|Swish, Lifting Standards Win Giorgi League Championships|
|By Rick Duteau, iBerkshires.com Sports|
10:58PM / Wednesday, August 14, 2019
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. - The John Giorgi Summer Basketball Men’s League closed out its summer season in perfect dramatic fashion on Wednesday night, needing overtime to determine the victor in the A Division championship game played at Giorgi Court at Noel Field.
Lifting Standards pulled away with the overtime victory over Flynn & Dagnoli/Kingsbread by a final score of 56-53. Swish earned a 53-41 victory over Fortitude Strength and Conditioning in the B Division final, played earlier in the evening.
Keiland Cross sealed the win with a pair of free throws with just 12 seconds remaining to cap off a big night and a big summer season for the A Division MVP. Cross had all of his points in the second half and finished with a team-high 13 points and 11 rebounds.
Cam Stockton also had a big night with 11 points for Lifting Standards. Stockton helped to swing momentum after he drained a 3-pointer and, after Flynn & Dagnoli’s Lawrence Carrier answered back with a layup that tied things back up, Stockton went off glass for the bucket that put his team ahead for good.
Quentin Gittens chipped in a pair of free throws that pushed it to a 54-50 advantage, as he closed out his night with seven points for Lifting Standards. But Carrier came up big again by draining a long trey to pull Flynn within a point. Carrier had a game-high 20 points and eight rebounds.
Both sides managed to keep things close throughout, with neither club ever taking a commanding lead. Flynn & Dagnoli held a 26-24 lead at the half, thanks to a balanced offensive attack that kept everyone involved in the scoring.
The second half remained as tightly contested, as Flynn & Dagnoli focused on its inside game and Lifting Standards started draining shots from outside. With little time left in regulation, Anthony Sims stole an inbounds pass and took it straight to the hoop for the tying layup that made it a 47-47 score and ultimately forced the action into overtime. Sims had 11 points total.
Joe Wiggins did most of his scoring in the first half and finished with nine points for Flynn & Dagnoli. Jamal Mungin added seven points.
In the B Division finale, Swish used a 12-4 run to close out the first half and take control. Matt Chamberland dropped in his second 3-pointer of the first half to put Swish ahead at 23-21, and that lead quickly grew. Keith Czobryt converted a three-point play and later added another layup, before Chamberland closed the first half with a field goal that made it a 32-25 advantage for Swish.
In the second half, B Division MVP Brandon Davis got going to help his club maintain the lead and eventually claim the championship. Davis opened the half with a bucket that increased things to a nine-point lead, and later chipped in his final basket on a triple that gave him 10 points on the night.
Swish led the entire way in the second half. The lead swelled to 17 points after consecutive baskets from Czobryt, who had nine points.
Team Fortitude lived up to its name by battling to the finish, closing the contest on a 7-2 run as the club tried one final rally push.
Fortitude dominated on the boards to stay in the contest, as they outrebounded Swish, 38-27. Bill Janner led the way with eight rebounds to go with his nine points, while Russ Beauchamp had seven rebounds and a team-high 14 points. Beauchamp connected on four deep three-pointers, all in the first half, to keep his team in the action.