Boys basketball blows lead in home opener

Stacia Papuga, Staff Writer

After leading all game by as much as 12 points, the boys varsity basketball team started their season with a 61-48 loss to Pittsfield this past Monday. It was a close game until the 4th quarter when Pittsfield took advantage of the Lions’ fatigue and snatched their lead.

Jordan Smith led the team putting up 11 points, while Jeremy Lamontagne scored 10, Kevin Borowiec scored 8, and Matt Dent scored 6.

This was Coach Dan Falvey’s first game as a head coach. Falvey replaced Wane Donaldson.

“I have been coaching the last two years as a junior varsity coach at Chicopee High School and before that I also coached a year at Belchertown as the junior varsity coach,” he said.

The boys who tried out for varsity “had it pretty tough,” said Falvey, adding that he gives all the kids credit that tried out.

“It was a good beginning for the coaching staff to begin to evaluate our athletes and try to see what we’ve got,” he said.

This year’s squad is made up of Seniors Michael Connors, Jeremy Lamontagne, Mike Lavell, Jordan Smith and Tyler Quiterio, juniors Kevin Borowiec, James Patterson, Matt Dent, Alex Lafayette, Dimitri Bryant, Brandon Watt, and sophomore Kevin Simmonds.

Lamontagne and Smith are the captains of the varsity team this year. However, Coach Falvey is looking for leadership from the whole team, not just the captains.

“I want all of our guys pushing each other and doing the right thing on and off the court,” says Falvey.

Falvey said that teamwork is a strength this year.

“Playing or coaching a sport is not an easy thing to do. We will approach challenges as a team and we will overcome them together,” says Falvey. “[The players] are unselfish, and in our scrimmage we have done a decent job looking at the extra pass and moving the ball.  Also we have shown an ability to put a lot of pressure on the ball. This will be big come the start of the season.”

In their scrimmage against Palmer they “were out-rebounded,” said Falvey.  “We are still working on our offense since it is a new one .… They aren’t used to running it yet.”

Smith feels confident about this season in comparison to his previous years playing varsity.

“With the way we’ve been practicing and scrimmaging, I know this year will be different. We just need to stick to basics, play aggressive defense and run through our plays. If we do that, there’s no doubt in my mind that we will win games,” said senior captain Jordan Smith.

This Friday, the boys will host Pathfinder at 7 pm.