|BArT Ballers Battle But Bow Out in League Semis|
|iBerkshires.com Sports, |
09:52AM / Thursday, February 16, 2023
HARDWICK, Mass. -- The short-handed Berkshire Arts and Technology Charter Public School basketball team Wednesday put up a fight for 32 minutes but could not overcome Eagle Hill in the semi-finals of the River Valley Athletic League tournament.
Despite 23 points from Corey Lynch and 14 from Sam Touray, the Wolf Pack fell, 62-43, to its long-time rival to the east.
BArT coach Robert Daugherty said his day started with the news that senior and top inside defender Ivan Chen was medically unavailable for the road trip.
That was a big blow for BArT, which dropped a one-point decision to Eagle Hill earlier this year and faced the challenge of matching 6-foot-4 Hampton Carver in the post.
"Then, in the first quarter, a leader in both offense and defense landed wrong after leaping and catching a high pass and hurt his knee, taking him out of the rest of the game," Daugherty said. "From there, losing two of their key players against a team that’s much taller was too much to overcome."
After a hot start by Eagle Hill, BArT was able to pull back to within four points in the first half. But slowly the hosts pulled away by taking advantage of their inside game ... and a rash of injuries to the Wolf Pack.
It started with Sawyer Moser, who left the game late in the first quarter with an apparent leg injury. And things snowballed from there.
"At one point, our No. 2 scorer and fellow senior team leader, Corey Lynch, also tweaked his knee along with our sixth man, freshman Nick Martinez," Daugherty said. "I looked down the bench and saw three people with ice packs on their knees, one holding crutches. Then I looked onto the court and saw Captain Matt Lizzo limping as he insisted on remaining on the court to fight through the pain.
"Corey Lynch eventually did the same and played through an obvious injury with an outstanding 16-point fourth quarter."
Lizzo scored six points in the loss. Moser added four before he left the game. Ahmet Yidiz scored a third-quarter bucket.
Despite graduating five seniors from this year's team, Daugherty is sanguine about the program's near-term prospects.
"Given that throughout the entire season we were able to match up our very tight-knit group of freshman to juniors and seniors on other teams, and that our starter and shooting point guard, freshman Samseedy Touray, easily matches the best in the league, I am confident BArT will continue to be dominant in the league for years to come," he said.