|McGuire, Brazeau Lead Drury to Giorgi League Title|
|By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires.com Sports|
09:05PM / Tuesday, August 13, 2019
|The Monument Mountain boys finished as runner-up in their first summer in the John Giorgi Summer Basketball League.|
|Al Giorgi runs Tuesday's closing ceremony as his wife Nancy looks on.|
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. -- Drury High School’s Tim Brazeau dominated the boards all summer in the John Giorgi Summer Basketball League.
On Tuesday night, the Blue Devils’ big man was a big reason Drury edged Monument Mountain, 77-70, in the league’s championship game.
Brazeau, a rising sophomore, scored 15 points and pulled down 14 rebounds, and he recorded four offensive putbacks in a pivotal run to open the second half as Drury repeated as league champ.
“That’s what we want from him,” said Drury senior Scott McGuire Jr., who scored a game-high 36 points and was named the league’s most valuable player. “We want him to get junk points, offensive rebounds, easy touchbacks, all that. That’s what we love.”
Monument Mountain led by as many as 10 points in the first half when Conner Hanavan (eight points) knocked down a 3-pointer to make it 39-29.
But Drury answered with a 9-2 run to half-time that included a Brazeau putback. McGuire capped the run by driving the baseline for a bucket to make it 41-38 at the break.
The Blue Devils stormed out of half-time with a 21-4 run that included eight more second-chance points from Brazeau and ended when Hunter Sarkis scored in transition, drew a foul and completed the conventional three-point play to make it 59-45.
“We talked about defense,” McGuire said of Drury’s half-time adjustments. “We came out and turned them over a couple of times. Defensive rebounding helped us out with them missing a couple of shots. We just put the pressure on, and our defense took over and turned into our offense.”
Dion Brown (team-high 30 points) stemmed Drury’s run by getting to the line and converting both shots, starting a 9-2 spurt that got the Spartans within seven.
Monument then chipped away, closing to within two at 70-68 when Caden Gidarakos scored in transition with about 1 minute, 15 seconds left to play.
Bookie Lewis (nine points, nine rebounds) drove the lane and goto the line on Drury’s next possession. He made one free throw to push the lead to three. Lewis then pulled down a defensive rebound at the other end to start a fast break that ended with a Brazeau bucket in the post.
Monument’s Nick Robbins was fouled on a 3-pointer with 20 seconds left to play. He hit two of his three free throws to make it a one possession game at 73-70.
But Brazeau answered with another basket, and after a timeout with 11 seconds left, McGuire got to the line and made both shots to provide the final margin of victory.
Brazeau finished with the league leads in rebounds (80) and blocks (12). McGuire finished with a league-leading 33 3-pointers.
It will be months before the start of the varsity season, but the Giorgi League experience helps give Drury a good foundation as it points toward a Western Massachusetts Division 4 title defense and transitions to life without program all-time leading scorer Reece Racette.
“It was awesome,” McGuire said of the summer season. “To get back with the kids we played with last year and new kids who are going to be playing with us and getting to know them. It’s about having them become part of the family.
“Summer league is about doing things to get better. It’s just to work on stuff you need to work on, play as a team and get closer as a family. And that’s what we did.”
The Giorgi League men's A and B division finals are Wednesday evening at Noel Field (with the Armory as a rain site) starting at 6:30.