WILLIAMSTOWN -- Basketball isn't a one-man show.
The Mount Greylock boys' basketball team will tell you that more than anyone else. For the Mounties, everything is about the team. Positive, negative. It doesn't matter; Greylock will find a way to learn from the experience.
"Everything benefits us as a team in a good way," junior Tyrell Thomas said. "It doesn't matter if it's me getting ejected or us losing, it's going to help us in the next game. It teaches us something and helps us move on."
The Mounties' only two losses on the season came in a tournament in Boston just after Christmas. Greylock lost both games of the tournament and haven't lost a game since.
Thomas was tossed Jan. 15 after receiving two technical fouls against Wahconah. It was the first time in his career that he didn't score any points in a game.
After his ejection, Thomas exploded. The junior sat out the next game, but then scored a season-high 30 points against Pittsfield in a Jan. 23 victory. Two days later, he scored 21 points to lead the Mounties over defending Western Massachusetts Division III champion St. Joseph's. He finished his latest stretch by being more of a playmaker. He chipped in 12 points, but had nine assists against Taconic on Jan. 29.
"[Jan. 15] was certainly a tough night for [Thomas]," coach Bob Thistle said. "Sports are certainly learning about yourself and how you can improve as a person. There have been
"We really try to focus on our next game and we tell the kids next play. When things go well and when they don't go well, just focus on the next play."
A year after being named the All-Transcript MVP, Thomas has continued his terrific play. Entering tonight's game against Hoosac Valley, he's averaging 15.8 points per game.
Thomas had to learn how to play point guard last season and spent much of the year rotating in and out of different positions. This year, his ability to distribute the ball has increased with his knowledge of playing the point.
"This year he is playing like a true point guard," teammate Hank Barrett said. "He's distributing the ball really well."
It's not just Thomas doing the scoring. The Mounties have consistently put four or five players in double figures in every game.
Nathan Majumder has led the team in scoring three times this season, and Tyler Picard has done it four times.
Four of the Mountie starters are averaging 10 or more points per game. Brett McCormack is the low man in the starting rotation and he averages a respectable nine points per game.
"When we can have four or five guys in double figures, hovering around 10 points and then a couple of guys in the high teens or maybe low 20's that's just such a big tool for us," Barrett said. "As an opponent, you don't really know who you're going to focus on stopping. Even kids off the bench, [Eric] Hirsch came in off the bench and had 10 points the other night. There are just a lot of kids that are really capable of scoring and ready to provide a spark when we need it."
The Mounties' team awareness stems from their competitiveness. Whether it's a game or a practice, every Mountie is competing. Every sprint is a race, every free throw is a competition to see who can make more in a row.
"If we weren't competitive with each other, I don't think we would be as competitive with other teams," Thomas said. "We're all best friends, but when we're on the court, we aren't friends at all. It can get pretty heated in practice. But that's just going to help us."
It's that competitive edge, along with a balanced attack that has allowed the Mounties to run to a perfect county record so far this season. They sit in first place in the South Division with five games to go.
Greylock has already locked up a tournament bid, but that's not the focus.
"The only thing we're focusing on is the next game," Thistle said. "We're focused on Hoosac [tonight]. We're expecting quite the battle."
Hoosac enters at 6-6, but it has a three-game winning streak. And this group of Mounties has never won at Hoosac Valley.
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