The Curry Hicks Cage is what every Western Mass basketball player looks forward to every season. The Cage is the motivation behind every win, the need to claw your way into tournament just so you can have the chance to play at The Cage. The Cage is where memories are made.
Even if you don’t go to The Cage with your team, you still spend time there, every winter. Your nights are filled with back to back basketball games where you go to cheer for your friends, where you meet up with your friends, and maybe even choose a team that you know will win it all.
The Cage has a different atmosphere then any other place that you can play basketball.It is more intense. It feels more real.
The Curry Hicks Cage is the old Mullins Center, there are wrap around bleachers throughout the whole building with a walk way that also wraps around with bleachers. What makes The Cage so much different (aside from the historical meaning) is that the fans are behind the basket, which means during the first half, you are playing offense against your opponents fan section.
Now, fan sections can be fun. They can be alive and wild.
Or they can be boring and quiet.
The fans in my opinion is what makes a game intense. The players can have an exciting game without the fans, but it isn’t an intense one. The fans can make the atmosphere of the whole building change, and this is amplified when in The Cage.
The fan section is what brings the energy, they are what fuel the players either to get excited or to get so dramatically mad they have to sit out and take a breather for a couple minutes.
The most enthusiastic team that played at the Cage was the Putnam Boys team. They won back to back to back to back Western Mass titles. And at the end, aside from the Amherst fans, everyone was chanting Put-nam.
The loudest fan section was for Easthampton Boys (sorry, Hopkins). The ‘Nest’ wanted it, and they yelled and cheered till the final buzzer, even after the devastating loss, they were still chanting, “we love you,” which was great.
The most intense game was Chicopee Comp vs. Central. Chicopee Comp had a huge upset and beat Central by 4 (I think) and it was the most nail biting game.
Best coached game and best defensive game is Longmeadow. Who beat Pittsfield and won their second WMASS Championship in the past 3 years!
And of course, my favorite team was the back to back Western Mass Champs—HOPKINS ACADEMY!!!! With a 23-0 season thus far, they are the team to watch. Sami Roe helped to lead his team to victory with 28 points. What is best about watching Hopkins Academy is they work as a unit, they work as one. If you are going to root for any team in the state finals, root for Hopkins Academy. They seriously are the team to watch.