TERRYVILLE — Terryville and Shepaug previewed the donnybrook still to come in the Berkshire League boys basketball tournament starting next Saturday at Shepaug High School with a rampage of their own Friday night at Terryville High School.
Terryville held a game-long edge on its way to a 72-69 win, but the outcome remained in doubt until the final buzzer. The result left the two teams into a tie for third place in the league (9-6) behind regular-season champion Wamogo (14-1) and Nonnewaug (12-4) with one more regular-season league game for all eight tournament teams.
“All eight teams are good,” Shepaug coach Matt Lefevre said. “Any team can beat any other team.”
Terryville, the only league team with a win over Wamogo, proved that Friday after a 52-46 loss at Shepaug a month ago.
The Spartans have one of the best players in the league in junior guard Owen Hibbard, who scored his 1,000th career point Tuesday in a win over Thomaston.
Friday, Hibbard had 18 points at the half and 33 for the night, but the effort couldn’t overcome Terryville’s gang approach.
“All year, we’ve been a no-star team and it proved out tonight,” Terryville coach Mark Fowler said.
“They’re very good, very quick and every player can shoot,” Lefevre said.
The combination took turns at Terryville.
Kangaroo Sean O’Donnell (15 points) darted to the basket in the first quarter, leading Terryville to an 18-16 opening advantage.
Dylan Matulis (team-high 23 points) took over in the second period with three straight 3s for 38-34 at the half.
Then Albert Molina took a turn outside in the third quarter with three straight 3s while Matulis worked inside for a 55-53 lead going into the final period.
Three-pointers and quickness came through again for Terryville. While Hibbard continued his siege on the basket, Zach Rinkavage and Matulis hit from outside for a 63-57 leg up. O’Donnell was back with a fast break for 66-59 and Matulis laid it in on a pass from Rinkavage to put the game out of reach, 68-59, with three minutes left.
And still, the Spartans almost got back. In the final minute, Shepaug’s Jayden Cornwall (17 points) hit a 3 and a layup to get within three, 70-67.
But two foul shots from O’Donnell gave Terryville back its edge and one more drive from Hibbard couldn’t get Shepaug over the hurdle.