Division 3 boys basketball: Easthampton blows out Sabis, 85-52, to reach championship

For the Gazette
Wednesday, March 07, 2018

AMHERST — The Easthampton boys basketball team advanced to the Western Massachusetts Division 3 Tournament final with a dominant win over Sabis, 85-52, at Curry Hicks Cage Tuesday night.

In the previous meeting between these two teams, Sabis prevailed with a 76-65 win. Coming into the semifinals, the focus was on rebounding, according to Eagles head coach Brian Miller.

“We were really able to rebound tonight. A little better than the first time we played (Sabis),” Miller said.

Second-seeded Easthampton (17-5) will face No. 1 Monument Mountain (19-3) at 4 p.m. Saturday at the Cage for the championship. Monument beat No. 5 Wahconah, 61-59, in the other semifinal.

Easthampton is in the finals for second time in three years. The Eagles are looking for their first title since 2003. Monument is in the finals for the first time in 19 years.

Easthampton controlled the semifinals from the tip, putting together a 9-0 run, highlighted by several steals and fast-break buckets. Sabis seemed out of energy halfway through the first quarter.

“We were pretty quick getting out in transition,” Miller said.

The Eagles ended the first quarter with a 22-8 lead, as Any Moynihan accumulated nine of his 24 points in that quarter.

“I thought (Moynihan) had one of his better performances,” Miller said. “He didn’t force shots.”

Easthampton kept a comfortable lead throughout the second quarter, as its transition offense and ability to spread out the Bulldog defenders worked to their advantage.

Sabis coach Pat Ochoa put in a smaller lineup to try and keep up with the Eagles, but that led to several second-chance baskets for Easthampton. When the Bulldogs went back to their big lineup, Easthampton kept pilling up fast-break points. The Eagles went into halftime leading 45-29.

Sabis experienced foul trouble early in the third quarter, and that allowed Easthampton to extend its lead.

Sopie Pek (13 points) and Darnel Whitley (16 points) paced the offense in the third, while Moynihan controlled the defensive end. The Eagles ended the third quarter with a 67-41 lead.

“(Moynihan) must’ve had four or five steals. I actually saw him rebound, setting screens,” Miller said. “He had a well-rounded game tonight.”

Zade Jenkins finished with 16 points, while Ronan Mottor added 10 points for the Eagles.

Easthampton 85, Sabis 52

Easthampton (17-5, 9-1)

Pek 5-3-13, Mottor 5-0-10, Caires 1-0-2, Whitley 7-2-16, Moynihan 9-3-24, Jenkins 6-2-16, Bacis 1-0-2, Maldonado 1-0-2. Totals 35-10-85

Sabis (10-12, 6-3)

Wheeler 1-0-3, Hodge 1-0-2, Johnson 1-0-2, Suttles 4-2-11, Diaby 2-2-6, Williams 7-2-17, Gonzalez 0-1-1, Johnson 5-0-10. Totals 21-7-52.














3-Pointers—Easthampton 5 (Moynihan 3, Jenkins 2), Sabis 3 (Suttles, Williams, Wheeler)