Division 2 boys basketball: Longmeadow goes deep to eliminate Belchertown in quarterfinals

For the Gazette
Monday, March 05, 2018

LONGMEADOW — The Belchertown boys basketball team couldn’t overcome hot-shooting Longmeadow and fell, 94-52, in the Western Massachusetts Division 2 Tournament quarterfinals, Monday.

“Our game plan was to push when we could push and defend, and they hit 12 3-pointers. Nothing you can do about good shooting,” Belchertown Matt Stenuis said. “They were lights out tonight from beyond the arc.”

It was the first tournament appearance since 2013 for the seventh-seeded Orioles, who finished 12-9. Mitch Medina, who averaged 25.1 points per game during the regular season, did not play Monday. The 1,000-point scorer was a major reason why Belchertown bounced back this season following back-to-back 0-40 campaigns.

“We haven’t played in two weeks and we did OK. We didn’t rebound as good as we have all year but we had a little bit of a different lineup tonight and I’m extremely proud of the effort,” Stenuis said. “The execution was there at times and a couple of guys got minutes in the game that they might not and they lived up to the expectation.”

No. 2 Longmeadow (15-6) will play No. 6 Taconic (14-7), Wednesday at 5:45 p.m. in the semifinals.

Harry Levin made three 3-pointers early as Longmeadow took a 13-2 lead in the first 3 minutes, 30 seconds of the games.

“The came out in zone like we thought they would without Mitch and we needed (Levin) to loosen up the zone by hitting some 3s and he did that in the first half especially,” Longmeadow coach Patrick Murphy said.

With the game slipping away, Belchertown scored seven straight with 2:20 left in the first half to close within 19. The Lancers pushed it back to 25 before a jumper by Nolan Vogel closed out the first half with Longmeadow ahead, 52-29.

The Lancers continued to pull away and led 74-37 entering the fourth quarter.

“I talked to them at halftime about picking up our defensive intensity. We had scored a lot of points in the first half but we had given up 29, which is more than we have been doing this year,” Murphy said. “I talked to them a lot about rotations and making sure they don’t get spilt, closing out hard and I thought we did a really good job of that in the third quarter.”

Mike Laughner and Owen Raines each had 10 points for the Orioles, while Vogel finished with nine.

It was the last game for Belchertown seniors Laughner, Vogel, Medina and Cyrus Raines.

“We went from 8-72 to 12-8,” Stenuis said. “The programs on the rise, there is a ton of talent coming up from the eighth grade to the ninth grade.”

Longmeadow 94, Belchertown 52

Belchertown (12-9)

Vogel 3-1-9, J. Lanoue 1-0-2, Laughner 4-2-10, N. Wright 4-0-8, C. Lanoue 3-0-7, O. Raines 3-2-10, C. Raines 1-0-3, Bechthold 1-0-3. Totals 20-5-52

Longmeadow (15-6)

Hurwitz 5-1-11, H. Levin 6-4-22, Mishol 3-2-8, Dudeck 1-0-3, Echeverria 4-0-8, B. Levin 1-0-3, Garibian 1-0-3, Pritchard 3-0-9, McLaughlin 6-3-15, Kelly 2-0-4, Griffiths 1-0-2, Barrett 1-0-2, Carterud 1-0-2, Walbridge 0-2-2. Totals 35-11-94











3-Pointers—Longmeadow 12 (H. Levin 6, Dudeck, B. Levin, Garibian, Pritchard 3) Belchertown 7 (Vogel 2, C. Lanoue, O. Raines 2, C. Raines, Bechthold)