WILLIAMSTOWN -- When Bob Thistle took over the Mount Greylock boys' basketball program it was in rough shape.
The Mounties finished the 2010-2011 season with four victories.
Two seasons later, the Mounties lost only four times. Unfortunately, for Mount Greylock the fourth loss of the 2012-2013 season ends its year shy of the goal. No. 6 St. Joseph's dispatched the No. 3 seed Mounties 64-45 in the Western Massachusetts Division III quarterfinals on Thursday night.
"It was an amazing year," Greylock's Nathan Majumder said after the loss. "Obviously, we fell short of our hopes. We were hoping to get further than we did, but it was an amazing year. Hopefully, they will build on this in the coming years."
The Mounties will graduate five seniors from this year's team. Majumder, Tyler Picard, Brett McCormack, Hank Barrett and Ethan Ryan all played in their final game on the basketball court for the Mounties on Thursday.
Picard finishes his five-year career with 992 points.
"They all made an incredible impact on all of us, both as coaches and certainly on the younger players," Thistle said. "They have a legacy here now. We're saddened we don't have a Western Mass. title to go with it. But, they really got this program going in the right direction.
"I'm going to miss these kids terribly. I'm so proud to have been their coach."
The Mounties' ride came to an end at the hands of the defending Western Massachusetts champions.
The Mounties had topped the Crusaders twice this regular season en route to the South Division title. In the third meeting, the Crusaders were determined to slow down Picard. The 6-foot-5 senior had scored 44 points against the Crusaders in the first two meetings. He had four on Thursday.
"They are an excellent basketball team," Thistle said. "We were fortunate to beat them twice this year.
"We tip our hat to St. Joe. They played a great game and they came into our building and they beat us in a lot of different aspects."
At the end of the first quarter, the Crusaders had a 13-point lead. The Mounties tightened it up, but couldn't crawl all the way back.
Barrett was fouled shooting a 3-pointer to open the game and then knocked down all three shots from the foul line to open a 3-0 lead. Mike Carpenter and Lavante Wiggins quickly answered and the Crusaders never looked back.
"We just didn't come out strong enough," Majumder said. "Once they got up by a few, it was just hard to get back into it."
Tyrell Thomas led the Mountie offense with a game-high 22 points. Barrett chipped in 12.
The Mounties hit 14 field goals in the game -- Thomas and Barrett accounted for 11 of those.
"In the second half we held them to 22 points," Thistle said. "So we really locked it down. We just couldn't make shots tonight.
"We got in a situation where we needed 3s. We never want to be in that situation, we want to be able to attack the paint."
Wiggins led the way for the Crusaders. He scored 17 points, 10 of which came from the free-throw line. Carpenter had 16 and Tank Roberson had 11 points for St. Joseph's.
"We held Tank to just four points in the first half," Majumder said. "But Lavante was killing us. We tried to adjust in the second half. He was just on fire and we couldn't stop him. It's as simple as that."
Last season, the Mounties finished the year with a 15-5 record and earned the No. 7 seed. This year, they took another giant step, winning the South Division and going 17-3 in the regular season. Greylock was the No. 3 seed this season. In 2010-2011, the team was 4-16.
"I'm terrifically proud of my kids," Thistle said. "It's been a great two years. I wish we were practicing [today], and I wish we were going to the [Curry Hicks] Cage. But in life, you get beat and you have to pick your head up and move on.
"We had a heck of a year, and I'm hopeful the kids will remember it for a long time."
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On Twitter: @NAT_DigitalSam