|BArT Advances in League Playoffs|
|By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires.com Sports|
01:22AM / Tuesday, February 12, 2019
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. -- The BArT Wolfpack used a 14-2 first-half run to open up a double digit lead and never looked back Monday in a 71-59, River Valley Athletic League tournament win over Eagle Hill of Hardwick.
Isaac Bamba scored 31 points, and Brandon Bamba scored 22 to lead Berkshire Arts and Technology Charter Public School, which moves on to the RVAL A Bracket semi-finals, scheduled for Tuesday against Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion.
Both Bambas showed their versatility, knocking down 3-pointers and slashing to the hoop, while William Peets helped BArT hold its own in the post, collecting numerous rebounds and blocking four shots in the second half.
“Brandon Bamba was really hitting from outside, opening up the inside,” BArT coach Robert Daugherty said. “Isaac was coming through with the lay-ups.
“Our rebounding is really what stepped up. They’ve got some guys who are bigger than us and who have played a lot longer, and I was very intimidated when I came in and watched these guys warm up.
“Our guys came through.”
A big factor was Peets, who missed BArT’s regular-season ending win last week but came back with a vengeance on Monday.
“He’s had a tremendous amount of blocks all season long,” Daugherty said. “And they’re smart blocks, too. It’s not just swinging his arm and going for the bleachers.
“I’m just really impressed with how we played inside. … I couldn’t have asked for a better game from these guys.”
Brandon Bamba hit a 3-pointer with 30 seconds left in the first quarter to break the game’s last tie and send BArT to the break with a 17-14 lead.
The Wolfpack scored 11 of the first 13 points in the second quarter to open a double-digit lead.
Owen Brady got the quarter started with a bucket in the post, and Brandon Bamba ended the run with a triple to make ti 28-16.
It was a 13-point margin at half after the Pioneers hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer.
But Eagle Hill got it down to two points by the start of the fourth quarter.
Brandon Bamba stopped an 11-0 run by the visitors with a field goal from just inside the 3-point line. Then a Brady steal set up a transition chance for Isaac Bamba, who scored, got to the line and completed the conventional three-point play to give BArT a 52-45 lead.
Brandon set up Isaac in the post a few minutes later to re-establish the double-digit lead at 58-48, and Eagle Hill never got closer than eight points the rest of the way.
Tuesday’s 4 p.m. semi-final at the Armory could be moved to Wednesday due to weather. Whenever it is played, it will be a rematch of last year’s RVAL tournament final, when PVCICS edged the Wolfpack in North Adams.
“That’s going to be another battle, just like this one,” Daugherty said. “We’re not going to have another easy game.”