TURNERS FALLS — Tim Artus has seen his Franklin Tech boys basketball workforce develop and mature all through the course of the winter.
Of their greatest sport of the season Monday evening, the Eagles handed yet another take a look at. The consequence was this system’s first league title in 4 years.
Franklin Tech overcame a five-point, fourth-quarter deficit, driving the play of seniors Garret Cole and Bailey Younger, and closed out the night on a 17-7 run to upend visiting Duggan Academy, 54-51. The consequence enabled the Eagles to seize a share of the Tri-County League North Division regular-season title.
The Jayhawks (16-4, 6-2) held a one-game lead within the TCL North coming into Monday’s assembly. The win enabled the Eagles to share the title at 6-2 in league play, they usually improved to 14-6 total to cap a standout common season that ends in a banner for the primary time because the 2015-16 marketing campaign.
“Actually, we set this as a purpose for ourselves six video games in the past,” started Artus of the league title. “At that time, we had a listing of targets and this was certainly one of them. It’s taken extra than simply this sport to get there, however we knew if we gave ourselves the possibility, and had the chance to play on this spot, we might get the job completed. This workforce has been constructing its confidence sport after sport.”
Franklin Tech, which has gained 11 of 13 video games coming into the postseason, dropped a 71-58 choice towards Duggan when the groups met the primary time round on Jan. 24 in Springfield.
“They trusted one another and that’s one thing we’ve labored on all season,” Artus stated of his membership. “They trusted that everybody would do what they needed to do with the sport on the road.”
Trailing 44-39 coming into the fourth quarter, the Eagles dug deep on the defensive finish to claw again within the sport. Duggan was held off the scoreboard for the primary six minutes and 15 seconds of the ultimate interval, and the hosts capitalized offensively to chip away and finally regain the lead. Cole scored six straight factors, and his pull-up jumper alongside the baseline with 2:30 remaining gave Tech a 45-44 benefit.
Younger adopted with a steal and a layup of his personal simply seconds later to make it 47-44, and he later put residence a basket in site visitors with 1:25 remaining to maintain the Eagles out in entrance.
Cole hit two massive free throws in a one-point sport with 30 seconds remaining, and after Duggan’s Hussein Kabir drained a 3-pointer with 6.1 seconds left to chop the deficit to 52-51, the senior massive man once more got here by way of with a pair from the charity stripe with 5 seconds to go. Tafari Reid’s Three on the buzzer got here up quick and the Eagles held on for the large 54-51 victory.
“We got here to a degree the place we made a alternative,” started Artus of his workforce’s fourth-quarter effort. “We made the selection to not play like people, as we had up till that time, and determined to do all of the workforce issues that had gotten us up to now within the season. I give them loads of credit score. They performed as a workforce.”
Cole completed with 24 factors, 10 of these coming within the fourth quarter, and he pulled down 12 rebounds, dished out six assists and totaled 4 blocks in a powerful all-around effort. Younger totaled 17 factors to go along with three rebounds, two assists and two steals, whereas Justin Littlewood got here by way of with six factors, 9 rebounds and two steals.
Artus additionally lauded the likes of Hunter Wozniak, who performed stout protection on Kabir for a lot of the evening, and Ryan Artus, who sank an necessary nook 3-pointer within the third quarter to jumpstart a stagnant Franklin Tech offense.
“Up and down the roster, children haven’t solely accepted their roles however starred and grown of their roles,” Artus defined. “There’s a willingness to do what it takes on this workforce to win. That’s a typical theme all through the roster.”
It was a bodily, back-and-forth affair for a lot of the evening. The Eagles began the sport on an 8-Zero run, and Kabir picked up his third foul with 1:45 left within the first quarter. The Duggan star sat the remainder of the primary half, although the Jayhawks rallied with out him and used a 17-Four run within the second quarter to take a 30-23 benefit with 2:45 to go.
The Eagles rallied late, scoring the ultimate seven factors of the half to tie the sport at 30 heading into the break.
Duggan led for almost all of the third quarter, rising the benefit to as many as seven factors when it took a 42-35 lead. However once more, Franklin Tech had a solution, and the hosts saved their greatest for the ultimate eight minutes once they locked down defensively and made sufficient performs on the opposite finish to earn a league title.
“We’ve performed to our potential, and in some circumstances, performed above it,” stated Artus of his workforce’s scorching run of play down the stretch of the season.
Whereas a spot within the Western Mass. Division Four match awaits, the workforce will first be taught its destiny within the State Vocational Event, the place a house sport within the semifinal spherical was the specified end result when brackets are introduced both Tuesday or Wednesday. Seeds for the WMass match can be launched on Saturday.