Bombers, Rams tip-off blocked

Javi Santos stops and pops for two for Westfield over a soaring Pope Francis Cardinal. The Bombers were scheduled to take on the Chicopee Comp Colts Friday night, but the game was postponed until Saturday afternoon at 1 due to the powerful nor’easter which slammed the state Friday. (Photo by Bill Deren)

WESTFIELD – The Westfield High School boys basketball team has been eagerly anticipating Friday’s tournament game since the West Sectional Division 1 tournament field was announced last weekend. The Bombers will have to wait one more day.
The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association announced early Friday afternoon that all tournament games scheduled Friday were postponed due to the extreme weather, also citing their attempts to create a fair playing field for all teams, Westfield athletic director Eileen Flaherty said.
Westfield will now take on Chicopee Comp on the road Saturday at 1 p.m. Southwick travels to Easthampton to face the Eagles at 6 p.m.
“It’s been a week and a half since our last game,” Westfield coach Josh Balestracci said. “What’s one more day?”
The extra day of practice will allow Westfield to get some more reps in – albeit likely with just another planned walk through – and watch more film.
“(Chicopee) has three to four pretty darn good players,” coach Balestracci said. “We’re going to have to be on our game, execute and play well.”

Southwick’s Danny Scharmann makes a circus move against Renaissance in the opening round of the West Sectional Division 3 tournament. (Photo by Bill Deren)

Balestracci said the key to victory will likely hinge on slowing down guards Adrian Bonilla, who “goes to the rim and shoots from deep,” and Andrew LeBel, “a heady player who can shoot it well,” as well as forward-center Bryan Atimbo, “who is solid and has good footwork in the paint.”
As for Southwick, the seventh-seeded Rams (15-6) will be tasked with winning their second straight tournament game under interim coach Joe Turmel, the school’s principal.
Southwick head coach Dylan Dubuc resigned late in the season due to personal reasons, athletic director Frank Montagna said.
That did not deter Southwick though as the Rams shook off the distractions and banded together to defeat No. 10 Renaissance in its D3 tournament opener, 49-44. Their next round opponent, No. 2 Easthampton (16-5), will likely prove a more formidable foe.

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