The Berkshire County schedule makers have made us wait this long, which is both a good and bad thing.
On the bright side, waiting so long to see Pittsfield and Taconic’s boys’ basketball squads square off has allowed us to view both teams in a relative vacuum. We’ve been able to dissect individual players, coaches, situations and rotations. The bottom line is, we know that both teams are very talented, well-coached and hard working.
The flip-side of having to wait this long is the teasing aspect of it. At Pittsfield’s Saturday afternoon contest against O’Bryant of Boston, Taconic head coach Bill Heaphy walked in with some assistants. This just added more kindling to the desire to see his and Coach Steve Ray’s boys do battle.
Heaphy was in the house not just to see some high-level high school hoops, but because his first contest with the Generals is now what we can call upcoming.
Pittsfield and Taconic will meet Friday night, Jan. 31 at 7:15 p.m. as a part of a quadruple header of rivalry basketball. The event will double as a ceremony to honor and thank those who had a part in creating Pittsfield’s brand new gym floor.
Starting at 4 p.m. the two school’s junior varsity boys will play, followed by the JV girls at 5:30. The varsity boys’ game will be followed by the varsity girls’ re-match at 8:30. Taconic bested the Generals by one point in a game earlier this season.
The headline event will be Heaphy and Ray’s squad’s though. Pittsfield is currently 10-0, having clinched a spot in the Western Mass Tournament Saturday afternoon. The Braves sit at 7-4, after playing a very tough early-season schedule. The Generals were put No. 2 in MassLive’s top-20 ranking this week, while the Braves were listed at No. 8.
We’ve spent some time in recent Couriers discussing what makes these two teams so good. Obviously both coaches are well-established in their roles. In this week’s we are looking into the football aspect of Pittsfield’s development. Last week we took notice of a couple of freshman making waves with each unit.
However, when these two teams do get together for real, it may come down to mano-a-mano with each squad’s senior co-captain shooting guard and leading scorer.
Amancho Adopo of Pittsfield and Shaq Ardrey of Taconic are two of the most potent weapons you’ll find in Western Massachusetts. Particularly on offense, both possess fantastic athleticism and touch.
Ardrey is a sharp-shooter with nearly unlimited range. When he is feeling it, his confidence level allows him to take, and make, shots from all over the court.
Adopo relies on a bit more raw athleticism to beat opponents. He can often be seen out-leaping a bigger player for a defensive rebound and immediately racing down the other end of the court for a lay-up.
However, this isn’t to say that Adopo can’t rain threes from the perimeter or Ardrey can’t slash penetrate through defenses. Quite the contrary, these two seniors have multi-faceted games which allow them to help their team win in a variety of ways.
So, on Jan. 31 a little after 8 p.m., when Pittsfield and Taconic are battling in the fourth quarter of a close game, who is going to take over and push his team to a victory?
Ardrey or Adopo? Two Pittsfield kids playing big on an even bigger big stage.