NORTH ADAMS -- Often times in the postseason, teams will have some knowledge of their opponent. Coaches scout out-of-area teams as much as they can, but this frequently means they have film from just one game.
Drury boys' basketball coach Jack Racette may have tape on his team's first opponent Taconic, but he has something even better: First-hand information.
The Blue Devils and Braves played twice this season, with Drury winning both. Drury won a 54-53 game on its court in early January before ripping Taconic apart in a 59-40 victory on the road a month later. The third and final meeting of the season comes tonight at 7 when Drury hosts Taconic in a quarterfinal game of the Western Massachusetts Division II boys tournament.
In the most recent game, the Blue Devils executed their defensive strategy well in the second half, limiting the Braves to only eight points.
But the Blue Devils aren't exactly coming into the postseason on a hot streak. They lost the regular season finale to Hoosac Valley, a team that had just two wins at the time.
"We're fine, we got a lot of older guys," senior Robert Jutras said. "We wanted to go into the postseason on a good note, but it didn't really work out, but we're in a good mindset right now. We know what we need to do."
Racette was not pleased by any stretch after the Hoosac game, but four days removed from the loss, he was almost happy his team tasted defeat just before the tournament.
"Losing going into the tournament sometimes isn't a bad thing," he said. "You get a little hungry and you get that taste of what it feels like to lose. You can't lose now."
For Drury to win this time, it will need to get back to what worked for it early in the year -- pounding the ball inside.
In the last few games, the Blue Devils have strayed from that approach and relied heavily on outside shooting. It hasn't worked as they would have liked.
"It will start opening up the outside game a little bit better," junior Nolan Bird said. "It's just going to work better for us as a team if we start pounding it inside."
Getting the ball inside to Bird, Slayter Aubin and Brett Denning will force Taconic's defense to collapse into the middle, leaving the outside shooters more open. It also plays into the players' style.
"Most us are catch-and-shoot [players]," Jutras said. "We don't really make our own shot."