuszko said. “Good ball handlers. They take care of the basketball and can shoot really well.”

Legacy Comments0
There are no comments yet. Be the first!
Post a Comment

You must be registered to comment on stories. Click here to register.