NORTH ADAMS -- The McCann Tech boys' basketball team played disciplined within its offense for three quarters and dominated the glass.
They needed it, as Franklin Tech roared back in the final 8 minutes with 26 points, but couldn't overtake a 20-point McCann lead, and the Hornets won 56-49 on Monday night.
"I think they got a little excited a little too quick at the end there," coach Mike Nykorchuck said. "You know what happened is they had fun tonight. Before, I think they were pressing and tonight they executed the plays a lot better."
The executed to the tune of a 22-point lead early in the fourth quarter. The Hornets had quarterly scores of 15, 14 and 13 through 24 minutes. Franklin Tech's best output was a 10-point first quarter.
Then the inexperience of playing with a big lead kicked in.
When Franklin Tech's Chris Wetherby made a free throw with 5:52 remaining, he cut the McCann lead to 19. What's more is he initiated a 16-4 run over the next 4:16. Jake Earl's 3-pointer capped the run and brought the McCann lead to just seven.
"We forced a couple shots. We started playing faster than we should have," Chad Raimer said. "We were doing good fast break pretty much the whole game. Then at the end we started getting sloppy with our fast break, instead of slowing it down, trying to work an offense. The whole game we actually played really good half-court offense."
Justin Cote followed up a T.J. Therrien missed free throw with two good ones to push the lead back to nine with 1:08 to play, and McCann was home free.
"I think because winning's becoming newer to us that we're feeling calm and collected in order to achieve our goals when we should have kept the throttle on the whole time," Therrien said.
The fourth-quarter slip-up shouldn't overshadow the strong first three quarters, though. The Hornets made a conscious effort to rebound better, and they were. Therrien led the way, snatching 10 rebounds. Cote was right there with six. Many of those came off the defensive glass, helping to create the large cushion.
"We did a lot of rebounding drills that prepared us up to this game," Therrien said. "I thought we did relatively well against Mount Everett, and the momentum of winning that game carried over into this game."
What carried them though Monday in the early going was there discipline within the offense. Shane Fuller's quick 3-pointer to open the game was one of just a few quick offensive possessions for the Hornets in the first 24 minutes. They setup their half-court offense, ran it and waited for the open guy. It often times resulted in an open lane to the basket, which is the way Nykorchuck wants to see it operate.
"A lot of times you see a high school game, the middle is all clogged," he said. "We want to keep that middle open and hopefully one of their guys is picking up a guy going in and then [one of our big guys] can slide in and get the pass instead of just standing there and posting."