By Cody Darr
CHICOPEE – In the second game of Chicopee’s co-ed Unified Basketball program, Chicopee players made short work of Mt. Greylock High School. Using precision shooting and court domination, Chicopee High School had their eyes set on redemption after last week’s close defeat against Palmer Highschool. Redemption is what they got.
“JUMP BALL!” Chicopee High Cheerleaders chanted rhythmically as our players began their hot streak, foreshadowing the game’s outcome with multiple smooth layups and three point shots that made the net whisper “swish” on par with every ticking second of the match.
This fast-paced play by the Pacers was reminiscent of their season-opening game, except in this new and improved version, the other team couldn’t keep up with Chicopee High School. With the thought of victory in the back of their minds, Chicopee carried a consistent lead almost never letting their score margin drop under five points and almost always having said score margin lead higher than five points.
While at times it appeared Mt. Greylock High School was in the early stages of a comeback, Chicopee remained ready to collapse any hard resistance to their lead quickly. The first half would end with the Pacers in the lead 28-24, laying the foundation for a high scoring game still yet to come.
After a brief and well-deserved resting period for both teams, the buzzer would wail for more gameplay. The second half might as well have been a recording of the first half, as it would commence and cease in the same way.
Fewer than ten seconds after a jump ball, Chicopee High would score off of a layup to solidify their second half dominance and to establish that nothing had changed during half time nor had nothing changed since their last match. They were the same persistent and strong team the crowd witnessed in the opener.
Within the flurry of cheers, chants, and triumphant plays, both teams found themselves smack in the middle of the second half with Chicopee holding a comfy 10 point lead at 52-42. For the Pacers, this was a comfortable position that was their duty to defend. As for Mt. Greylock, it was a hurdle they had to jump over.
Over the course of next final 10 minutes, both teams exemplified their skills. Mt. Greylock vigorously pressed forward, matching the pace of the Pacers. Despite this fact, for every point Mt. Greylock scored, Chicopee was able to clap back with a point as well, creating a stalemate that kept Mt. Greylock High School from coming back in any sort of fashion. The Pacers’ resilience and brick-wall defense lead the Chicopee High School Pacers to win the game.
The game was hard-fought by both teams. Ultimately, the Pacers won 64-52. Mt. Greylock came on to the court and showed their skill, persistence, along with their ability to adapt and while they didn’t win the matchup, they definitely did not walk away losers. Chicopee High’s Unified Basketball record stands at 1-1 after the win, as they prepare for the Unified Jamboree at Chicopee Comprehensive High School on Thursday November 21. The game is set to begin at 4:00 p.m. and will feature unified basketball teams from 8-10 western mass high schools where each team will hope to display how hard work and practice translates to skill on the court.