Old Rochester makes Div. 3 final, holds off Pittsfield

WORCESTER – As its offense dried out for a lot of the second quarter and Pittsfield’s athleticism constructed up a run, the Old Rochester boys basketball workforce’s halftime lead in its Div. 3 state semifinal Monday evening wasn’t practically as snug because it might’ve been.

But then, John Butler and Zack Mourao merely took over.

Behind a game-high 27 factors from Mourao and 26 extra from Butler, the second-seeded Bulldogs (21-4) avenged their state semifinal loss final yr to St. Mary’s of Lynn with an 82-72 win over the No. 3 Generals (18-6).

The two mixed for 30 of the workforce’s 46 factors within the second half, constructing a lead as massive as 22 factors within the fourth quarter. Butler additionally completed with 11 rebounds and 4 assists, whereas Chase Besancon (17 factors, 11 rebounds) matched a late cost from Pittsfield.

Old Rochester advances to its first state title sport since 2015 and awaits Wednesday’s winner between No. 1 Charlestown and No. 4 Taconic.

“It’s not easy to get back,” stated Bulldogs head coach Steve Carvalho. “Getting by this round, especially against a very athletic Pittsfield team, is very rewarding. I’m proud of the kids. We played our basketball and they did a great job today.”

Starting out in a 2-3 zone on protection is a bit distinctive for Old Rochester, however Carvalho felt it was one of the simplest ways to match overwhelming athleticism from Malachi Perry (21 factors, seven rebounds, three assists) and the Generals. Pittsfield struggled to provide factors within the paint towards it, and the Bulldogs’ 2-2-1 press created chaos for a 12-point lead early within the second quarter.

Old Rochester then went 0-for-6 from deep within the second, scoring simply 11 factors to permit the Generals to drag inside 5 on a Makai Shepardson layup. Leading by simply eight factors getting into the half, although, a flip switched for Butler and Mourao.

Mourao’s and-one layup off a steal began the third quarter on a 7-0 run for a 43-28 lead. The Generals fought again, however Mourao and Butler hit consecutive 3-pointers to spice up it to 16 factors. Butler went on to attain the following eight factors for Old Rochester, pairing with one other Mourao triple and a layup from Gavin Martin (seven factors, 5 assists) to move into the fourth quarter up 60-42.

“We all try to preach next play and things like that,” Carvalho stated. “Kids can get flustered in an environment like this and I thought my kids were composed, and hung in there enough.”

Its personal size and rebounding introduced issues defensively, and the scoring punch stored coming within the remaining body. Robert Spenard hit a mid-range jumper and Butler nailed a 3-pointer for a 65-44 benefit early on. Butler once more transformed from from deep and assisted one other 3-pointer from Mourao for a 71-49 benefit halfway by way of the quarter.

Pittsfield fought again with a 23-11 run during the last 4 minutes of play, anchored by 13 of Da’Sean Brown’s 16 factors. But the Generals’ strain on Butler and Mourao left Besancon open by the basket and he transformed eight factors over the previous couple of minutes to complete off the win.

“That combination (of Mourao and Butler) was a little too much for Pittsfield (in the second half), along with their other teammates,” Carvalho stated.