Pittsfield boys’ basketball team uses late run to pull away in D-IV playoffs

  • Pittsfield’s Tyler Prentice (right) makes a flying layup on Monday. night against Lisbon in the Division IV boys’ basketball quarterfinals. Prentice finished with 15 points and seven assists in Pittsfield’s 84-52 win. Courtesy

  • Pittsfield’s Quinn Bissonnette goes up for the opening tip against Lisbon in Monday’s Division IV first-round playoff game in Pittsfield. Bissonnette finished with 31 points on 14-for-18 shooting to help the Panthers to an 84-52 win. Courtesy

Monitor staff
Published: 3/2/2020 10:25:58 PM

Pittsfield never trailed during Monday’s Division IV boys’ basketball playoff game, but the Panthers’ lead was down to a narrow three points late in the third quarter.

A few minutes later, Pittsfield had blown things wide open.

The fifth-seeded Panthers (15-4) went on a staggering run to close the third and open the fourth quarter on their way to an 84-52 win against No. 12 Lisbon (9-10).

“We just knuckled down on defense, got out on and ran and filled lanes,” Pittsfield coach Jay Darrah said. “And that’s what we normally like to do.”

Pittsfield senior Quinn Bisonnette scored 15 of his game-high 31 points in the third quarter and was a key part of the 7-0 run his team went on to close the third. Pittsfield kept it up in the fourth, opening with a 23-2 run that took only half of the quarter.

“We switched defenses and went to a different type of man-to-man to stop their outside shooting,” Darrah said. “Credit to them, they hit 10 3s in the first three quarters.”

Pittsfield’s Devin Bedell scored 11 of his 20 points in the third quarter, including three deep 3-pointers, to help the home team build a 39-29 halftime lead.

“They really tried to stop (Bedell) from penetrating, so he stepped out and made some big shots from deep.” Darrah said.

Even when Lisbon cut the lead down to three in the third quarter, Darrah never sensed any doubt in his team.

“Even when we had to call timeouts to refocus, they never looked defeated,” Darrah said. “They just listened to what we were saying, listened to the adjustments and wanted to know what had to be done. This is a resilient, hard-working group of kids. Whatever we lack in talent we make up for with hard work.”

Tyler Prentice finished with 15 points and seven assists for Pittsfield, which had 24 assists as a team on 29 field goals. Bedell had seven rebounds and four assists to go along with his 20 points.

Pittfield will now take its work ethic to meet No. 4 Sunapee (15-4) in Thursday’s quarterfinals. The team two teams split their regular-season meetings – the Lakers won 68-41 in Sunapee on Jan. 3 and the Panthers pulled out a 51-50 win in Pittsfield a week later on Jan. 10.

“They do a good job filling up their gym and the fans get into it, so it will be a really good atmosphere,” Darrah said.

“They have good scoring depth, four guys who can all score, so you really can’t focus on one guy.”

Boys’ Basketball

Kearsarge 62, John Stark 56

Key players: John Stark – Christian Barr (30 points, 13 rebounds), Kayden Easter (11 points, 16 rebounds), Jayden Sheppard (12 points)

Highlights: The Generals were up six points going into the fourth quarter, but Kearsarge capitalized on some key possessions late in the game to earn the win in Weare.

Coach’s quote: “I am continually impressed by how hard this team plays, but some mental errors in the fourth opened the door for Kearsarge and they took advantage. They were the more disciplined team tonight and that cost us. Still, these boys have worked hard all season, so to lose in overtime on senior night really stings.” – Stark’s Mike Smith

Records: Kearsarge 8-8; John Stark 5-12

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