Palmer runs past Easthampton boys basketball as Zach Crisafulli enters postseason 2 points shy of 1,000

Published: 2/22/2017 11:26:12 PM

PALMER — One thing became clear after the Easthampton boys basketball team lost to Palmer, 66-48, Wednesday night.

The Panthers are going to be very tough to beat in the Division 3 Western Massachusetts Tournament.

Palmer (19-1, 14-0 Bi County) has the speed, strength and athleticism of Ryan McCarthy (20 points) coupled with bigger players who can play down low and stretch the floor.

“He’s a handful to stay in front of,” Easthampton coach Brian Miller said of McCarthy.

The Eagles (12-8, 10-4) made some runs at the Panthers, but second-chance points kept them from getting close.

“Their length is a problem on the boards,” Miller said. “They destroyed us. We weren’t crashing very well.”

Easthampton’s Zach Crisafulli went into the game trying to become the first Easthampton boy to score 1,000 points since 2010.

“We don’t talk about that much,” Miller said of career point totals. “But he was taking some shots he normally wouldn’t take which is human nature. But he has to take shots for us to win.”

Crisafulli finished with 19 points, two shy of 1,000. His milestone will have to come during the tournament, as Easthampton’s regular season is over.

Any Moynihan scored 10 points for Easthampton, and Sopie Pek scored 12 points.

“He’s (Pek) getting his quickness,” Miller said. “He didn’t have any lateral quickness when he first came back” from injury.

Heading into the tournament, the Panthers have won 19 straight games after losing their opener at Hopkins Academy.

Matt Niemczura scored 13 points for Palmer, and Matt Remillard added 12 with two 3-pointers.


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