Bracket Breakdown: West Sectionals

Here is our breakdown of the MIAA boys basketball tournament's West Sectionals. Contributing picks are ESPN Boston High Schools editor Brendan Hall, along with correspondents Terrence Payne and Jimmy Kelley.


Favorites: Springfield Putnam (19-1), Springfield Central (16-4), West Springfield (20-2)

Contenders: Holyoke (14-6), Northampton (13-7)

Sleepers: East Longmeadow (12-8), Pittsfield (13-7), Amherst (14-6), Springfield Cathedral (12-8), Springfield Sci-Tech (10-10)

Overview: There has been no bigger enigma in MIAA basketball this year than Springfield Central—but one thing has been made clear -— when the Golden Eagles come to play, they are one of the state’s best teams, led by sophomore Chris Baldwin and seniors Kamari Robinson and Cornelius Tyson. West Springfield, whom Central beat at the Hoophall Classic, and Putnam, have both emerged as potential teams who could knocked off favored Central. West Springfield, who sprinted to a 20-2 regular season behind talented senior Riyadh Asad, avenged an early-season loss to Putnam two weeks ago, winning 54-50. That loss was the only one of Putnam’s season, as they finished the regular season 19-1.

Hall’s Upset Special: Pittsfield over Amherst

Bradley’s Upset Special: Pittsfield over Amherst

Kelley’s Upset Special: Agawam over Northampton

Breakout Tournament Star:

Brendan Hall: Amancho Adopo, Jr. G, Pittsfield

Chris Bradley: Darrick Boyd, Soph. G, Springfield Cathedral

Terrence Payne: Chris Lipscomb, Sr. F, West Springfield

Kelley: Darrick Boyd, Soph. G, Springfield Cathedral

Pick a winner:

Hall: Springfield Central over West Springfield

Bradley: Springfield Central over West Springfield

Payne: Springfield Putnam over Springfield Central

Kelley: Springfield Central over Springfield Putnam



Favorites: Greenfield (18-2), Sabis (7-13), Mahar (15-5), South Hadley (13-7)

Contenders: Taconic (12-8), South Hadley (13-7)

Sleepers: Wahconah (10-10), Belchertown (12-8), Palmer (11-9)

Overview: This is most wide-open region outside I-495, bar-none. Defending Division 2 state champion Mahar leads the list of favorites, along with Greenfield and South Hadley, the two top seeds in the tournament. Last year, the Senators ripped through the Division 2 tournament and shocked heavily-favored Brighton in the state championship game at the DCU Center—and it looks as if we’re in for another wild set of games again this year (Mahar beat top-seeded Greenfield last Wednesday, holding them to just 28 points).

Hall’s Upset Special: Mahar over Taconic

Bradley’s Upset Special: Mahar over Greenfield

Breakout Tournament Star:

Hall: Xavier Garcia, Sr. G, Sabis

Bradley: Troix Adams, Jr. F, Mahar

Payne: Nelson Zayas, Sr. G, Sabis

Pick a winner:

Hall: Sabis over Mahar

Bradley: Mahar over Sabis

Payne: Sabis over Greenfield



Favorites: Mount Greylock (17-3), Renaissance (18-2), Granby (17-3)

Contenders: St. Joseph Central (11-8), New Leadership (8-12), Smith Academy (17-3)

Sleepers: Lee (12-8), Dean Tech (13-7), Frontier (11-9), Turners Falls (14-6)

Overview: Another wide-open tournament field in Western Mass, St. Joseph’s will look to defend its title after a subpar 11-8 season. A few things to note, St. Joe’s beat second-seeded Granby at the Hoophall Classic, but fell in late December to a New Leadership squad with a lot of talent. That same Granby squad split their season-series with top-seeded Renaissance. And then, when you throw in little-known Mount Greylock, compare making picks in this tournament to throwing darts at a board.

Hall’s Upset Special: Turners Falls over Lee

Bradley's Upset Special: None

Breakout Tournament Star:

Hall: Tyrell Thomas, Jr. G, Mount Greylock

Bradley: Davidson Pacheco, Fr. G, New Leadership

Payne: Corey Baker, Jr. F, Granby

Pick a winner:

Hall: Mount Greylock over New Leadership

Bradley: St. Joseph Central over New Leadership

Payne: Renaissance over Granby