Easthampton basketball’s first-round loss overshadows Zach Crisafulli’s 1,000-point milestone

  • Zach Crisafulli, top, of Easthampton, wins the tip-off against Brandon Roughley, of Wahconah, Monday in Easthampton. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Johnny Bara, of Easthampton, scores on a breakaway against Wahconah, Monday in Easthampton. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Sopie Pek, center, of Easthampton, splits Wahconah defenders Noah Bracci, left, and Luke Steinman, Monday in Easthampton. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Zach Crisafulli, of Easthampton, shoots against Wahconah, Monday in Easthampton. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Easthampton students congratulate Zach Crisafulli after he scored his 1,000th career point during a game against Wahconah, Monday in Easthampton. GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Zach Crisafulli, right, of Easthampton, celebrates with teammates Ant Moynihan, from left, Johnny Bara and Ronan Mottor, after scoring his 1,000th career point against Wahconah, in the Western Massachusetts Division 3 Tournament first round, Monday in Easthampton. Wahconah won 58-50. For more photos and a video, visit gazettenet.com. GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Zach Crisafulli, of Easthampton, gets a hug from his girfriend, Katie Sabourin, after he scored his 1000th career point against Wahconah, Monday in Easthampton. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Taryn Crisafulli, Pete Crisafulli, Zach Crisafulli, Katie Sabourin, Amy Crisafulli, Maya Crisafulli —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Zach Crisafulli, center, of Easthampton, drives to the basket against Wahconah, Monday in Easthampton. GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Ronan Mottor, right, of Easthampton, tries to win a rebound against Wahconah, Monday in Easthampton. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Ant Moynihan, right, of Easthampton, shoots against Wahconah, Monday. GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

@Hargraves24
Published: 2/27/2017 11:46:48 PM

EASTHAMPTON — After a run to the Western Massachusetts finals last season, the 2017 season came to an abrupt end for the Easthampton boys basketball team Monday.

The eighth-seeded Eagles lost to Wahconah, 58-50, in the first round of the Division 3 tournament.

The length of the No. 9 Warriors didn’t allow much scoring at the rim, and the shots didn’t fall from outside with enough consistency for Easthampton.

Brandon Roughley (18 points) loomed large in the paint for Wahconah (13-8), altering many shots after penetration by the Eagles (12-9).

“We missed a lot of shots that we normally make,” Easthampton coach Brian Miller said. “We struggled around the rim. Tough to score over that size.”

Lost in the disappointment of the loss was Zach Crisafulli scoring his 1,000th point for the Eagles.

In the first quarter, fittingly, Crisafulli snatched an offensive rebound and put it back in to accomplish the milestone.

Even with an arsenal of offensive moves at his disposal, Crisafulli’s incessant hustle put him over the top.

Crisafulli finished his career at Easthampton with 1,023 points after scoring 25 against Wahconah. He’s the first boys players since Casey White in 2012 to score 1,000.

“It was a lot of fun,” Crisafulli said of his career at Easthampton. “Great friends that I’ll have forever. Great coaching staff. There are no words.”

Crisafulli said he is considering a post-graduate year at Phillips Andover. He is also looking at Emmanuel College as well as Springfield.

“I wish we could have put up a new banner here,” Crisafulli said.

Miller talked about Crisafulli’s work ethic after the game.

“He works all summer and all fall,” Miller said. “He plays AAU, he lifts. Does all the extra things. It’s so much more than just playing basketball. He has been a prolific scorer here.”

Fellow senior Sopie Pek scored 12 points for the Eagles.

With Pek missing the first part of the season with an injury and Ish Akanour leaving the team for personal reasons, the Eagles never reached their full capabilities this season.

Josh Brown, Spenser Polonis and Johnny Bara (five points) all played their last game for the Eagles.

Wahconah transfer Ant Moynihan had five points for Easthampton, and greeted some of his old friends after the game.

Easthampton had its biggest lead of the game at 26-18, but the Warriors closed the half with a 7-0 run to make it 26-25 at halftime.

Wahconah outscored Easthampton 15-9 in the third quarter to take the lead into the fourth quarter.

Luke Steinman (11 points), Connor Washburn (eight points) and Tom Burris (eight points) all had timely baskets for the Warriors.

A short jumper by Steinman gave the Warriors a 53-47 lead with 43 seconds left, and from there the Eagles began fouling.

Washburn had four free throws in the fourth quarter, while Roughley added five from the line to help close out the Eagles.

Wahconah 58, Easthampton 50

Wahconah (13-8)

Washburn 2-4-8, Bracci 5-0-10, Roughley 5-8-18, Burris 3-0-8, O’Connor 1-0-3, Steinman 4-1-11 Totals 20-13-58

Easthampton (12-9)

Pek 3-7-13, Crisafulli 8-8-25, Bara 2-1-5, Whitley 0-0-0, Brown 0-0-0, Mottor 1-0-2, Moynihan 2-0-5, Jenkins 0-0-0 Totals 16-16-50

Wahconah

13

12

15

18

—58

Easthampton

14

14

9

13

—50

3-Pointers—Wahconah 5 (Burris 2, O’Connor, Steinman 2) Easthampton 2 (Crisafulli, Moynihan)


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