WILLIAMSTOWN -- When the Mount Greylock boys’ basketball team settled down, it was ready to heat up.
The Mounties shook off some first-half jitters and scored 25 third-quarter points on the way to a 58-44 win over Granby on Tuesday night in the First Round of the Western Massachusetts Division 3 boys’ basketball tournament.
Nathan Majumder and Tyler Picard, who were held scoreless in the first 16 minutes, combined for 15 points in the third quarter, and Tyrell Thomas scored 20 to propel the seventh-seeded Mounties (16-5) into a Friday night quarterfinal at No. 2 New Leadership (13-8), who advanced with a 75-59 winner over Pathfinder on Tuesday.
"We knew that we weren’t shooting the ball in the first [half] and we could do a lot better," said Picard, who ended with nine points, 11 rebounds and four blocks. "We just wanted to come out and show the great crowd we had what we could do and shoot the ball better.
"One of our main concerns (at half-time) was getting the ball into the post, and it freed up our outside shooters a lot, too, and that helped us a lot, too."
Also helping: a chance to take a breather after the emotional high of starting the postseason at home for what is believed to be only the second time in school history.
"There were definitely jitters," Picard said. "This was my first playoff game and the first playoff game for everyone on this team. You
Mount Greylock coach Bob Thistle agreed that nerves may have played a role in a first half that saw the Mounties head to the locker room down, 19-18.
"I think so," Thistle said. "I’ve said this a lot this year, but we’re building on the success that we have here in the football program and the soccer program. It’s tremendous if you look around the gym at the banners. But basketball hasn’t had that.
"In a game like this with a big crowd ... We could have had more success in the first half getting the ball in and being a little more patient with our offense. But we didn’t make shots, and I think that goes to the point that we had some postseason and tournament jitters. But the kids came out and were determined in the third quarter."
The constant for Mount Greylock was defense against a Granby team that averaged 60 points per game this season and had not been held below 40 points since the season opener.
The Mounties held the Rams (14-7) without a field goal for more than nine minutes, a stretch that spanned the first and second quarters. The home team led only by eight (16-8) before Granby used an 11-2 run to grab the halftime lead.
After the half, it was all Greylock.
"Did they miss [a shot] in the third quarter?" Granby coach Tim Sheehan asked. "I don’t think they took but one uncontested shot in that third quarter. We were right there with them. They pounded it inside to the Picard kid."
Actually, it was Majumder (eight points) who got it going with a bucket in the post on Greylock’s first possession. After Tyler Ellard scored to give Granby its last lead, the Mounties rattled off an 11-2 run.
Picard scored three times in that stretch, and Thomas capped it with a jumper from the elbow to make it 31-23.
The Mounties scored on 11 of 15 third-quarter possessions and led, 43-34, going into the fourth.
Thomas thrilled the home fans to open the fourth, stealing a pass at the top of the key and going the other way with a layin.
He ended up with eight fourth-quarter points as the Mounties put the game away.
Thistle said if the Mounties were able to wear down the Rams, that was by design.
"One of the things we try to do all year long is we condition, and we run and we run and we run as much as we can in practice," he said. "And we put a press on, but sometimes it’s a soft press. We’re not looking to trap so much. We’re just looking to slow the other team down and make them work hard.
"And a lot of times we find that by the fourth quarter, we’ve got a tired team that we’re playing against."